Dialogue is funnier than the
hard-to-top Sam & Max: Culture Shock
- Improved camera behavior that sometimes was distracting in Sam
& Max: Culture Shock
Much shorter than Sam &
Max: Culture Shock
- Just as in the first title, the game could have used a few
mini-games to give the title some needed replayability,
particularly considering the game’s brevity
- All of the game adventuring really takes place at the
television studio, so not so much of an “adventuring” aspect
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9.0 / 10
two episodes into a planned six-part “first season” of Sam &
Max, it’s clear that the point & click adventure genre has
resurrected itself. Sam & Max: Situation: Comedy is the second Sam
& Max episodic adventure from Telltale Games, and a pattern’s
unmistakably defining itself already. Expect stellar, updated classic
point & click adventuring (and the familiar “combining A with
B” puzzles) and the best game writing around with genuinely
hilarious dialogue under the direction of Sam & Max creator Steve
Purcell and veteran LucasArts point & click adventuring developers
now employed at Telltale Games.
This episode is much shorter than the series’ premiere, but once
again, Sam & Max Situation: Comedy has hit the hammer on the head
of hilarity and will be well savored by anybody that plays it.
That’s especially true for those hooked on the new adventures of Sam
& Max from the first episode, as Situation: Comedy
is developing as a story, with a familiar plotline and characters
from the first game returning along with a handful of new ones
joining the jocularity.
Once again, our kooky canine and crazy carrot-chomping bunny are on
the case, as at the mayor’s request, they must help the audience
of talk-show host Myra Stump escape. Stump won’t allow them to
leave her studio until she’s “Oprah-fied” them completely, by
gift after bizarre gift (case of beef jerky, anyone?)
To free the “captive” audience, our zany duo must visit the
television station where Stump’s show is broadcast. Before heading
to the studio, Sam and Max can pay a visit to old friends Bosco and
Sybil. Bosco the inconvenience store owner is now donning an English
accent to disguise himself from the skinbodies (led by Jimmy
Two-Teeth the rat, another returning cast member). Sybil is now in
the tabloid industry, with her publication, Alien Love Triangle.
When Sam and Max finally arrive at the studio, it’s spoofs galore,
as there’s a send-up of talk shows (ranging from Oprah to The View
to Jerry Springer); American Idol (Embarrassing Idol); cooking
shows; the New Age movement (led here by Prismatologist Hugh Bliss);
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (Who Doesn’t Want to Be a
Millionaire?); and believe it or not, Three’s Company (Midtown
Cowboys), starring a roommate cow (Bessy) and a chicken (Philo
Pennyworth) in the Don Knotts/Ralph Furley role.
Sam and Max must visit each spoofed set and engage in an activity
with a goal required by Stump (secure a recording contract, provide
a videotape of them as television stars, and show proof of Sam and
Max being involved in a tabloid scandal) to get themselves
“booked” as guests on her show to help rescue the audience.
Riotous laughs ensue at a frequent pace, much more than in the
funny-in-its-own-right first game. But as the game clocks in around
just around three hours or less to complete, the laughs really
don’t last as long as one would like. That’s due to the fact
that all the game’s adventuring takes place almost solely in the
television studio, requiring less traveling from place to place to
“shockingly” solve the “crime.” There’s so much to spoof,
but so little time to really fully enjoy it.
Other guest appearances are logged in by the Soda Poppers, who
return from their role as the hypnotized dupes of Brady Culture from
Culture Shock (Brady Culture doesn’t return, but his large afro
does, making a “guest” appearance in Sam and Max’s closet).
The Freelance Police discover that Stump was herself hypnotized, and
in fact even comment how ironic that turns out to be, hinting
strongly that hypnotism somehow will find a way into the final four
Most of the puzzles in Situation: Comedy aren’t too difficult to
figure out, although they’re all really amusing, especially Sam
doing his best hound-dog crooning for the recording-contract prize
from Embarrassing Idol.
As in Sam & Max: Culture Shock, I would have really liked to
have seen some sort of mini-games included, something that could
have been replayed once the main adventure was completed,
particularly considering the short time you’ll spend the
completing the entire adventure. There is another sort-of mini-game
with Sam and Max using the Freelance Police DeSoto to chase the
skinbodies, but it’s not as interactive as was a similar sort-of
mini-game in Culture Shock.
Nothing changes from Culture Shock as far as the graphical and
voice-acting aspects of Situation: Comedy are concerned, and
that’s definitely a plus. The actors are splendid at portraying
humor, and the visuals are really good once again. Vastly improved
is the sometimes-schizophrenic camera from Sam & Max: Culture
Shock that would block the goings-on, especially cut-scene
interactions. I didn’t notice one instance of that particular
issue at all in Situation: Comedy.
Even better than the first episode, Situation: Comedy brings a much
funnier game to Sam & Max fans, although unfortunately you
won’t enjoy it as long as you might have wanted before the
adventure ends but not before it delivers a rib-tickling adventuring
that both older, hard-core Sam & Max fanatics and newbies to the
comical duo’s antics will thoroughly enjoy.