Sam & Max are back, again. After the remaster of Sam & Max Save The World, these crime-fighting gumshoes are back on the case in another utterly bamboozling adventure.
If you managed to get to grips with last year’s Sam & Max Save The World then you’ll know exactly what to expect from the latest Sam & Max outing. After the reinvigorated remaster of Sam & Max Save The World landed on Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X and Series S, PC, and Xbox One, Skunkape Games are out to confound and delight fans once again. This time Sam & Max are out to foil more nefarious plots but this set of unusual adages and odd mysteries come based on 2008’s Season II.
With the passage of time, some improvements are expected. The characters and places of Sam & Max Season II are entirely overhauled for this new remaster. Graphics and character models are the most obvious change to Beyond Time And Space. In fact, the titular detectives and Freelance Police’s finest benefit from this 3D makeover and high def upgrade. The two characters still retain their same basic frame but benefit from more nuanced movement, better coloring, and obviously improved lighting to make the whole experience generally more chaotic. I’d say realistic but I’m talking about a talking dog and a hyperkinetic rabbity thing? Similarly, the world that Sam & Max inhabit doesn’t change much but better camera placement, improved textures, that enhanced lighting, and new models polish up the world and give it a depth that the originals might lack now. Taking a similar approach to the soundtrack, Jared Emerson-Johnson’s original score returns to Beyond Time And Space, but audibly upgraded, sounding fantastic and tipping a hat to the obvious genre riffs that this series does so well. Whether it’s talking down a murderous unstoppable killing machine with philosophy or sidestepping through a zombie disco, Beyond Time And Space looks noticeably improved without losing sight of the source material for this disastrous duo. Sure, here are extra sets there’s the odd redesign, but Skunkape seems utterly devoted to presenting Sam & max in their best light.
Despite the very obvious on-screen upgrades, much of Sam & Max hasn’t changed. The five episodes that come crammed into the old Season 2 title are present and open to dip in and out of at your leisure. This is a welcome option for anybody who has already hit the beat with these two. Gameplay is still a point and click scenario, with Nintendo Switch players getting the option of using Joycons, the touch screen, or the traditional analog sticks, and finds players picking their way through the much-improved scenery chatting with dead presidents, killer robots, aliens, elves, and even odder entities. Nothing about these logic puzzles is ever going to push your grey matter to its limits, and that’s absolutely fine. The pacing is perfectly balanced between the offbeat activities and beautifully acted conversations that take place. There are even mini-games to distract you and a seeming taste for Torture Me Elmos.
The only place Beyond Time And Space falls down are its bite-size mysteries. Episodes of this romp are decidedly short, but the ridiculous amount of in-game dialogue, and the ramblings of a power-hungry megalomaniac bunny, help to make up for that. Despite that the gorgeous visual rework and the wonderful sense of fun that Skunkape Games manages to leave untouched mean this is a stellar return for Sam & Max. Sam & Max Beyond Time And Space is out now on PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Find out more about these two on the official Skunkape games website.