If you’re an older adventure gamer, like me, then you most likely have fond memories of playing many adventure games from the LucasArts games studio. We’d have to take the “way back machine” to the early ’90s where most of us probably played on either Microsoft Windows or Mac OS. Classics like the Monkey Island series, and a personal favorite of mine in Indiana Jones And The Fate of Atlantis. Then of course there was Maniac Mansion: Day Of The Tentacle, Full Throttle, and The Dig. And let’s not forgot about Sam & Max: Hit the Road! This was point-n-click adventure gaming at its best.
By the latter part of the ’90s that was all a thing of the past until July of 2004. That’s when Telltale Games was founded by several former LucasArts developers. Telltale’s mission was to focus on adventure games using an episode-based release schedule. One such game from them was Sam & Max Save The World. It was initially released in 2006 on Windows, Wii, and Xbox 360. Now we’re happy to say that some of that nostalgic magic has arrived in a remastered form on a modern-day console thanks to Skunkape Games! Welcome to our Sam & Max Save The World review for the Nintendo Switch!
A Tall Tale To Telltale!
The original 2006 Sam & Max Save The World release by Telltale was an attempt to reboot the Sam & Max magic established by the original LucasArts’ 1993 Sam & Max Hit the Road. It was originally penned as Sam & Max: Season One before being renamed in early 2009. Telltale Games initially went bankrupt in 2018 so how can a remaster of this game be available you ask? According to Skunkape Games, after Telltale closed its doors in 2018, four members of the Sam & Max development team acquired the rights to the studio’s Sam & Max games.
A Couple Of Looney Toons!
For those new to the franchise, Sam and Max are a couple of self-proclaimed “freelance police” who like to go out and solve mysteries. Sam is a canine detective who sometimes sounds like a private investigator who just walked out of a 1940’s black and white flix. Max, on the other hand, is a hyperkinetic rabbit-like thing with teeth and a not so introverted humorous disposition.
A Welcome Package Little Buddy
This Nintendo Switch version is a remastered version of the original that also released simultaneously on Steam PC. It includes all six episodes of the original Season One in one package for a modest price of $19.99 USD. The remaster includes enhanced graphics, Joy-Con™ and touch screen support, and a beautiful original jazz score with five new tracks.
Tried And True Adventure Gaming!
There are no surprises here and that’s a good thing! The gameplay itself is a joy-con implementation of a faithful point-n-click adventure game. You have your standard inventory for items you can pick-up. You highlight items using your right joy-con stick. A nice control touch is the left button shows all the “hotspots” in the current scene with yellow dots. Moving the right joy-con stick to the right cycles through all the hotspots in the current scene. This system makes it a dream for a scenario of not having an actual mouse.
Of course, like any classic adventure game, there are dialogue choices to be made and puzzles to be solved. The game allows you to turn on subtitles for all the dialog which I prefer. Once in a while, a darker color, e.g grey, letter coloring is used to differentiate which character is speaking. Sometimes these would be a bit difficult to read on darker backgrounds.
Each episode takes you on a mystery or crime-solving mission and each will take anywhere from 2 – 4 hours to finish. This of course depends on your adventure game experience. Some solutions are straight-forward and others are slightly off the cuff so expect to get stuck once in a while, it happens to the best of us. A lot of the overarching next steps are usually determined by in-game dialogue. Be warned there is no mission log here to revisit in case you put the game down mid-episode for an extended amount of time.
Classic Sam & Max Abound
Sam and Max themselves are loveable comedic figures. There is a lot of subtle, slap-stick humor here that seems young gamer appropriate. That being said it’s probably more suited for young adult gamers as elementary school gamers might just not see the humor sometimes. Adults on the other hand will occasionally laugh out loud! With Max, you get a lot of off the cuff banter, maybe too much for some people. Some of Max’s one-liners almost seem forced just to garner a laugh but that’s what the franchise was like.
Overall this is an admirable port that should tug on the heartstrings of many older adventure gamers. The game itself holds no surprises for veteran gamers but it’s part of a beloved franchise that makes it the perfect on-the-go adventure game choice. It’s wonderful to see some form of the LucasArts classic franchise hit a console gaming system especially a handheld one. Hopefully, there is enough gamer support behind this Season One remaster to help propel the development of a Season Two and Season Three, yes, please!
Note: Our copy was reviewed on the Nintendo Switch with a code provided by PR.
COMPARE TO: Sam & Max Hit The Road