Sam and Max: Situation Comedy is the latest episode in the Sam and Max series from Telltale games, just in time for the Christmas break
Sam and Max: Situation Comedy is the latest episode in the Sam and Max series from Telltale games, just in time for the Christmas break. The timing on the release works well for the US and Canadian gamers with plenty of holiday time to settle in and adventure with a wise cracking canine and a violently inclined lagamorph, freelance police. European gamers have to wait a little longer, but hopefully not too much so.
Welcome to the TV Studio, everyone needs a propeller in their office
Yes, all sitcoms need to feature cows....and cowpies
Situation Comedy picks up a short time after Culture Shock has ended, going along with the episodic nature of the Sam and Max season. Telltale has announced that there will be a total of six episodes in this season which will release about every other month, and will be available in one large set for a reduced price at the end of the season. This episodic formula is rather new to most gamers, but I, for one, enjoy the opportunity to download new games that don't require a forty hour time commitment to even get started. There are some complaints that the Sam and Max episodes are too short, Culture Shock could be figured out in about 4-6 hours and Situation Comedy is much the same. However, I wonder if this concern wouldn't be mitigated if the releases were closer together. The final release of the entire season may offer a different appeal as there will be more Sam and Max goodness to pick from one repository.
One of the advantages of Situation Comedy is the humor of the piece which takes it up a notch from Culture Shock, some of Max's lines in particular striking home. The entire situation our heroes are facing, which consists of a director with control issues and the need to get on the talk show Myra in order to free a television studio full of hostages, is tongue in cheek and very suited to the comic book roots of the game and those that have come before. I found the various television sets and goals fun, though there were a few moments where the repetition of having to start all over again in one of the scenes was a little maddening. I won't give away the ending of the story, but I will say that we see Sam on the banjo and Max getting at least his fifteen minutes of fame before all is said and done. Much to Telltale's credit the storyline continues to move the overarching plot while still making each episode feel complete at the end. It was fun to see familiar characters and devices popping up in Situation Comedy, including my favorite tear gas gun.
I love Max's viewpoint on song
The spice of life. Also of bachelor food. Be careful of the pink one
The quality of the sound and graphics in Situation Comedy remain true to the high standards with delightful voice acting for all of the characters. They've retained the same actors, so there isn't a disconnect from game to game and the writing continues to establish the character relationships in a way that is both amusing and satisfying. The background music is appropriate to the various themes of the game, from the baking corner to the talk show itself, with a light jazz fill in whenever there's nothing else in particular going on. Graphically I set Situation Comedy to the highest resolution offered and didn't have any problems at all. The animation style rings true to the comic book roots of the game, and remains defining of the character from Sam's almost swaggering stride to Max's tendency to wander around wherever he's not supposed to.
The gameplay aspect of Situation Comedy is a nice refresher on adventure games with plenty to click on, but without the detailed pixel hunting that can be the source of much frustration. I don't mind having to search a bit, but when I'm trying to locate a point that's between one blade of grass and the next it's too much, which isn't a problem here. At one point in the game there is a more arcade style chase and shoot scene while bringing down the skinbody rats. This is kept short enough that it's fun, but takes long enough to be a bit of a challenge, with the actual solution being less about firepower and more about watching where one is driving.
Hugh Bliss, spectrum magician extraordinare!
Acid Tank. Are we sure this is a good idea?
Over all the difficulty of some of the puzzles could be increased, but the variety of gameplay is there and the game was enjoyable and definitely worth the price of download. As for the answer as to why Myra went bizerk I'm afraid you'll have to find that out yourself. I hate to spoil a great ending. Though I'll tell you that I'm looking forward to the other four episodes. The hypnosis isn't over yet, or maybe it just works on reviewers too. Do my eyes look spirally to you?
Top Game Moment:
TOP GAME MOMENT
I love driving the Desoto. Chasing down the skinbody rats was a hoot. Come back here with that shaving cream!