Sam And Max: The City That Dares Not Sleep Review

The Freelance Police return in Season 3′s “Mind-blowing” finale!  MILD SPOILER ALERT

When we last left Sam and Max, the “little psychic rabbitty thing” had morphed into a 50 foot psychic rabbitty thing and was wreaking havoc on the streets of New York.  Now it’s up to Sam and his crack team to find out why, and figure out how to bring back his “little buddy.”

This was my first foray into the world of Sam and Max.  The closest I’d ever come was an Easter Egg in the original Dark Forces game.  But now that I’ve been introduced, I’m sorry that we hadn’t met sooner.  The City That Dares Not Sleep is the fifth and final episode in the 3rd Season of Sam and Max, The Devil’s Playhouse. All your favorite characters from throughout the season make their return, as well as a few new faces peppered in for good measure.

It’s hard to review this game without giving too much away.  I will say that it is full of the pointy-clicky goodnes you’ve come to expect from Sam and Max.  If you’ve been a fan of the series, and a fan of Season 3 in particular, this finale will not disappoint.  I was afraid that with Max being transformed into a 50 story monster than the game would be lacking his usual quips, one of my personal favorite aspects.  Fortunately, this is handled by the addition of Flaming Max “Spores” that wander the city trying to get everyone to fall asleep, so Monster Max can feed off of their psychic brainwaves.

Episode 5 uses the tried and true formula of “if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it.”  Its puzzles are challenging, but not infuriating.  The game pitches you headfirst into the fray by presenting you with a puzzle before the credits even roll: Turn the DeSoto into a giant corn dog for Monster Max to eat.  Fear not, spoilerphobes, I haven’t ruined anything.  It’s a well known fact that Max loves corn dogs.

Much like my esteemed colleague, I have never before played a Sam and Max title.   Thankfully, I was able to play through the entire season before getting to the finale.  I can see where titles like this would not be for everyone.  These games are very different from your standard fare.  But what they lack in glitz and glam they MORE THAN make up for in the writing.  This is some of the funniest dialogue to be found anywhere, from video games to big screen flicks.  The game is replete with pop culture references.  Everything from The Shining to CSI: Miami makes an appearance. That’s not to say that the game doesn’t LOOK good.  It colorful, and polished.  The gameplay is silky smooth.  I found myself completely immersed in the story.

Season 3 of Sam and Max ends just as strongly as it started.  A polished look; intriguing and hilarious writing; and solid, challenging gameplay make for a satisfying conclusion to a memorable season.

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