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Sam and Max: Situation Comedy Review

Developer: Telltale Games Publisher: Telltale Games
Release Date: December 20, 2006 Also On: None

Gamers waited a long time for the return of the police duo Sam and Max. When Telltale Games finally picked up the game license from LucasArts, they promised to revive the franchise from the dead with episodic content. Using Turner’s GameTap as its delivery engine, Telltale launched these short episodes of five or so hours on the world, with the option of downloading the game from their website for $10 a piece.

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The first Sam and Max game released by Telltale Games in October 2006 was Culture Shock, receiving an 8.3 out of 10 from Game Freaks 365. I found it entertaining with some witty humor, clever use of items and a nostalgic feeling of a better day in gaming. That said, Culture Shock was shockingly shallow at times, had seemingly mindless conversations and was a short affair. In this respect, Situation Comedy has some of the same strengths and weaknesses of Culture Shock.

The storyline unfolds like this. In an obvious poke at Oprah, talk show host Myra givers her audience a lifetime supply of non-dairy creamer. They aren’t too enthusiastic about it and she decides to hold her audience captive, locking down her studio and not allowing anyone to leave. There is something more to it though, and it is Sam and Max’s job (once they are called) to investigate and release all of the hostages.

Sam and Max end up at a local television studio where Myra’s show is filming. You run into a tv director looking to fill slots for a new sitcom called Midtown Cowboys. Playing as cowboys in Manhattan, you have to disguise a cow living your apartment from the landlord and convince him that it isn’t a cow. The presentation value is clearly pretty good, but the repetitive nature of the game, where you have to repeat the same scene a countless number of times until you get it right, can be frustrating beyond belief.

When you finally get to Myra, she is going to want a number of things from you in order to let you on the show: a contract, a juicy scandal and a tape of one of your shows. You will get these from appearances on some of the other shows that this network has. You will host or participate in include a “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” ripoff, a cooking show and Embarrassing Idol. On Embarrassing Idol, you will meet a few familiar faces. The Soda Poppers return from their stint in Culture Shock to both judge and compete on the show.

Overall, Sam and Max: Situation Comedy is only somewhat true to its name. While there is plenty comedic value to the game, due to the fact that you will have to repeat most of the scenes, it gets stale faster than a cow with a lampshade on its head can go moo. If you are a fan of the freelance police or played and liked Culture Shock, Situation Comedy is worth the purchase. It isn’t a step up, but for the value price, you really can’t go wrong either.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 7.5
Creativity: 9
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 7.9
Written by Kyle Review Guide