Thursday, October 3, 2019

Point and Click Adventure Review: Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space - Moai Better Blues

This review was originally posted on the McMurray Internet Channel website on March 2, 2019.

The second episode of the second season of Telltale's Sam & Max series takes the weird and wacky and rolls with it, creating a memorable episode with equally memorable characters and situations.

This episode takes Sam and Max to Easter Island where they meet arguably the weirdest set of new characters seen up to this point in Telltale's take on the duo. Of course, oddness usually equals goodness in the world of the Freelance Police, and that is certainly the case here. The new characters are presented, scripted, and voiced excellently. There are also some characters who return from Season One, and their interactions with the new characters are some of the best and most memorable parts of this episode. Plus, this is the episode that gave us Banang, which became a recurring gag in Telltale's games right up to their unfortunate majority closure and assignment in 2018.

The puzzles are equally as memorable and are among the best of Telltale's games up to this point. They are strange but have a weird logic to them that oddly works in the twisted world of Sam & Max. The portal puzzles remain one of my favorites throughout the entirety of Sam & Max. They took a while to figure out, but once I put my mind to the strangeness of the world, I figured them out right away. I've loved them for their weirdness ever since.

Jared Emerson-Johnson and Bay Area Sound are also at the top of their game in this episode. The island setting allows them to get their groove on, with a mix of tropical island beats and the jazz undertones that the series has always been known for, going right back to the original LucasArts adventure game. The voice work is also top-notch, with both the returning and new cast delivering some of the best performances so far.

This episode is an excellent example of a Telltale at the top of its adventure game-making powers. It's a fun, and funny episode, with excellent music, excellent music, and excellent puzzles. It's well worth a play for anyone who is even remotely curious about Telltale's earlier adventure games.

Update March 16, 2023: There is now another way to play the game. Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space Remastered by Skunkape games does update the game to the latest version of the Telltale Tool. It also has improved lighting, high-definition graphics, and a remade title song. Because of changing views on various culture-related issues, Bosco has a new voice actor. Because the new Bosco fits the game well, and the script changes are minor, this is now my favorite way to play the game.
Final Verdict:

5 out of 5

Episode 1 reviewEpisode 3 review

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