Sam and Max: The Devil’s Playhouse

Filed under: PSN Update — CJ @ 1:23 am April 20, 2010

Having lost track of Sam and Max for the past few years, I was excited to see Episode 1 of their new series, The Devil’s Playhouse, pop up on this week’s PSN demo list.  Try to imagine my delight when I read the title of the first installment of this five part game: “The Penal Zone”. Indeed, the cartoon free-lance police that I first met in a mid 90s point-and-click PC game haven’t lost their edge when it comes to adolescent, anatomical humor.

Unless bodily humor is a sin, don't read too much into the title.

The gameplay is pretty simple; it’s still a point and click at heart. You spend most of your time walking around as Sam, investigating the scene, looking for clues, making off-color jokes suited for a junior high cafeteria, when suddenly you see that something actually needs doing. Cue Max and his ever-growing list of physic abilities. Oh yeah, he has those now. Instead of pointing with a computer mouse, you use the left thumbstick to look around your surroundings and view different items. Clicking has been upgraded to an assortment of buttons, square to view inventory, X to take a closer look at a highlighted item, or triangle to activate Max’s latent physic powers.

No good can come of this.

In the demo you get to see two of these talents: teleportation and, well, rhinoplasty. Teleportation is simple enough, Max just needs to know the cell phone number of a nearby character and he can zip right over to them. Because that’s exactly how teleportation really works. When you fire up Max’s Rhinoplasty ability, he whips out a nose-shaped container of what I hope is Silly Putty, slaps it on any picture or non-living item, and presto, changes into whatever it was he copied.

The combination of just these two physic powers was enough to fill the 15 minute demo with enough puzzles to make me walk around, double checking everything to see exactly what it was I had overlooked. In doing so I was reminded on numerous occasions exactly why it was I was drawn to the Sam and Max franchise to begin with: the witty banter between the crime fighting, detective duo. As fun as the games are to play and as inventive as the story lines can be, I still appreciate a good fart joke from time to time – Sam and Max don’t disappoint.

Click the picture to check out TellTale Games' Sam & Max website.

1 Comment

  • oooh i love sam and max

    Comment by Cameron — April 20, 2010 @ 1:32 pm

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