Sam & Max aren’t your regular police force…they’re the Freelance Police. Sam is a no-nonsense dog detective and his pal Max is a hyperkinetic rabbity thing. For more than 20 years they’ve been serving their brand of justice on the pages of underground comic books, on a Saturday morning cartoon, and in some popular computer adventure games. Now they’re back again on Xbox Live with all the hilarious episodes of their Season Two adventures from the PC.
Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space is a series of point and click episodic adventures mixed with tons of their madcap and irreverent brand of humor. You’ll guide the duo around various locales, gathering clues and items to use elsewhere to progress the story. And interrogate folks to collect more info on the current case. It’s a great formula and will appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike, as it’s easy to get into.
Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space will be pretty familiar with fans of the PC Season Two, because it’s the exact same game. So if you’ve already played it on the PC, you may not have as much reason to buy it again. As with other point and click adventures, there’s not a whole lot of replay value here, but it’s just so gosh darn funny you might want to go through it again anyway. Even though Sam & Max is a one player game, having a few friends over to watch can be helpful as a new pair of eyes can sometimes help solve particularly tricky puzzles.
Play control is definitely easier with a mouse for these kinds of games, but the Xbox controller doesn’t make things any less playable or anything. Really the only problem with the game is that, like most other point and click adventures, sometimes you can get stuck forever on a tough logic-defying puzzle. Luckily, this game adds a hint feature that you can toggle the frequency on to get clues as to what you’re supposed to do next.
Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space is a great Xbox Live game for point and click adventure fans. Highly recommended and side-splittingly funny! Certainly worth the 1600 Live points if you don’t have the PC version.
Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor, Drug Reference, Mild Language, and Use of Alcohol. The use of alcohol and drug reference are minor and not glorified or anything. Most of the language is bleeped out for comedic purposes, but there’s quite a bit more language in this game than in the last season. Of course the game is chock full of crude humor and cartoon violence, but if you are OK with your kids watching The Simpsons, they’ll be OK with the Sam & Max game, too. Reading skill isn’t necessary, as the game is fully voiced by talented voice actors (and the jazz soundtrack is pretty snazzy, too). Of course, kids will need a wacky sense of logic to solve some of those puzzles! Sam and Max often brandish guns in the game. But they don’t use their guns to kill, only to solve wacky puzzles. Families with strict religious beliefs may not like the fact that you’re battling against Satan and other wacky villains like a possessed Santa Claus! Because of all this, Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space is best for teen gamers, but mature pre-teens should be OK, too.