Sam & Max: Season 3: The Devil’s Playhouse: Episode 3: The Stole Max’s Brain! (PC, PS3, iPad)

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 ready for their third season of crazy madcap episodic point and click adventures! (PC version reviewed here)

In their last episode of a five part season, Sam & Max were watching an interactive movie about their ancestors and how they found The Devil’s Toybox. But while they were mesmerized by the film, someone snuck in and stole Max’s psychic brain! Now his dog partner Sam is mad as heck, and must forcefully interrogate the lowlifes in the city streets in order to find his pal’s noggin!

But the adventure doesn’t end there! With the help of a lovable giant cockroach security guard, Sam will need to take back Max’s brain and thwart an evil plot by villains new and old that will end up changing the fabric of reality itself! Needless to say, the story has so many twists and turns that you WOULD be on the edge of your seat, if you wouldn’t already be on the floor laughing at all the hilarious wisecracks!

Max (or his brain, rather) gets a new psychic toy to help you solve puzzles in this newest episode. You got to use it for a little bit in the first episode, but it’s used more prominently here. It’s Rhinoplasty and works like Silly Putty. Stick it on a picture and Max will be able to shape shift into the lifted imprint. You’ll use this power to solve many a wacky puzzle!

The point and click riddles are a lot more intuitive this time around. The writing is still witty and clever, and the play control is easy to learn. It does help a little to play the past episodes in the Sam & Max series so you’ll know who all the crazy characters are! Can’t wait for Episode 4!

Kid Factor:

They Stole Max’s Brain is rated E10 for Everyone 10 and up with ESRB descriptors of Alcohol Reference, Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief, and Mild Language. This episode is a little more violent than the others. When Sam is angry about Max’s brain-napping, he makes no qualms about smacking people around and flicking a few rats’ ears! And the bad guy gets his brain removed with a rusty corkscrew! Granted, all this stuff happens off screen. All the other descriptors are in the text only. If you’re OK with your kids watching satirical TV shows like The Simpsons, they’ll be OK playing this game, too.

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