13/01/2021

๐Ÿถ๐Ÿฐ Sam & Max Save The World | Review | Nintendo Switch | Review By Dr Congo Fighting | "The World’s Best-Loved Anthropomorphic Dog and Rabbit Crime-Fighting Duo" ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿฐ @skunkape #IndieGames #GameDev

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1993. The Midlands - a landlocked region of the UK, the historic home to heavy industry, heavy metal, and heavy accents resembling a large and very vocal cat in the throes of regret, having attempted to eat a toffee.

Zoom in to the window of a bungalow in a village on the edge of a green belt. Further, the camera in the room now as a thirteen-year-old Dr Fighting settles in front of his friend's PC.

A 486, DX2 66MHz, no less. The monitor lights his face, hair plentiful on the scalp, sparse on the chin. Time later decided that this was completely the wrong way around, and changed things accordingly.

The floppy disc is inserted. The mouse steadied. A command or two at the DOS prompt and Sam and Max Hit The Road boots up, brilliant colours filling the screen. The odyssey begins...I am in love with this game.

The writing is sharp, and I'm in control of a cartoon! I will play this game and any associated game obsessively over the coming years. Or.... at least that was the plan. I never finished it. We were young, we were carefree, and more importantly one of our mates had a brother in the year above that used to get cracked games.

But, the point is that I wanted to really love this game forever. I was simply too inexperienced and my head was too easily turned. Hopefully, I've grown since then. Perhaps they'll take me back.

But none of that matters, because I'm not reviewing that game. I'm reviewing Sam and Max Save The World on Nintendo Switch. I'm quite excited. Not because I'm a seasoned fan of the franchise, but, well because of all that stuff I said up there. Obviously. Duh.

Anyway, I was vaguely aware in 2006 that there was another game made by Telltale, but being in a very difficult phase of my life (my late 20s. I had booze and fags, and the world at my feet. No money, though), I didn't play it. Or review it. Obviously. And now I can, and I will. Now. Like, right now.

For those new to the franchise, Sam and Max are anthropomorphic representations of a dog and a rabbit, respectively. They are also freelance police officers. Because of course, they are. Sam wears a fedora and a suit. He's laid back. Good boy cop.  Max runs around in his birthday suit, being unhinged and violent. Bad cop. Anyway, they’re our protagonists, onto the game itself. 

Telltale first released this adventure in 2006, split into 6 individual episodes. They’re all presented in this compilation of the entire first series. 

First off, it's pretty. I'm playing it handheld, and everything looks great. You know how you remember old games as being better than they were? Well, this looks like how I remember it looking. It's brilliant.

Skunkape Games have redone the graphics from original assets in the 2006 editions of the game and polished them. It’s lovely to look at. And it sounds great, too. The updates really make the game shine. 

Gameplay-wise, movement is left stick, selecting objects is the right stick and it works really well. Someone more well educated than me would probably use the word "intuitive", but I'm not that smart. There are touch controls as well, for anyone into that sort of thing. I’ll admit I didn’t feel the need to use them – the sticks worked perfectly. 

Effectively the fun in these games comes from the comedy in the writing and the quality of the voice acting, and both are on point. Admittedly, some of the humour shows its age, but in the main it’s entertaining and there’s plenty of the kind of random asinine dialogue about the objects you interact with to encourage you to interact with everything you find. 

There’s no action to speak of, it’s about puzzle-solving – if you’re the sort of person who has the patience to try combining every object you find with every other, whilst sometimes being taunted by other characters until you get it right, you’ll be onto a winner here. 

Some puzzles seem more logical than others, and there are some frustrating moments where the solution seems rather obtuse, but again that is the charm of these sorts of games. 

I’m not going to reveal anything about the story in this review as that would be far too spoiling for this kind of game. But if you enjoy the point and click genre, or you have misty-eyed nostalgia for 2006 (or even 1993, like me), it’s well worth checking out.

Grab it, fire it up, and go on a fun (and funny) journey with the world’s best-loved anthropomorphic dog and rabbit crime-fighting duo.

8/10

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