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Genre: Adventure & RPG
Min OS X: Not Supported

Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse
July 29, 2010 | Joseph Cadotte

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Tomb Raiders

Mac OS X: 10.5 | CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo | Not recommended for Macs with integrated graphics.


Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse, is the third in Telltale Games' series of titles based on Steve Purcell's cult comic, Sam & Max: Freelance Police, and the fourth game which features these characters. Like all of the others in this series, Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse is a point-and-click adventure game. The stars of the series are Sam: a large, anthropomorphic dog with a genial love of violence, and his buddy Max: a rabid, sociopathic bunny (think Watership Down). The unusual pair must deal with a variety of unusual experiences as they run a detective agency. You control Sam as he stumbles around trying to solve a series of semi-connected cases using both the various objects he picks up and the assistance of his partner Max.

As always, Sam & Max are well-written and pretty goofy, as is the world around them. There is wonderful satire and stuff gets blowed up real good. In order to truly enjoy the game, I highly recommend you play the two prior games from Telltale Games first, as this one builds on characters and situations introduced in the first two (such as why someone is made out of the Cake of the Damned)


The gameplay in these games is actually a step down from previous incarnations. Instead of being purely point and click, you now move Max through your cursor keys. This is rather awkward and actually takes you out of the game. You can spend whole scenes using only the mouse, and only then, after fifteen or thirty minutes of play, have to remember that you need to use the keyboard. I understand why Telltale Games did this - it has the potential of giving the player more control - but it simply doesn't work with this style of game.


As always, the graphics are pretty good and capture the feel of the world quite nicely. There is one quibble, however - it drags unnecessarily on older computers (like mine) if the settings are turned up too high. As the graphics are petty simple, this shouldn't be the case. Indeed, there is no real difference between the midrange and high-end graphics. In addition, there is a bug in early versions of the first episode which causes severe graphics problems. This shouldn't be a problem now, but may be for people who bought the game when it was first released.


The sound on all of these games is excellent. The voice acting is very well-done, by the same people who appeared in the cartoon and other games. The ambient sound is nice and provides a decent backdrop.


This is a bit difficult to determine. Buying the whole season at once is a pretty good deal - you get more than enough game for your buck. However, if you buy individual episodes, you will end up overpaying for them. The score above is a combination of the two ways of getting it.


If you like adventure games or erudite carefree violent humor, this is an excellent buy. One note of caution: despite the fact that these are anthropomorphic animals, this is absolutely not a game for children. Parents of young teens may want to look at Sam & Max in other incarnations before buying it for their kids.

If you like Telltale Games' Sam and Max series, the first Sam and Max game was Sam & Max Hit the Road and was available for Mac. It can still be found online, with a little effort. The Sam and Max comic collection - Sam and Max: Hit the Road and the TV series Sam and Max: Season 1, are both available online. In addition, you may want to check out the other LucasArts adventure games from the 90s.

Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse
Developer: Telltale Games
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