Could a big dog and a bunny save the world? Don't be fooled by appearances: the joker Sat and the sadist Max, private cops, hide a good deal of caustic irony and cheating-prone under their soft fur. And it was precisely this that conquered the videogame audience that, from the release of the graphic adventure produced by LucasArts Sam & Max Hit the Road in 1993 and since the publication of the comics of their creator Steve Purcell, continues to follow the adventures of this curious duo with passion and laughter. Even after the unfortunate end of LucasArts, Sam & Max continued to live on thanks to the team of Telltale Games, which produced 3 other titles dedicated to them. The first of these games, Season One originally released in 2006, is now available in a remastered and enriched version Sam & Max Save The World Remastered, developed by Skunkape Games and available both on PC via Steam and GOG that on Nintendo Switch (version we used for this review).
Crime has never been this hilarious
Sam & Max Save The World Remastered, as well as the original from 2006, consists of 6 different episodes connected to each other, as if they were real police cases to be solved. Thus, the two freelance cops are confronted increasingly unlikely situations: hypnotizing charlatans, dangerous video games, strange federal warrants and even the toy mafia; in short, from the very first plot elements emerge irreverent and over the top tones. Sam & Max will not be alone in these (mis) adventures: we find to help them Bosco, an eccentric trader with a passion for inventing gadgets as bizarre as they are expensive, and Sybil Pandemik, eccentric girl with a thousand professions.
To support these paradoxical cases and the limits of the credible there are some commendable dialogues, true great strength not only of Sam & Max Save The World Remastered, but of the entire saga. Embellished with a full dubbing in English (with the same voice actors as Sam & Max Hit The Road), the game has dialogue options that remain faithful to the origins of the saga: often the characters they won't answer exactly what we will select, leaving the surprise and unpredictability typical of the LucasArts graphic adventures of the mid 90s. It is always a pleasure to hear Max speak (100% politically incorrect).
In terms of gameplay, Sam & Max Save The World Remastered is a 'pretty simple graphic adventure and also suitable for newbies to the genre, especially due to the small amount of tools in the inventory in each episode. As in the 1993 classic, exploration and interaction with characters are interspersed short and simple puzzle game stages that directly recall the first title of the series. Furthermore, each episode features a very small number of characters and locations that can be visited, with a certain one tendency to repeat: Bosco's office, shop, and Sybil's studio are featured in all episodes, albeit with minor variations.
A remastered edition for PC and Nintendo Switch
Sam & Max Save The World Remastered differs from its 2006 counterpart by one general improvement of the technical sector, including new songs in the already superlative jazz soundtrack and a new graphic design. Skunkape Games has definitely made a good job remodeling the lighting, textures and details of the world, for a remastered in which the improvements stand out considerably, much more than in other similar remastered (like for example Grim Fandango). Despite the sweet difficulty curve, Sam & Max Save The World Remastered has one good longevity, with at least 2 hours of guaranteed gameplay for each of the 6 episodes. The price, especially when compared to longevity, it is absolutely competitive: € 16,99 on the Nintendo Switch eShop and € 16,79 on Steam and GOG, with a special 50% discount if you already have Sam & Max Season One. A nice move for longtime fans of the wacky duo.
Sam & Max Save The World Remastered is however not exempt from critical issues. In terms of gameplay, a big flaw lies in theimpossibility of being able to skip dialogues, movies and opening and closing credits, which is particularly frustrating when you have to solve puzzles where there is a good component of trial and error. Graphically, however, in the Nintendo Switch version the transition to 720p resolution in laptop is accusing a lot despite a fairly dry graphics sector; this, however, does not involve lag or malfunctions of any kind. The joy of seeing this title translated is immediately replaced by disappointment: unfortunately the Sam & Max's localization Save The World is rejected across the board, between lexical and spelling inaccuracies and a final rendering devoid of character. It is not at all easy to make the most of a language so colorful and full of double meanings and inside joke, but the subtitles are even misleading in some moments. The advice is therefore to play in English.
Sam & Max have been among the most beloved characters of graphic adventures for years. We first met them in the special comic inserts inside the packs of LucasArts games, and then laughed with them (and at them) in the first game dedicated to them in 1993 and in subsequent ones developed by Telltale Games. Now Sam & Max have more character than ever and charisma to sell, show off in a remastered that will get you more than a few laughs.