Review – Sam & Max Save the World Remastered

Sam & Max Save the World (aka Season One) first graced our PCs back in 2006. Its offbeat humor, hilarious satirical storylines, and outrageously quirky characters quickly cemented it as a classic for fans of point-and-click adventures. Now fourteen years later, Telltale’s first episodic adventure game has been fully recrafted by Skunkape Games. The big question now is whether or not the game still holds up to its former glory.

Sam and Max, the self-proclaimed Freelance Police, are back in action! After receiving a call from the Commissioner about some former child stars wreaking havoc on the town, the dog and rabbit crime fighting duo are out to solve the case. What starts off as a simple investigation into a group of has-beens creating chaos, quickly spirals out of control and uncovers a brain-washing conspiracy on a global scale. Sam and Max will have to venture to all over the town, the White House, inside the internet, and even to the moon in order to get their answers.

Sam & Max Save the World Remastered

Sybil Pandemik runs a therapy office that’s actually a tattoo shop. Tattoo therapy is real!

As a huge fan of the this game when it first released, I was thrilled by the notion of getting to play it again, this time with a full visual overhaul and some new soundtracks. I’ll give credit where credit is due; this game looks wonderful. The characters and levels designs have never looked better, utilizing 3D models instead of the original flat 2D look. They feel like living comic book characters and the animations can make the zaniness even funnier.

The soundtrack was already great, but thanks to the inclusion of five new tracks, it’s even better. Not only do the songs fit each area perfectly, but they’ll stick with you for a while too. However, this does bring me to first gripe with Sam & Max Save the World Remastered. While all of the voice acting is still superb and mostly kept intact from the original, there is one glaring exception: Bosco.

Sam & Max Save the World Remastered

Bosco, proprietor of Bosco’s Inconvenience, use to be one of the best characters in the game.

Bosco was one of my favorite aspects about the original game, but for some reason they changed his voice actor for this version. It’s not so much that he didn’t do a good job, he just didn’t have the same level of crazed manic energy as the original voice actor. He’s still funny and entertaining, but anyone who has been a fan of the game when it first came out will surely notice the difference right away. Newcomers to the franchise will probably love him though.

There’s nothing sinister going on at Ted E. Bear’s Mafia-Free Casino. Nothing at all…

This brings me to my next issue with Sam & Max Save the World Remastered: the jokes. The absolute best part about this game has always been its writing. The wacky offbeat humor and biting satirical commentaries are what made it stand out. There are still plenty of those elements present in here, but to a lesser degree in some areas. There are several of the the more shockingly hilarious jokes absent in this version than there were present in the original. It’s like they were too afraid to keep the same level of punchiness it use to have in today’s overly-sensitive climate. I understand that sometimes jokes don’t always age well, but I didn’t find them overly offensive before. Then again, I have a pretty warped sense of humor. Unfortunately, this makes parts of the game feel neutered and watered down. Thankfully, there are still plenty of other outrageously funny moments found within the game and intact as they once were.

I’ve never actually been to the White House, but this is pretty much how I imagine it.

However, that’s not to say that there isn’t fun to be had in Sam & Max Save the World Remastered. Quite the contrary, in fact. Despite not having all of the same humor as the original, it still has the same storylines and puzzles as before. Returning fans to the game should have no problem jumping right into the action. Plus, people unfamiliar with the game will be delightfully entertained by its wackiness and hare-brained schemes (see what I did there?). I still loved my time with it and am eagerly awaiting the next remastered installment.

 

Graphics: 8.0

Sam & Max Save the World Remastered has gotten a full visual overhaul. The 3D graphics give the character animations more humorous vitality.

Gameplay: 8.0

Being a point-and-click adventure game, there’s not a whole lot to the gameplay. However, I can praise it for not having too many puzzles that don’t make sense to solve.

Sound: 9.0

The voice acting is the same as before, aside from the glaringly obvious change to Bosco. The soundtrack has been improved even further with five new additional soundtracks.

Fun Factor: 8.0

Despite this version not having all of the same biting humor, it’s still a hilariously fun time. Fans both new and old will enjoy their time with Sam & Max Save the World Remastered.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Sam & Max Save the World Remastered is available now on PC and Switch.

Reviewed on PC with an i7-9700k, RTX 2070, and 16gb RAM.

A copy of Sam & Max Save the World Remastered was provided by the publisher.