Review – Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space Remastered
Sam and Max, the self-proclaimed Freelance Police, are back in action once again! After last year’s successful release of the remastered version of 2006’s classic, Sam & Max Save the World Remastered, we’re finally getting Season Two of the beloved series. Skunkape Games has shown a great amount of love and care into updating Telltale’s episodic adventure, to the delight of fans everywhere. Now the highly anticipated next installment of the Sam & Max games, Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space Remastered, is finally here.
In the last Season, Sam and Max stopped a diabolical brainwashing operation, threw a presidential election, and even went inside the internet. Surely Season Two couldn’t outdo the wacky hijinx from the first game? Wrong! In Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space Remastered, our dynamic duo will cross paths with an out of control giant robot, have a shootout with Santa Claus, try to stop a volcano from wiping out Easter Island, dance in a Eurotrash vampire nightclub, and even travel through space. So basically, just another day in the life of Sam and Max.
The humor is what makes the Sam & Max games so great, and Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space Remastered is no exception. Chock full of one liners, puns, and delightful satire, this game is highly enjoyable the whole way through. Come on, how could you not love a game where you give Santa an exorcism? Or travel to hell located in an office building? These are just a few of the outrageous scenarios you’ll encounter in Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space Remastered.
My one main issue with Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space Remastered is that the solutions to some of the puzzles seem even more obscure than in Sam & Max Save the World. I still needed help finding some of the answers in that game, but only a couple of times. Most of the time I was able to figure things out by interacting with everything, talking to everyone, and trying to think as weirdly as possible. However, there were a surprising number of puzzles in Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space Remastered that I had to refer to a guide to solve. I remember having some difficulty with this game back when I played it originally, but I forgot just how much tougher this Season seemed. Either that or my brain just isn’t warped enough to think that far outside the box.
Thankfully, even with some of the puzzles being overly complicated and difficult to figure out on my own, I still really enjoyed the game. This is primarily due to the aforementioned humor. When a game tickles your fancy like the Sam & Max games do, it’s easy to forgive some of the more frustrating moments. I never wanted to call it quits because I just had to know what insane adventure was next.
Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space Remastered is your typical point-and-click adventure in terms of gameplay. You’ll move Sam around the screen and inspect everything you can on each screen. If it’s an item of importance, it will immediately go into your inventory, so you won’t need to worry too much about missing something. The normal walking speed for Sam is fairly slow, but there is a sprint button that does make him move at a much faster rate, which is nice.
I was also pleasantly surprised by how well Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space Remastered played on the Switch. Some of my biggest gripes with playing point-and-click games on the Switch is how slow the cursors move, how tiny the font is, and that there is almost never any touchscreen support. Shockingly, Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space Remastered doesn’t have any of those issues.
Instead of a cursor, you simply walk Sam up to what you want to interact with. If it doesn’t highlight the right object, you can simply flick the analogue stick over until lands on what you do want to engage with. Even better still is the fact that the Switch version of this game also offers touchscreen support. So instead of cycling through objects with the analogue stick, you can just tap on what you want to interact with. Please take note of this, every other point-and-click game that comes to Switch.
In addition to the normal point-and-click gameplay, there are also several minigames that involve driving in your DeSoto. These sections look and handle far better than their original versions. The roads and cityscapes are more detailed and seem to roll by fluidly instead of disappearing into nothing. The shooting mechanic while driving has been vastly improved as well. Sam will now actually aim at the targets instead of just flailing his arm around while you hope he hits something.
Just like with Sam & Max Save the World Remastered, Skunkape Games has delivered an amazingly updated product with Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space Remastered. The 3D character models and environments have been greatly enhanced with HD graphics and better lighting. This also makes a lot of the visual gags even funnier since the animations are so much better this time around.
The game sounds better than ever as well, with all of the audio being cleaned up and enhanced. The voice acting is just as great as it was before, with most of the vocal performances being kept from the original. The music is also superb and there are even eight new tracks with live jazz musicians to punch things up. The intro song gives off some serious TANK! from Cowboy Bebop vibes, which is never a bad thing.
As someone who played the Sam & Max games back when they first released, I am really loving diving back into these wacky adventures with all of the new quality of life upgrades. I highly recommend Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space Remastered for fans of the series. If you’ve never played them before, but like point-and-click adventures and have a twisted sense of humor, then I highly recommend them for you as well. Just be sure to play the Seasons in order, because there are many references, jokes, characters, and plotlines that you won’t understand if you skip the earlier episodes.
The art design is bold and vibrant, breathing new life into this classic game.
A standard point-and-click adventure, which thankfully offers touchscreen support on the Switch. Some of the solutions to puzzles feel a little more obscure in this season though.
The wonderful vocal performances are as zany as ever. The real highlight is the improved soundtrack, which features several new songs with live jazz musicians.
While some of the puzzles are bit tougher to solve in this season, the adventures are so bizarrely hilarious that it’s still a blast to play.
Final Verdict: 8.0
Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space Remastered is available now on PC, PS3, Switch, Wii, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
Reviewed on Switch.
A copy of Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space Remastered was provided by the publisher.