Giant Bomb Review


Sam & Max Save the World Review

  • XBGS

Sam & Max Save the World is easily the funniest game on the Xbox 360.

The Secret Service dance number is a real high point.
The six episodes of classic adventure gaming found in Sam & Max Save the World make for some of the funniest moments in the past five years of gaming. Compiling them into one download and only charging $20 for them feels like some sort of clerical error... well, at least it does until you pick up the controller and start playing. Translating a point-and-click adventure game over to a gamepad makes everything feel just a touch slower, and after an hour or so of play, I found myself wishing that the phony "warp drive" option in the menus actually did something.

But the pokey cursor movement that you get when translating a mouse cursor to a gamepad and the game's occasionally choppy frame rate are probably the only bad things you can say about this collection. The characters are charming and memorable, the dialogue is often hilarious, and the game is technically proficient enough to usually convey that dialogue with the appropriate comic timing. The episodic nature of the set lets Sam (the dog) and Max (the rabbit-like thing) get into plenty of wild situations. While each episode manages to be fairly self-contained, they play off of one-another enough to make the whole season feel like a cohesive story. As such, allow me to advise you to play through all six episodes in order, even though the main menu lets you take them on however you please.

The gameplay itself is pretty standard as point-and-click adventure games go. You're primarily solving puzzles to move forward, and you interact with objects by, you know, clicking on them. Clicking on an open area lets you walk around the environments, and you also have an inventory of items that you use in conjunction with other items. So, for example, you might pick up a plate and set it on a cow's head. Or maybe you'll pull out your pistol and shoot objects, just for kicks. The puzzles you'll solve are generally pretty clever, and since moving past the puzzles gives you more opportunities for hilarious dialogue on topics including hypnosis, child stars, goofy songs, old video game hardware, the mafia, and Abe Lincoln, moving through the game is appropriately rewarding.

Graphically, the game stays fairly cartoony, with just enough facial detail for the characters to give knowing glances to each other, or the camera. There's enough fidelity to the environments to make things you'll need to interact with plainly visible, though the frame rate can get pretty dicey in spots. The audio is fantastic, with great voice acting across the board and great music backing it all up.

Funny games are still something of a rarity, so even though these episodes of Sam & Max originated on the PC two years ago, they still totally stand up against more recent releases. Also, with six different episodes to move through, you'll probably end up spending something like eight to 12 hours playing through them all. When taken as one long game, the quality stays high throughout, making that $20 investment well worth the money.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
Posted by Catfish666

For the sake of nostalgia, and for all that's good and holy. I shall invest in this game.

Posted by Teptom

I'm definitely buying this. I really want to start playing adventure games and this seems like a great place to start.

Posted by chickendoughnut

but its 20 bucks........

Posted by DiGiTaL_SiN


Thanks you guys for the download code! Looks really fun!

Posted by frenchdork

It's worth the money godamnit

Edited by 88Fingers

I know I should always go with my own opinion, but I just had to wait to see what Jeff scored it.
Looks like you get your moneys worth. $20 for 12 hours of entertainment sounds okay by me.
One question... since this game is pretty much a full game-then some...
does it have 1000 achievement points or only 200?
Thanks for the review Jeff.

Never mind... I see it only has 200.   pooh :(

Posted by Atomic_Tangerine

Wait a second here- are you saying this game is officially funnier than Blood on the Sand?  If so, I will download this game RIGHT NOW!

Posted by dexterslu

I'm guessing this review is just a general one geared for all platforms?

Posted by coffeesash

I always get told how awesome this is but I got through series 1 episode 1 and part way through episode 2 before giving up. The child actor... people... were just really unfunny to me and the related puzzles were really obscure. Then when episode 2 recycled all the assets I got really fed up. I love all the old Lucasarts adventures and that makes me want to give the game a second chance....

Posted by brocool

yeah too bad its XBL exclusive.. something this great should be available for everyone!

Edited by composite

I have Sam and Max Season 1 on Steam, is this just a rehash of those episodes or is there some new content ?

Edit: I see Jeff mentioned it being on the PC. 

Posted by Zeik

I love Sam and Max, and these new adventures were great fun. I still haven't gotten around to playing the second season yet though, because they run remarkably poorly on my computer for some reason. Hopefully they'll release season 2 on the Wii or 360 soon. (Preferably Wii.)

@brocool said:

" yeah too bad its XBL exclusive.. something this great should be available for everyone! "
Joke...? <_<
Posted by MrMiyagi

I'll definitely pick this up when I fill up my MSbucks again.

Posted by MattyFTM
@brocool said:
" yeah too bad its XBL exclusive.. something this great should be available for everyone! "
It's on PC too, and the specs aren't demanding, so it might be worth a look on PC. And there is a retail disk of it on wii, so there are plenty of options available if you want to play it (and it's a great game, you DO want to play it).

It is tempting to me to buy this on 360 for achievements, despite already owning it on PC, but it's not really worth it. If they released each of the episodes separately, each with their own 200 points, it would totally be worth it.
Posted by Rhaknar

awesome game, my only complaint (apart from the frame rate hic-ups now and then) is its a tad too easy, but i also heard people say the puzzles are hard and obscure, so maybe my brain is just trained for adventure games having played pretty much every one to this day. I also find it hilarious, especially the writing, but the humour part depends on the player of course.

I also find it funny some people having no problem paying 60bucks for a 6 to 8 hour game as long as it has 3d graphics, but something like this where you easily get 6-8 hours out of (more to be honest unless you use a guide, but why would you) is too much at 20 >_>

Posted by The_A_Drain

I already bought these on the steam weekend deal ages ago, but if I hadn't I would be investing right now, thiese games are fucking hilarious :D

Posted by Tordah

I'm ashamed to say I've had this game on PC for several months and still haven't played it...time to do something about it!

Posted by RHCPfan24

Looks like a fine deal for the price. I didn't realize all six episodes of the first season were included. That has me much more interested.

Posted by freezerr

It's virtually half-price on XBLA vs the regular PC price. I'll be picking this up shortly!

Posted by OptimusPrime

I wasn't going to buy this game, but after that review, i just may have to save up 20 bucks.

Posted by LiK

sounds good Jeff, i was worried about the port. the Wii port is terrible from what i heard compared to the PC version.

Posted by Metroid545

wait did you say all 6 episodes? Totally buying now

Posted by Kohe321

Completely agree.

Posted by Media_Master

$20 is fair

Posted by dragonfly110

this game seems really good, I may just have to pick this up if I have any extra points on my account.