eduardo's Sam & Max Episode 303: They Stole Max's Brain (PC) review

Whatever could they want with a psychotic bunny's macarroni?!

The third episode of Sam & Max's season three can be considered one of the most straightforward games ever to come out of Telltale. That surely wouldn't be a good thing if They Stole Max's Brain! wasn't as well planned and executed as it is.

There isn't much to hide story-wise, the title kinda gives it away - Max's brain was stolen as soon as the duo's little movie trip from last episode was done with. Sam was conveniently absent for the closing part of the presentation as we can recall, and when he came back, he made the grisly discovery as soon as he laid eyes on Max's unzipped, empty noggin. His little furry buddy's brain was gone!

Like any gumshoe worth his salt, Sam goes out on a noir style rampage, hitting the pavement looking for answers. No details will be spoiled, rest assured, safe to say, his search takes him to very comical places and he finds plenty of returning characters to interrogate, along with a few notable new ones. Giant ex-cook-turned-guard cockroach? Check!

In one way or the other, you'll be using psychic powers again in this episode as with previous installments. Fan favorite rhinoplasty, the shape-shifting clay, makes a comeback as well as the teleporting telephone and the future goggles. Their implementation is hilarious and very well worth exploring to the fullest.

When I said this episode was pretty straight to the point, I wasn't kidding. The linearity is by far the most glaring thing you'll notice when play this after The Tomb of Sammun-Mak. Some sections don't even have save points, for instance, since your choices are extremely limited, especially during the starting segment.

On the other hand, the straightforward approach combined with some excellent design works well to improve the pace of this episode. Things move in a fast pace, making the jokes and gag fall into place at a great rhythm. Puzzles are also very smart and dynamic, never exactly giving you the answer but being logical and not at all too easy.

As always, the dialogue and voice work is top notch. I only had a problem with one of the new characters as soon as I met him but that went away after a few phrases, due to a thick accent. There's plenty of nods to old adventure games of the past, one line in particular includes two very beloved series and will most likely draw at least a chuckle out of you if you've been playing games for a while.

While I certainly cannot say They Stole Max's Brain! is a long ride, since it clocks in at around two hours, give or take, it's very well paced and enjoyable. The cliffhanger at the end of the episode gives way to what I can consider one of the more bizarre closers for a Sam & Max game... and that's saying a lot.

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Other reviews for Sam & Max Episode 303: They Stole Max's Brain (PC)

    Not for the Brainless 0

    Usually when a game ends on a great cliffhanger, the sequel falls flat of expectations.Telltale managed once in this season already to make me hyped up for the next installment with the cliffhanger in Episode 1:The Penal Zone, but the one in Episode 2: The Tomb of Sammun-Mak made for one interesting concept.The promise of Sam acting out of character and Max, well out of body kept me waiting for this months (June) release.But was it worth it? Lets have a look.  Story Picking right after Sam went ...

    1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

    Sam and Max: They Stole Max's Brain! 0

     As I hinted previously, the third chapter of this season of Sam and Max's adventures doesn't quite crackle with the same energy of the first two, although it still has some good ideas of its own and some inspired moments. It continues like part two did, picking up exactly where the last part left things, with Max's brain stolen and Sam pretty angry about it. Like the clue scanning and reel jumping, this chapter introduces its own unique kind of gameplay, in this case, interrogation. The ...

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