sam and max save the world

Crack a brewski, it’s time to celebrate the return of two of gaming’s finest PIs, Sam & Max! Hot on the heels of November 2020’s glut of Lucasarts remasters, including Day of the Tentacle and Grim Fandango, point-and-click fans are now getting a remaster of the 2006 Telltale game, Sam & Max Save the World. Has there been a better time to be a graphic adventure fan (outside of when they first released, obvs)?

We’ll hide the slightest sliver of disappointment that this isn’t a full reimagining of Sam & Max Hit the Road, but we’ll grab this one with both paws. If you don’t recall, Sam & Max Save the World was an episodic release in 2006, covering six distinct episodes, where you pulled on a thread that took you all the way to a hypnotism conspiracy. It was one of the earlier triumphs of the Telltale team, before they went stratospheric with The Walking Dead. They adopted Lucasarts’ two unofficial mascots to make a tale worthy of their first megahit.

All six episodes are combined here, in a remaster that’s as unexpected as it is appreciated. The list of improvements is crazy-long, but the headliner is a complete lighting overhaul, which makes the slightly flat-looking original models pop with some lovingly cel-shaded and colourful characters. They look tactile but retain the spirit of the original. 

In consultation with Sam & Max’s creator, Steve Purcell, the models of Sam & Max have also been spruced, as they were originally created on creaky, even for then, Windows XP. This has been done alongside a full resolution pass, improving the details of the models and textures throughout. The entire game is presented on splendiferous widescreen, too.

Music, sound effects and voices have been remastered, with the voice of Bosco completely re-recorded. Five new musical pieces have been added, and Sam & Max Save the World should feel like a much fuller audio experience. 

Key features include:

  • Six cases that feed into an overarching mystery
  • Beautifully remastered with updated lighting, graphics, lip sync, camerawork, and more
  • Puzzles that will stretch your brain, not break it
  • Original jazz score with five new tracks composed by Jared Emerson-Johnson
  • Lots of jokes!

As unashamed Sam & Max fans, we’re bowled over by this re-release as it’s arrived as something of a surprise. We’re going to be putting it through its paces with a review as soon as possible.

Sam & Max Save the World is out now on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S and starts at £16.74 from the Xbox Store. It’s also out on Nintendo Switch and PC through Steam

Game Description:

Sam is a six-foot canine detective with a love of justice. Max is a hyperkinetic rabbity-thing with a taste for mayhem. Together, they’re the Freelance Police. And they’re about to save the world. It’s just another day at the office when the Commissioner calls in with a disturbing report: former child stars are running amok in the street! What starts as an open-and-shut case of idiotic vandalism balloons into an all-out conspiracy as Sam and Max encounter one miscreant after another who have been mysteriously hypnotized. (You can tell from the “spinny thing” they do with their eyes.) Who’s the source of this malfeasance, and what is their dastardly plan? Cracking this case will require Sam’s nose for detective work, Max’s lack of conscience, an assortment of inventory items, and a little help from neighbors Sybil Pandemik, Bosco, and Jimmy Two-Teeth. From Sam & Max’s street to the White House lawn, inside the internet, and all the way to the moon, this baffling mystery gets weirder and funnier as it unfolds.

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