By Louise Yang . December 20, 2006 . 6:28pm
The lovable anthropomorphic gumshoes are back in Sam & Max: Situation Comedy. In this second episode, talk show host Myra Stump is holding her audience hostage and the detective duo have to get to the bottom of it. The old hangouts like Bosco’s store and Sybil’s office should feel familiar to people who played the first episode. The game as a whole gives off the same vibe as a Saturday morning cartoon: small problems which must be solved, as well as an overarching main plot that ties the episodes together.
The game still maintains the same sense of humor found in the first episode. There are jabs at talk show hosts, sitcoms, American Idol and even has a character who disturbingly reminds me of cross between Willy Wonka and Michael Jackson. While the humor is great for those who "get it" right now, I’m wary of whether it might make the game dated later. Ten years from now, will people play this and not understand half the jokes?
The problems I had in the first episode still appeared in the second episode. The main complaint is that while the game loads the next scene it just hangs there. The music is still playing, but there’s no cursor, so I wonder if the game froze or not. I know having too many screens that say "Loading…" may be annoying, but I think it’s worse when you’re wondering if the game crashed.
I couldn’t help but feel like the puzzles in Situation Comedy were too easy. On a scale from 1 to 10 where 10 was the most difficult, I would rate the first episode, as a 7 and the second episode as 3. The game was made longer by having to go back and forth between locations and characters in order to gain access to the next part of the puzzle. After getting to the end of the episode, the game felt like it ended too soon. The cliff-hanger ending just seemed anticlimatic.
While some people may be glad about the episodic release schedule because it means they get to play Sam & Max sooner, I feel the wait between episodes hurts the game. For a Sam & Max fan with patience, I would suggest just waiting for all the episodes to come out in one package so the game feels more cohesive. Playing it by episode makes me feel like I haven’t gotten to the meat of things yet. It almost feels as if I’m playing a demo.