By Louise Yang . November 15, 2007 . 2:44pm
Sam & Max are at it again and this time, it's to find out exactly why Santa is acting so strange. Our old friends the Soda Poppers are also back again, this time to complain about their Christmas presents, those ungrateful brats.
It's good to see that the game doesn't take itself too seriously, as seen from the configuration screen upon first starting up the game. When I saw the giant robot outside of the two detectives' office, I knew I was in for a treat.
Sam & Max games were always for the thinking crowd, but how clever some of the puzzles are still surprises me. In this episode, for example, you'll need at least some knowledge of old pop songs just to get through the beginning of the game. Luckily, there's a way to adjust the difficulty of the game by adjusting how often (or not) hints are given out during the game.
As with previous episodes, solving the mystery and progressing through the game takes some thought about how to use the clues. I like that the puzzles are not blatantly obvious, but also not so illogical that there's no way to progress without reading a FAQ. Most of the puzzles can be solved by just listening carefully to what each character says.
Without giving anything away, if you've enjoyed Sam & Max thus far, this episode won't disappoint. Even if you're just getting started with the series, the puzzles are intuitive enough to figure out even without the hints. Just be prepared to do a lot of going back and forth between places.