The Mad Gamer

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Gaming's first sitcom

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They're mad as a rabbit - and thank goodness they're back! Now comes "gaming's first sitcom" billed as the first truly episodic game.
Whatever. This is Sam and Max returning to the PC for Sam and Max: Season 1 (G).
Like Half-life (review coming up next time), this is a trip of nostalgia to the early days of PC gaming fun.
Ahh, yes, those early days.
If you weren't there at the time: Sam and Max were huge as a cartoony crime fighting duo doing things like searching for Bigfoot!
Sam is a dog and Max a bit of a mad rabbit, not like Bugs Bunny mad, but pessimistic cynical and twisted in an unhygeinic manner that is sweet and chilling all in one. The private investigators call themselves freelance police officers and go round solving mysteries and riddles.
The origins go back to 1987 when Steve Purcell brought out their adventures in a comic book. Then the fun characters were turned into a third-person, point and click adventure computer game in 1993 called Sam & Max Hit the Road and many old gamers will get warm and fuzzy when you mention that game.
But a bit like Bugs Bunny, things never go according to plan as they seemed to love violence more than anything stimulating the cerebral cortex!
There have been a number of games since - and in recent times, Lucas had plans for another but it never eventuated.
So a new games company Telltale, which apparently included some ex-Lucas employees, came up with the idea of a new series of short episodes offered one at a time for download.
Those episodes are now available in disc form.
From the previous 2D world, Sam and Max leap into 3D but this is a return to old school with a bit more tact and wit from our age-old friends than you'd expect from, say, Huckleberry Hound.


It's still point-and-click adventure with the crazy sets and vocal exchanges between dog and rabbit - or perhaps some of the more random physical exchanges that go on such as slapping. The puzzles aren't challenging and there is a lot of silliness. But that's a formula that worked back then and still does now.
The release of the episodes has revived the pair and brought them new fans. Great thundering jellyfish on the squishy road to mayhem!
Telltale Games is running an online comic strip and a second series of episodes goes online any day now.
MadGamer's rating: 7 / 10

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