When we last left our disconcerting duo in Episode 1, they had foiled a space-gorilla’s attempt to take over the galaxy by using psychic-power-producing toys from the Devil’s Toy Box. Before the credits started rolling however, Sam and Max were just in time to make a foreboding discovery. Now the two are tasked with delving in and out of their great grandparents’ history so they can learn the truth about their fateful discovery at the end of Episode 1.
Most of Episode 2 is played from the perspective of Sameth and Maximus, the great grandparents of Sam and Max. As the story begins, Sam and Max find a film projector with four reels of film. Each reel contains a different moment in an overarching tale of how their great grandparents discovered the Tomb of Sammun-Mak – the original resting place for the Devil’s Toy Box. With that in mind, Episode 2 is kind of like a prequel to Episode 1.
It’s clear that Telltale Games is trying to give each episode a unique hook or feature; in Episode 1 it was being able to use Max’s new powers. In this episode, the film projector allows players to hop in and out of each of the four different moments captured on the film reels. Of course, this results in many of the puzzles throughout the episode being extra sneaky at times. You’ll be hopping from one film reel to the next (which can be done at any time) in order to solve puzzles in all four of them. Sometimes a new dialogue option won’t exist in a particular film reel until prior knowledge of the topic is gained from a different film reel. It sounds complicated in theory, but it is very, very well executed and does a thorough job of developing intrigue and a desire for plot progression, which are two elements often missing from modern point-and-click adventure games.
Of course, many Sam & Max fans play the series for one particular reason: the humour. This episode did not disappoint at all and the comedic timing is brilliantly executed, making this episode one of the funniest to date. A particularly blasphemous quip from Max involving crucifixes and cloves of garlic had me crying with laughter. The more time you spend with the duo, the funnier they get, and this episode definitely deserves your time.