Our favorite violent maniacs are back! Sam and Max return to the Switch in the remastered version of Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space, the second Telltale game about the duo. This time, the pair set out to explore time and space and a whole bunch of other weird places, with even more violence, bad language, and careless disregard for others’ souls!
Season two follows our loveable, rogue anti-heroes to a variety of places, including Santa’s workshop, Easter Island, and Hell itself, offering up plenty of scenery and an unusual cast of characters for the duo to meet with. While I won’t spoil the overarching plot, all of the episodes do tie together, much like the first season, so it is advised to play them in order. With tight plotting and witty writing, the game carries itself most of the time. Unfortunately, in hindsight, a few of the jokes don’t land as well or seem in poor taste, such as the “Guns for Tots” and Timmy Two-Shoes’ Hollywood Tourettes syndrome. Not for the easily offended, but then again, Sam and Max have never been aimed to cater to that crowd.
Almost all of the characters from season one show up and make at least a cameo appearance, from Sybil and the Soda Poppers to Hugh Bliss, for better or for worse. While it’s fun to see the old gang again, it definitely causes some continuity lock-out for players who don’t realize this is a sequel. After all, it’s a bit jarring to see Sybil on a date with the marble head of Abe Lincoln and Bosco’s paranoia seems somewhat bizarre without the proper background, among other, more plot-centric points. All of the characters, both old and new, are quirky and hysterical, just as over the top and illogical as Sam and Max themselves, and populate an interesting world that’s fun to explore. New characters of note are Stinky, the new owner of Stinky’s diner who (possibly) killed her grandfather, the Ocean Chimps cult of Easter Island, and the birthday-obsessed mariachi guys.
The gameplay is solid, and the game runs on the old LucasArts philosophy of “Nothing can kill you but it’s all moon-logic, so try everything.” Having the button to highlight all hotspots on the screen is a huge help, but from time to time a hint button would also be helpful, as the solutions can really be extremely strange. Still, as long as you mess around with the game, you’ll get there eventually, and in the meantime, you get to read all the jokes and witticisms Sam and Max think up for your wrong solutions.
Of particular note are the mini-games, such as driving the Desoto around and earning some sweet decals from the C.O.P.S. or the Wipeout! Balance game in the second episode. The Desoto game is expanded from its initial appearance in Sam & Max Save the World, with several objectives and difficulty levels so you can pimp your ride. Of course, at least the base difficulty for each objective is required to advance in the game, but they’re all fairly easy to pass and you get to try as many times as you need to.
Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space is a great, fun ride for fans of the series, particularly those who have played the previous game. While there is some unfortunate continuity lock-out for those who haven't, it's still a funny and fun romp through excessive violence, off-color humor, and bizarre puzzles. The greater variety of mini-games is especially fun, though most of them still involve the trusty Desoto, and the game's new characters are both peculiar and (mostly) likable, but above all, Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space is just plain fun.
TechRaptor reviewed Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space on Switch with a copy provided by the publisher. It is also available on Xbox Series and Steam.
- Senseless Violence! Comedic Mayhem!
- Off-Kilter Humor
- Fun Characters, Both Old and New
- Some Continuity Lock-Out For Those Who Haven't Played the First Game