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The only other minor disappointment is the puzzles. At least Sam and Max don’t have to confront the overly obscure efforts that blighted the recent Broken Sword: Angel of Death, and there are a couple of real humdingers to scratch your head through, but the new Sam and Max episodes seem to lack the complex, multi-faceted puzzles that made LucasArts’ best adventures – particularly the Secret of Monkey Island games – so hard on the brain, but so delightful once you found the solution. There are whole chunks of each episode that anyone with even a basic background in adventure games will swan through, and when each serving is so relatively small, that is a bit of a concern.
But don’t let anything I’ve said in the last two paragraphs put you off going to www.telltalegames.com and putting in your order. These aren’t flawless gems by any means, but Telltale Games has done something that fans of the point-and-clicker have been wishing for for over a decade: it has resurrected the spirit of the LucasArts adventure and given it new 3D flesh and bone. So why make a fuss about a couple of silly point-and-click graphic adventure games featuring a dog detective and his psycho rabbit sidekick? Because they not only take you right back to the good old days of PC gaming, but also make you realise that the values enshrined in those games – humour, character, intelligence, respect for your audience – can still be just as relevant today. You tell me – isn’t that worth making a fuss about?
Not quite the second coming of golden age LucasArts, but certainly a step in the right direction. Essential downloads for the thinking PC gamer.
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