It really was Fifteen years insofar as Sam and Max: Beyond Time and Space was it originally released? It still feels so modern. V new Sam and Max. Which is now older than Sam and Max hit the road was when Beyond Time and Space was first launched. Ahhh, skeleton, etc. Nothing, grandpa!
Now it’s back with improved visuals, re-recorded music and dialogue, and all your favorite puzzling logic puzzles that require the use of a mindset that’s so detached from rationality that it’s really an acquired taste of acquired tastes. Many people are not going to takeand it’s pretty hard to blame them. This is a problem more or less inherent in the point-and-click adventure genre, with surprisingly few exceptions. We think it’s fair to say that it’s personality and humor that draws people to these games – and Sam & Max definitely has a lot of personality. What about humor? It may be more difficult to swallow.
The experience of five separate episodes of Beyond Time and Space is pretty great right from the start – the aforementioned visual update really makes the game sing, especially – forgive us for stating the obvious – on an OLED Switch where cartoon colors pop… The performance is decent too – the frame rate seems to be unlocked, but we rarely see 60fps; luckily this is above 30fps most of the time, and even the busiest scenes didn’t seem to fall much further. In any case, this is not a game that demands maximum performance.
It’s an old-school, LucasArts-era adventure game where your inventory is combined with every hotspot available until you find the next solution. Or do you know, actually figuring it out with your mind, we presume… Unfortunately, the game is inherently esoteric and requires a huge, grueling rollback. It could be worse as Sam (the player character and the bouncy dog detective) handles quite brilliantly – the game supports full touchscreen input as well as direct control with an analog stick, so you can enjoy the old-school style game or mix and match with a more modern approach at your leisure. However, while getting around is fairly easy, it doesn’t make up for the somewhat archaic design, punctuated by shockingly weak (but thankfully simple) minigames.
If you do get stuck, the game will offer you hints, but in our experience they weren’t necessarily that useful. Luckily, there are walkthroughs out there in case you get frustrated because, as we mentioned, you’re most likely here because of the characters and quirky storyline, not the rather rote adventure game material. However, this story is difficult to revisit; it’s weird and surreal, a little “accidental” by today’s standards and not quite in the personal taste of this reviewer. That is, it’s not particularly funny, a little diligent and too many accents instead of a highlight for us. Others will naturally disagree, but we thought the old 90s cartoon about Sam and Max was really funny, so what happened?
Games like this are difficult to re-watch, especially re-releases when many already know if they want to. Telltale’s formula hasn’t been reduced to “interactive cinema” yet, so you’re dealing with awkward puzzles and a somewhat awkward presentation of clumsy comedy, but you might like that. In a sense, to each his own. It’s hard to blame as a port, but as a game it’s really not great. But then again, if you dig up this lagomorph, it won’t need be.