Episodic releases done right
After last seasonís episodic release of Sam and Max, Telltale Games could have been forgiven if they had held back season two for a while. But just before the New Year came the first episode. The festive season could have been spent laughing at the antics of the dog and rabbit pairing and crying at what had become of the Jolly Old Elf himself in Ice Station Santa.
But the episodes just keep on coming. The second instalment of season two leads the dynamic duo (no, not Batman and Robin Ė Sam and Max) to Easter Island (also known as Rapa Nui). They are there in an effort to discover the reasons behind the appearance of a strange inter-dimensional portal terrorising the streets surrounding Sam and Maxís office.
The regular cast is again called on to help solve the investigation. Bosco, as always, has got his conspiracy theories and the Inconvenience Store seems to become more like a security gate at Area 51 with each episode. Sybil is her usual unconventional self, deciding that Easter Island would be a great place for her and Lincolnís Head to have a picnic. Sybilís store is closed for this episode, mainly due to Sybil and the Lincoln head being sucked into the portal (later found to be the Bermuda Triangle). And since Sybil has been sucked into the triangle, Sam and Max decide that they do not have anything better to do than jump in too.
New characters such as the talking stone heads of Easter Island, the Ocean Chimps, Glenn Miller, Jimmy Hoffa, and Amelia Earhart (all three have been drinking too much at the fountain of youth, it seems) give freshness to the series. Each has their own personality which gives the game extra variability.
The game includes plenty of references to pop culture such as the SS Minnow (from Gilliganís Island), Duke Nukem and Portal and each reference would not be complete without a bunch of jokes attached.
The puzzles in Episode 2 are fairly simple, but nonetheless fun to complete. There were a couple of occasions that left me scratching my head wondering what to do next. Fortunately, the Scalable Hint system offered in Season Two helps to alleviate any head-scratching in most cases.
Experienced adventure gamers should have no problem completing the episode in a couple of hours or so. One great feature of Episode 2 is that there is very little need to go back and forth between locations. Sure, you may need to pick something up from Stinkyís or Boscoís before heading back to the Island, but this is kept to a minimum and certainly keeps the flow of the game.
No Pros and Cons at this time