A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a collection of computer games that were previously released as individual downloadable games. We set the age category at 12 because the puzzles can be challenging and some of the content contains sexual innuendo. Also, gamers younger than 12 will probably grow impatient since it's a slower-paced, dialogue-heavy adventure game. While Sam carries a gun, he doesn't really use it as a weapon.
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What's it about?
SAM & MAX began as a comic book by Steve Purcell in the late 1980s but went on to spawn a celebrated computer game in 1993 (LucasArts' Sam & Max Hit the Road), a Fox TV show, and online comics. These private detectives call themselves \"freelance police\": Sam is an oversize dog who walks on two legs and Max is a smaller, talkative \"rabitty-thing,\" and these games feature thousands of lines of humorous dialogue, bizarre characters, and hilarious situations.
In the third game, for example, the duo investigates a disappearance at the Ted E. Bear Mafia-Free Playland and Casino. The casino has games such as \"Whack a Mole\" (use your gun to \"whack\" the singing moles) and \"One-Armed Bandits,\" slot machines that look like one-armed bandits, with black-and-white-striped shirts and masks. These slower-paced point-and-click adventures are all about puzzle-solving and character interaction.
Is it any good?
All six games feature attractive 3-D graphics, a jazzy soundtrack, and professional voice talent to help bring these zany characters to life. Each episode only takes a couple of hours to complete. While each game serves as a standalone adventure, an overarching story ties these tales together.
Also included in this $30 collection is a bonus CD containing a "Making Sam & Max" behind-the-scenes video; trailer videos for all six episodes; concept artwork and character bios; desktop wallpapers; a music soundtrack sampler; and access to an online comic generator to make your own free comic strips. A full-size printed color poster is also in the box. Sam & Max: Season 1 is a great buy for adventure gamers, Sam & Max comic fans, and those with a good sense of humor.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why it's fun to play a story-driven game that focuses on dialogue and puzzles. Is it more fun, less fun, or a different kind of fun than the action-oriented games that rely on violence and gore? Or, because these games aren't very popular in North America these days, perhaps parents can discuss with their kids why this might be the case.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.