Sunday, March 11, 2007

Staying Tuned

Paula and I have played midway through the fourth episode of Sam & Max from Telltale Games. I've waited this long to post something about the series because of my fundamental blogging laziness, a reverence for the old Sam & Max Freelance Police game, and reservations about the new episodic gaming format in general. It's taken me a few months to overcome all three weaknesses.

Not that nostalgia for the glory days of Lucasarts adventures is a bad thing, mind you. Those games deserved all the praise they get, as I think I mentioned in a previous post. But sometimes fondness for the old can blind you to the goodness of the new.

That's not the case here. Telltale games have gotten it exactly right: They deliver compact, well-written adventures on a monthly basis. (They got the third episode to us a week early, in fact.) I settled in to the game right away, and was soon rewarded with more wacky one-liners and obscure non-sequiturs than I could shake a mixed metaphor at. Sam and Max are back, and the episodic format suits the rabbit and dog duo extremely well.

This season ends after another two episodes. I hope their experiment in reviving a classic gaming genre will be judged a success. It's a model that would work for all the adventure gaming greats. I'd like to see a few of my other favorites revived as episodic adventures, too.

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