QJ.NET reviews Sam & Max Season 2 Episode 2

Thumb - Image 1 Feeling a little chilly from Sam and Max's previous icecapades in the North Pole? You'll be warming up soon enough, as we let you guys in on our recent review for Sam & Max: Moai Better Blues.

This latest caper has our favorite anthropomorphic dog and hyperkinetic rabbity thing tackling the likes of the Bermuda Triangle, volcanic eruptions, and malevolent sea monkeys. Head on over to the full article for our review!

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It's a happy new year for the folks over at Telltale Game and the developers are keen to shake off their post-2008 hangover with the latest  episodic for Sam & Max Season 2. This installment has our beloved duo tackling stranger phenomena, including the sudden appearance of a famed anomaly in New York, talking Moai heads, (yet another) angry volcano god, and the rest of the Sam & Max cast.

Given how much we enjoyed the previous installment, we were all giddy to finally grab our copy, and take it for a spin. We'll try not to spoil too many details as we give you our lowdown on this release, so sit back and enjoy our review.

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Rundown:
Moai Better Blues is a blast from the past in more ways than one. And even as Sam and Max get back from their month-long trip from the North Pole (Episode One, chaps) we're treated to the reappearance of Sybil and, strangely enough, the Bermuda Triangle.

What's the nefarious geometric shape doing so far from home? Nobody knows just yet, though we doubt Sybil would care; she's too busy running from the said unnatural phenomenon, which is where your first challenge begins.

Solving Sybil's problem has you travelling through familiar places like Sam and Max's office. The duo's pad carries the spoils of their past escapade; keep a sharp lookout for the Torture-Me-Elmer doll that greets you in all its mutilated glory at the door.

One of the talking  Moais - Image 1Moving on, stopping the Bermuda Triangle lands the pair on Easter Island, where we finally meet this game's namesake - the three Moai statues. It turns out that the island's under the threat of an imminent volcanic eruption, and it's up to the pair to stop this calamity from happening.

And since we did mention the Bermuda Triangle, expect run-ins with history's finest disappearing celebrities including the likes of Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Hoffa and Glenn Miller.

Well, enough of the teaser - you're probably wondering how the game's handling so far.

Gameplay:
We're happy to say that Sam & Max's trademark humor is still here. Expect Sam to make with his witty retort for every object you click onscreen. And there's Max cuing in with those zany, eyebrow-raising comments. Makes you wonder why (oh God, why) they haven't handed this "hyperkinetic rabbity thing" his long-overdue strait jacket. Creepy to think he's still your Commander-in-Chief, eh?

Speaking of punchlines, Episode Two tips its hat to "Monkeys Violating the Heavenly Temple," Sam and Max's very first adventure back in 1987. We imagine the older fans will appreciate this bit of homage from Telltale.

Then there are the puzzles. If you thought the pair's jokes took brains to figure out, progressing the plot's going to keep you preoccupied for hours, perhaps days. A tad frustrating for those who lack patience - though I personally found it loads of fun tinkering with the environment, trying to solve each puzzle and mini-game that got tossed my way as I resolved this latest adventure.

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Conclusion:
So, how does Episode Two stack up to its predecessor from last December? Maybe it's just us, but the pacing is all too familiar. For example, the Bermuda Triangle run-in paces itself like the Maimatron 9000 encounter in Episode One, although admittedly, you'll be bantering more with the locals rather than matching wits with a 30-foot tall war machine.

That said, the humor is still fresh. Part of the fun was definitely waiting for what sort of knee-slappers Sam would spout when I clicked on some background object. It'll eat up a lot of time, but I'm not complaining - good, smart laughs like these are hard to come by these days.

The game's also pretty low on hardware requirements, making it a recommendable choice for frequent travellers looking for a good title to load onto their laptops. Who says fun gaming has to come in a high-definition, wallet-burning package

And hence we conclude the review for Sam and Max Season Two Episode Two: Moai Better Blues. You can tell we enjoyed this latest romp, although the plot can only thicken as we wait for Episode Three's expected release this February.

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