Season’s greetings are coming in from Telltale Games, as they present us with Sam & Max Season Two Episode One. This latest installment to Sam and Max’s adventures will be a retake of Christmas, with homicidal Santas and killer robots being just part of the package PC owners out there can enjoy with their download.
Join us as we give you a quick first impressions of the game, and why you stand to be laughing all the way for this December.
Just a few short hours ago, Telltale Games made good on their promise to deliver the first episode of Sam and Max: Season Two. This latest adventure for our favorite anthropomorphic dog and “hyperkinetic rabbity thing” starts off just in time for the holidays. Strange happenings are taking place even as Sam and Max buckle down from their (mis) adventures in Season One, only to be visited by a giant rampaging robot.
The pair eventually track down the source of this problem – the North Pole, where a slightly loopy Santa Claus has gone gun-toting postal on his toy factory and elves. Will the pair make it out of their latest bizarre predicament? We won’t spoil anything (yet), but we’ll certainly give you an idea of the fun that awaits for the guys who download this first installment.
Right off the bat, fans will be happy to know that Sam and Max’s humor’s just as weird and witty as ever. The pair’s starting office is chock-full of souvenirs from their previous escapades in Season 1, including (but not limited to) the ex-president’s decapitated head. And yeah – Max is still very much the president, as you guys will recall in the events following Episode 4.
The game begins with your first baptism of fire, as the Maimtron 9000 attempts to demolish your office. Even Sam’s humongous revolver won’t scratch its armor-plated hide, so your task will be to trick it into exposing its weakness via some well-said dialogue. Expect plenty of cheesy pop-song one liners, and philosophizing about purpose, love, and other existentialist whatnot. And that’s just the robot talking.
Skipping over to the North Pole you’ll find yourselves encountering Santa Claus, who’s apparently gone over the deep end with regards to all those naughty boys and girls around the world. How bad? Well, his sleigh’s running low on coal (naughty kids, remember?), toy production’s been outsourced, and the otherwise jolly man of the North has now locked himself in his room, with only a Red Ridder (Red Ryder…) for companionship. With Sam playing the negotiator, you pretty much know how messy this scenario can get.
Some minor issues:
There’s not much to figure out for the first-timers. Control-wise, all you really have to do is point and click – Sam will either act, or he’ll make some relevant remarks about what you’ve clicked the cursor on. Just be ready for Max to make his usual bizarro retorts. That said, we did spot some potentially problematic issues. Your first mini-game, which consist of you blasting rats, isn’t as responsive as you’d hope. This ends with you missing several otherwise good shots.
There’s also the matter of your inventory. While it may not be that big an issue for some, we would have really preferred a faster way of accessing the item pool. It just takes up so much time for us to have click on that ominous brown box on the lower right corner of the screen, when we could instead be enjoying the wisecracks and satirical references scattered in the game. i.e. You’ve heard of the “Tickle me Elmo”? Try the “Torture Me Elmer”.
So what do we make of Ice Station Santa? Pretty darn good. First-timers won’t have too much trouble diving into the crazy world that Sam and Max inhabit, especially given each episode’s built to stand alone.
Of course, it helps a to preview their antics, made all the more easier now that Season One Episode Four is now a freebie. It just takes an open mind and sharp wits to fully understand the punchlines underlying some of the pair’s seemingly innocent banters.
On the other hand, guys who’ve followed the first season will be happy to know this latest installment looks to be a promising season’s greetings from Telltale Games. It’s just as wacky as the first six eps before it, and hosts a new set of mini-games for you to kill time on. For best effect, be sure to pick up your copy before the Christmas season ends. Enjoy the game, and be sure to wait up for Episode Two when it hits.