Sam and Max have had their Highs and Lows throughout the years. With instant classics, such as 'Chariots of The Dogs' in Season Two, or 'Abe Lincoln Must Die' during the initial season that Telltale developed. However, not one episode have been able to achieve complete perfection. However, things have changed. To reflect this, I'm going to do something I will most likely never do again; Give you a score at the begining of a review. But it's the best way to convey my emotions. Without further ado;
20/20 PiñatasWhat's that, narrarator? A death stare in regards to a perfect score? No game can ever be perfect, you say? I never said the game was perfect. The game is the best the game can be, and I'm 100% sure of it.
Sam stumbles upon the not-breathing corpse of his best friend, and turns rabid in a quest for his friend. He takes off his Jacket, and instantly becomes 'Tough As Nails, Won't Take No For An Answer, No I Asked for a Coke Pepsi Would Not Be Fine' Sam, or as fans have dubbed him, Noir Sam. Interrogation is a key part of this episode, and Sam does it with style; the noir narraration he does is top notch. On the way, he runs into various funny characters, as we're used to, which is one reason why this episode is so great overall.
Firstly, we have a Foreign Tourist, played by Marius Fietzik, who was one of the masterminds behind the genius 'I Wonder What Happens in Tales of Monkey Island' series. It's a small part, but for the few minutes he's on screen, I was bursting out in laughter repeatedly. This character was unnescesary as a whole, but still was an excellent addition making this more of an excellent game.
And then there's Sal. I call him 'Puddy', as his voice actor plays the bit sounding like Patrick Warburton, who guest starred as Puddy on Seinfeld. This character is a security guard who is loyal, and any more information then that would be giving out too much information in regards to the plot. All I can say, is he has three particular moments that come to mind as making me burst into laughter. Sal also fits into the ever-expanding criteria of Sam and Max characters who are an obscure type of creature for no particular reason, which I always find funny.
Of course, the Noir bit can only last so long, but for how long it lasts, you'll be smiling throughout the whole thing. The episode makes a turn to a completely different scenario around halfway through, where even Sam has no idea what to do. This bit gives us a slivir more info about some of our newer characters introduced this episode or making surprise reappearances.
The episode all ends in a clever homage to a classic science fiction television series, which is hilarious and really rounds out the episode. The puzzle design, top notch as always, had me guessing for every single puzzle at least once. Only one puzzle really kept me stuck, but I eventually figured it out. Sound design, as always, is top-notch, with Jared Emerson Johnson's fitting music to each locale, and great Voice Acting from Andrew Chaikan, Nikki Rapp, and many others.
Unless you are incredibly daft, I adored this episode. The subtle background jokes, the storyline progression, the bit parts by voice actors, everything in this episode is pure gold. With our twist ending, I can't wait until next month and the penultimate episode of The Devil's Playhouse. Looking forward to 'Beyond The Alley of The Dolls', all our questions seem to have a very good chance of being answered. Until then, rest, and enjoy this, the single greatest episode of Sam and Max yet.
Games, Gold, and Glory is not affiliated with Telltale Games in any way, shape, or form. For more information regarding Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse and related products, visit http://www.telltalegames.com/samandmax/thedevilsplayhouse.