Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse Episode 2: The Tomb of Sammun-Mak

9.0 Overall Score

Written by on May 18, 2010 in

Great gathering gooseberries on a gilded gull! It’s Episode 2 of The Devil’s Playhouse, starring our favorite pup PI Sam and his lovable pal lethal rabbity thing, Max. These two insane masterminds of mischief make up the Freelance Police – a force powerful enough to solve even the most dastardly of case and prevent the most evil of genius from doing the wrong they do so well, and still get home in time for custard.

Having defeated the alien Skunkape in the end of the Episode 1, the Freelance Police find themselves in a basement where they discover the most grizzly of sites – their own skeletons in the most unflattering of poses! Surely this cannot be the unfortuitous future fate of our furry friends?

The Love of Close Friends

Thankfully it is not – it is actually the fate of their grandfathers, Sameth and Maximus! Discovering four reels of film, present-day Sam and Max watch as their blood history solves a case all the way back in the grandaddy of ancient times – the early 1900s. As Max points out the film has no audio, which Sam explains is because it was filmed before the invention of vocal chords. This prompts Max to earn the incredible desire to do what he was born to do – mess with the film projector. Max, as those who have played the The Penal Zone will recall, has discovered his dormant psychic powers brought forth by the toys of power (something of which he claims the voices never let on to). Apparently, the projector is one of these toys, as it brings out the psychic power of Astral Projection allowing the present Sam and Max to better experience the history on screen.

What follows is what we have come to expect and love from the Sam and Max series – quirky, witty dialog and a level of fun that requires me to make sure the police aren’t watching as it borders on psychotropic, and we do know the fun that the blue get from removing people from their chemically induced excitement. The plot of the game takes us on an adventure to acquire The Devil’s Toybox from the Tomb of Sammun-Mak in Egypt, a task given to them in the Challenge of the Sphunx from Monsieur Papierwaite.

Sameth and Maximus are not alone in their journey! As one might anticipate, their antics are always followed by the follies of foes and friends. Of note in Episode 2 is Baby Amelia Earhart, and Nicholas St. Kringle (or The Face of Evil as Max calls him), and his army of elves from the roughest part of town, Little North Pole.

Sameth and Maximus – Freelance Grandaddies

The gameplay is similar to classic point and click adventures from the bygone era of the 1990s and the fun is just the same. Find objects and use them to solve puzzles for purposes of greed and glory. As in all Sam and Max games (including the original point and click Sam and Max game, “Hit the Road”, released in 1993 by Lucasarts), we primarily control Sam, while Max follows along for the ride. The biggest difference in this game is the open-world movement system, introduced in Episode 1 of The Devil’s Playhouse. Rather than pointing somewhere in the world to move Sam there, we instead can now use the arrow keys of the keyboard, or click and drag the mouse to create an on-screen thumbstick to move Sam. My gaming computer does not presently have a gamepad attached, however browsing the options screens reveals the ability to use gamepads as well as the default keyboard and mouse. This interface system has been cleverly designed to work great on all target platforms for The Devil’s Playhouse.

The five-episode season of Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse is available on PC, Mac and PlayStation 3 for $34.95, from Telltale Games.  The Penal Zone is available now on the iPad and can be purchased via the App Store.

My final word? Get it. Get it. Get it now. Don’t wait. Just get it! It’s very difficult to find issues with this game. It is what it should be – quirky, fun, funny and very entertaining. Telltale Games have done it again with another fine example that, despite what Lucasarts believes, the Point and Click Adventure genre is about as dead as our sun.

A copy of the game The Devil’s Playhouse Episode 2: The Tomb of Sammun-Mak was provided to The Married Gamers for the purpose of examination and review.  When not writing reviews and articles, Dave Calabrese runs his game development company, Cerulean Games, Inc. and enjoys the mountain air of Denver, CO.


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Author: Dave Calabrese View all posts by
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dave has always looked towards creative mediums as a way to showcase untold stories and to entertain others. From a young age, Dave would spend hours in his family's home creating home-made board games and writing stories. His father worked in the game industry, which allowed Dave the early insight on another direction he could take his creative inspirations in. He eventually found a job in the game industry, and seven years later had a stack of published games under his belt and a number of award winning titles to bulletpoint his resume with. Dave continues to pave the way to the future of the games industry by telling stories and entertaining through interactive mediums which will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you come back for more.

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