Sam & Max Season 1, Episode 3: The Mole, The Mob and the Meatball (PC)

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  • System: PC
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Max Players: 1
  • Age Rating: Teen 13+
  • US Release: January 2007
  • Developer: Telltale Games
  • Publisher: Telltale Games

Take everything I said about the last two games and subtract about two hours of gameplay.

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What, that’s not good enough? Jeez. You people. I can never please you people. If it’s not “GameCola’s layout is tremendously bad” it’s “your reviews should be a little longer than fifteen words.” My God. Why don’t you try writing your OWN review of Sam & Max Season 1, Episode 3: The Mole, The Mob and the Meatball, eh?

Furthering the story from their last two inspired adventure titles, freelance police Sam and Max have a new case: They’ve gotta investigate this casino that’s supposedly a front for a mafia headquarters and find out what said mafia is up to. I can tell you only this: It involves teddy bears. Their investigating involves the pointing and the clicking typical of point-and-click adventure games, and for more information on what that means I implore you to, for the love of God, read either of the last two reviews. From here on out you’re totally on your own on finding out about this mysterious and currently pretty rare genre.

(The “whining like a teenager” portion of this review is now complete.)

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The main difference between TM,TMATM and its two predecessors is its length. I don’t know if the game has fewer puzzles or if its puzzles are way easier or what, but I beat this game about two hours quicker than I beat the other two. As the first two were only five hours long to begin with, you can see why this is significant. My guess, actually, is that since this game uses a lot of the same environments as the first two there wasn’t so much for me to explore, so I got down to business much more quickly. Still, it’s length is something you might want to take into consideration if, for some reason, you’re looking to purchase only one game from this season. As in, this probably isn’t the one you wanna purchase, though it’s still as awesomely funny and awesomely fun as the others.

(Incidentally, if that is the case, then take comfort in knowing you don’t really have to play these games in any particular order. Each game (as if yet, at least) only plays off of each of the others slightly; their storylines are otherwise independent, so there’s little you wouldn’t be able to understand.)

A few astute readers (also known as “readers who happen to be the mothers of some of our staff members”) claim that the new Sam & Max games aren’t as hilariously funny as I’ve been saying for so many months now; those readers are, however, totally wrong. If a casino/mafia headquarters named the “Ted E. Bear Mafia-Free Playland and Casino,” a game at said casino called “Whack Da Rat” and a “Yo Mama” joke minigame don’t have you hitching a ride on the roflcopter, then chances are that you are, in fact, an invalid. You might wanna get that checked out.

The same very, very minor problems that plagued the first two games continue to plague this game. The most important of which is, of course, that it’s still in 3D. What. The hell. If you’re catering to a classic audience, you might as well go for a visual scheme that audience is gonna go for. It doesn’t have to be blocky and pixilated like the old King’s Quest games; I’m thinking something more along the lines of a Curse of Monkey Island graphics style. This isn’t meant as a knock against the game’ graphics in themselves, of course. They’re 3D; they can’t help but be gruesome. They are, however, about as good as 3D can get.

I’m also still wondering where the in-game walkthrough is. Telltale itself raised the bar for adventure games when its Bone titles included a hint-generator that helped you out if you absolutely can’t move on, and I’m really, really surprised that they haven’t been including it in their more recent titles.

But I mean, come ON. Those two are the BIGGEST of my complaints. The BIGGEST thing wrong with this game is that it’s in 3D, which probably isn’t even a problem to people who aren’t me. You’re really cheating yourself if you’re not buying this game. Not even if you’re a connoisseur of point-and-click adventure games such as myself—if you’re not buying this game (it’s only nine bucks!), either off of Telltale’s handy dandy Web site or from GameTap, you’re missing out on one of the very few genuinely funny videogames out there.

  • GameCola Rates This Game: 7 - Good
  • Score Breakdown

  • Fun Score: 8.3
  • Novelty Score: 6.7
  • Audio Score: 7.5
  • Visuals Score: 6.5
  • Controls Score: 9
  • Replay Value: 8
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