Sunday 3 March 2024

Sam & Max Hit the Road - Final Rating

Written by Michael

I asked OpenAI for “a tall anthropomorphic dog wearing a blue sports jacket and wide tie with a shorter anthropomorphic white rabbit as a sidekick.”

So, our road trip was successful, I guess.  We set out to find the stolen bigfoot from the carnival, and found him.  We were tasked with restoring the exhibit, so the carnival wouldn’t go out of business.  We did that.  Of course, the Kushmans probably expected us to do it a different way, but a win is a win, am I right?

Actually, I’m kind of sad to be done.
And so with that, we come to an end.  How does this game stack up to the past?

First, let’s look at the reviews of the day.  Anyone following me here knows my favorite read was a well-polished zine called QuestBusters.  Rather surprisingly, in their spring 1994 issue, they got around to reviewing the game and I couldn’t find a single negative comment in the review.  For example, some of the commenters so far had an issue with an early puzzle in the game, and the review uses it as an example of a high point: 

“The results are usually as unpredictable as they are hilarious. In one case, Max pulls some secret orders right out of the belly of a cat that refuses to give them up.“

CGW used Bongo as a comparison for the character stylings of Max.  There’s worse things you could emulate.

Computer Gaming World is a little more critical of the game.  They’re not as big on the “in your face” style, and think the “self-referential jokes, sneering remarks, deadpan derision, and ridicule” might be overdone.  I’m not sure I agree, but then again, they equate that to “the teenage boor with a wisecrack for every situation.”  I was definitely one of those, so the game resonates with me on that level.  They noticed some problems with the interface that I will discuss later, but then go on to a line that irks me, not because it’s untrue, but because the pilot episode of The West Wing gives it better context: “Endlessly sarcastic New York intellectuals like my friends will find its tone wholly agreeable, but whether it plays in Peoria remains to be seen.”  For the record, according to my Blogger profile, I geographically qualify.  Of course, much like Sam & Max, CGW is multi-personality.  Two years later, they listed it at #95 in the top 150 games of all time.

Other mainstream magazines had largely positive reviews, even the ones that weren’t as adventure-centric (like the US edition of PC Gamer).

My own thoughts?  Let’s see.  First, I feel the need to highlight this:

Even though there’s going to be a bunch of negativity below, I really did enjoy the game.

Puzzles and Solvability

The puzzles in this game are largely solvable, as long as you get into the right headspace beforehand.  Honestly, this is somewhere the game shines, compared to some of the other categories we haven’t talked about yet.

What’s the matter, cat’s got your tongue?

There was a little bit of grumbling in the comments about the first real puzzle of the game, about getting the orders from a “courier” bringing orders from the police commissioner.  I found it easy and straightforward, but I can see how others might not.  I had the forethought to talk to the cat, and in conversation with him, I was told that he swallowed the paperwork.  So I figured it out right away, where if you didn’t think to speak to the cat, you wouldn’t have gotten the important hint you needed.

It was an easy puzzle for me, talking to the cat, because of a flaw we will talk about more in another category:  not enough red herrings.  There’s so few things to click on, to look at, to use, that almost everything you can click on needs to be clicked on.  

I solved this game the Sierra On-Line way.

There were a handful of puzzles I solved because I picked up the key item before I knew I needed it, like the portrait of John Muir.  Honestly, had I not picked it up when I did, I don’t know that I ever would have thought to try that.  I solved this game using the things I learned from 80s adventure gaming, specifically two things:  talk to everyone and pick up everything.  But there was logic to almost everything.  Having the guy use telekinesis on the ice pick was straightforward, as was dressing up as a big fish to have Woody Allen the fisherman catch me and send me to the restaurant kitchen.

In our playthrough of Simon the Sorcerer, Will played a game where, “once you’ve found the right items you will swiftly progress because the solution is really clear.”  It felt like that to me, but unlike that game, it wasn’t just fetch quests.  Like I said before, you needed to get into the headspace of Steve Purcell.  

A notable plus is that the game isn’t entirely linear.  While I suspect I visited the early locations in the same order many others did, I could have explored differently and had other locations opened up to me in a different order.  I didn’t replay, so I don’t know if I would have gotten different hints to puzzles that way.

The objects might be goofy while the sarcasm is laid thick, but this game didn’t fail this category.  I’ve been back and forth on this score, between 5 and 6, so I think I’ll average the two.  That’s 5.5, which, rounded, is a score of 6.

Interface and Inventory

Now, the unpleasant part of this post.  This is going to go long here.

Readers might have noticed, in the reviews and comments on other games, that myself and teammate Morpheus Kitami agree to disagree about almost everything.  Like Felix Unger and Oscar Madison, or like cats and dogs living together, it usually results in mass hysteria.

But this time, we agree.  Let me quote one of his comments on the playthrough:

“The problem is this game is fundamentally badly designed. Having your action icon only "lighting up" if it can activate what's below it is well-thought out, but that's it. (it also serves to highlight how empty each room really is sometimes) The interface feels like they're copying Sierra, but Sierra had a bar that you could use to quick select a particular action. Sam is slow, and between room hotspots are janky.” 

My response was to call the interface “Sierra-Lite”.  

See, Sierra thought out their mouse interface.  Scroll through all the icons with the right mouse button, quickly switch to and from the walk cursor with the middle button.  Press TAB to quickly access the inventory if you didn’t want to swipe up to the top of the screen.  After using an icon, the game almost always kept the same icon chosen.

LucasArts?  They kept the right hand button and threw the rest away.  Messed some of it up badly, too.  Use an icon on something?  There’s a 95% chance the icon will change to something else afterwards.  Inventory access?  Click the icon on the screen, bringing up a full screen inventory.  Change icons to the one you need to click on an object, which is usually the PICK UP icon, then scroll out of the box and hope the game notices you left the box where it will finally give you control of the item.  It was sometimes tedious, and while not the worst, certainly far from the best.

I learned the difference between solids, liquids, and gasses back in the 6th grade.

The game wasn’t forthcoming with full descriptions for everything you encountered, and a couple of times got it flat wrong.  The screenshot just above shows, at the top of the screen, the description you are given for... the Mole Man Powder.  Visually given to you in a cloth sack.  Not a liquid in a decanter.  Someone skipped the proofreading stage here.

In most screens, there was very little to interact with, so if you could, chances are, it was necessary.  Most of the background was unclickable, even for the LOOK icon.  Except for signs.

I already made a reference to Forget Paris in an earlier post, so how about if I just link to Jimmy talking about California?  In a scene that is very, very relevant to this game at hand.

See, if you read almost every single sign in the game, Sam just reads out loud the words you can read in the artwork.  That’s it.  The rest of the background?  No descriptions, unless it’s something not nailed down. Oddly enough, they had more descriptions in the original drafts of the game and discarded them.

You can sometimes be mislead by this, however.  The LOOK icon eye will open up on background items.  But when you click it, it’s really matching to an item half an inch below.  Because many of the hotspots are poorly programmed.

And wait... I got this far into this section without talking about the way conversations are handled.  Previous LucasArts games had a dialog tree that allowed for some dialog puzzles and some humor at the same time, but never fear of failure because it was, after all, LucasArts.  This game gives you picture icons that give you no clue, whatsoever, about what you’re going to say.  It ends up being a surprise.

The basic Sierra interface, depending on the reviewer, gets a solid 6-7 points in this category.  LucasArts usually gets an 8.  This is a step down from both, so the score is a 5.

Story and Setting

The basic story line:  Sam and Max are freelance policemen who are tasked with finding a bigfoot that was stolen from a carnival.

The story is based on a comic book series, but you don’t need to know that.  In fact, you need to know very little, because the story isn’t very important to this game, just the road trip there.  As long as you are comfortable with the fact that they both take pleasure in the ‘S’ from S&M (especially Max), you’ve got it covered.

As for the setting, it’s novel enough: let’s go on a trip, visiting many different, intentionally tacky roadside attractions along our nation’s interstate highway system, each one with a connection in some way to the missing bigfoot or the “people” he has come in contact with in his past or present.  It would have been nicer if some of the locations had been fleshed out a little more, like the single screen World of Fish and Frog Rock, or the Snuckey’s locations that were purposely identical but didn’t let us walk past the gas pumps, let alone visit the bathrooms.

But those are mostly complaints for the environment category.  This category?  No real improvement over their last cartoon game, Day of the Tentacle.  That game had a stronger background storyline, somewhat set in place by characters who were in the previous installment.  Both games have strong settings.  I’ll give it a score of 5.

Sound and Graphics

So much detail in each shot, like the pigeons living their best lives,  the blood on the sidewalk, and the quaint, old-fashioned umbrella stand outside the local bodega.

Let’s start with the positives:  the graphics are excellent.  Vibrant colors, detailed art.  Background details added, sometimes just for fun, but consistently there.  It’s a good thing, too, because the lack of descriptions I talked about above were less painful because of the well-designed locales.

There’s a lot of animation, especially when Max gets bored.  It’s well handled, and doesn’t slow down the game, which would have been a concern in previous years.

I had some issues in the second half of the game, primarily in the motel and party rooms, where the speech and text were horribly out of sync. I hadn't changed the settings, and adjusting the text speed helped a little, but I'm not sure whether it was a true bug or related to modern emulation, so I won't ding the game for this.

The music is passable.  Most of the game, it’s really just elevator music-grade smooth jazz or the like.  Nothing that really stands out, except maybe the creepy sounds of the Mystery Vortex.  Surprisingly, the music on my MT-32 was barely different from the Adlib/SoundBlaster tunes.  In their previous games, Lucas took each soundcard to the limits.  In this game, while the music in the game wasn’t bad, it wasn’t their focus.  

Sound effects were properly cartoonish, but more than a couple were noticeably cribbed from DOTT as well.

Some things up, some things down.  If only they had the hauntingly scene-setting music from Fate of Atlantis, it would have helped.  But for now, a score of 7.

Environment and Atmosphere

They did a great job of teeing up the ball, and then missing the shot (Unlike Conroy Bumpus).  The locations were barely fleshed out, right from the beginning.  Your office?  One room.  Into a hallway that has only a few seconds of interaction for the entire game, down the steps to the main street, where you can’t see inside any of the businesses.  

In the first notable police game played on this blog, the inside of the station had 8 rooms.  If we count the stairs, this one had 2.

Almost nothing can be interacted with, unless it’s directly needed for a puzzle.  Unlike other comedy games of the time, like the one Alex just finished, where looking at almost everything resulted in a humorous description, or using items with other items had non-generic failure messages.

The convenience stores are three nearly identical insides and outsides, except for the clerk having a mustache at times or the giant shrimp outside becoming a jackrabbit.  I get the joke about one being like all the rest, but still.

There’s not much to do here...

As a result, the world often felt small, even though you visited almost a dozen different places around the country.

The characters that inhabited this world were generally thought out and had personalities, and some were distinct parodies of the time the game was made.  Shuv-Uhl, for example, was a carbon copy of nearly every 50-something Deadhead or former Flower Child from the Woodstock era.  (This one hits close to home -- I grew up 2 miles from the original Woodstock festival site.)  I’ve met plenty of focused convenience store managers like not-Bernard that live and breathe their corporate employer’s identity, although sadly, less of them lately means that the quality of service at these places has plummeted.  

So, I’m torn.  I feel cheated.  The locations weren’t always fleshed out. But the ones that were did the job quite well.  That felt like a carnival, the Mystery Vortex was a place I’d like to visit, and I could even consider a trip to the ball of twine.  But places like the World of Fish and the Celebrity Vegetable Museum were giant letdowns.  They had great ideas on paper, and then never figured out ways to implement them.

The score is a 5.  I wanted it to be higher.

Dialogue and Acting

So, this is a high spot for the game, if you have that New York sense of humor we talked about before.  There’s snappy repartee, and for a story about a dog in a bowtie solving crimes, most of the dialog was plausible, if not even believable. 

The voice acting?  Generally okay.  No characters stood out to me as particularly bad or annoying.  Some were inspired choices, like title character Sam, who sounded every bit like the gumshoes he was meant to be a canine parody of.  The fisherman was perfectly voiced as a Woody Allen duplicate, and the bigfoots generally made you feel their slow mental abilities through their speech. Using both the voice and appearance of Bernard from DOTT, they missed out on a chance for a real cross-game appearance.

So many euphemisms for that room.  Restroom, powder room, waste chamber, facilities.  We have embraced soft language.

Again, I’ll bring up Max’s ADHD, because it falls under acting.  Most every room we visit, he gets bored and wanders.  Sometimes he starts jumping on a bed, or whining about needing to use the facilities.  It’s a nice little touch, as opposed to sidekicks like Cedric and Keith, who are forgettable right up until they aren't, and then they become annoying.

If only we had had dialog choices in this game.Still, I’ll be generous here because of how stingy I’ve been so far, and score it a 7.

So, some math is needed now.  6+5+5+7+5+7=35/0.6=58.333.  I think I was generous enough already, so I’ll let that be. 

Looking at the score history, it seems fair, although I certainly would have scored both the recent Al Lowe games slightly higher than this., but remember, comedy and humor is subjective.

It seems that everyone had pretty high hopes for the score of the game.  Of the eligible votes, the average was 69, and the two other votes were higher than that.  Thankfully, we don’t play this by The Price is Right rules.

The price is wrong, $^#&@!

So the winner, at just one dollar over the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, is Vetinari, who guessed 59.  Like myself, he’s looking forward to the episodic games, but we’ve got a few other titles to handle until we get there.

So, before we get to the CAP distribution, let’s finish up the odds and ends about the mini-games that I haven’t already mentioned in the previous posts.  We’ll start with two duds, and then get to a slightly stronger entry.

Dress-Up Game

“So I’ll arrive in the nuddy?”  “The one costume that’s in fashion anywhere.” - Sir Terry Pratchett, Night Watch

In our inventory, a purchase from the midwest Snuckey’s, is the Sam & Max Dress-Up Game.  This also doubles as the copy protection on the disk version, matching outfits to pages in the manual.

This quickly-programmed add-on is a reference to a style of children’s book from the days of yore, such as this one.  

This type of book is the inspiration.

If you scroll to the screens to the right, there are different items of clothing, costume, and what-not that you can click on, and will be stuck upon Max.  To the left, there’s screens of stuff for Sam.

Some of the clothing choices for Sam.

Is this more or less frightening than the naked duo?

This provided me about, oh, say, 28 seconds of entertainment before I stopped playing with it.

Paint-by-Numbers Book

From the Creole-styled Snuckey’s location, we got what is basically a coloring book.

La la la la, connect the dots...

There’s not much to say about this one.  Really.  Click on a crayon, click on part of the picture, and autofill does the rest.

Surfin’ the Highway

Viewer discretion advised.  Kids, don’t try this at home.

Based on a rumored highway practice, it wasn’t memorable.  While Sam drives the car down the highway (which you can move left and right with the mouse, sometimes unpredictably), Max has to jump over the overhead signs.  If he misses, he smashes them instead. 

This bunny really does like to hop.

You earn points and level up, and I read somewhere that you could go at least a dozen or so levels without doing a darn thing, so it wasn’t the best programmed game, but it was a cute inclusion.

Well, that’s enough delay.  Let’s get to the important stuff.  And then. I’ll hop in my car and drive somewhere on vacation now that I’m done with this post.

CAP Distribution

100 CAPs to Michael
  • Blogger Award - 100 CAPs - For playing through Sam & Max Hit the Road for everyone's enjoyment

25 CAPs to MorpheusKitami

  • True Companion Award - 20 CAPs - For playing and commenting on Sam & Max Hit the Road along with Michael

  • It's a Family Affair Award - 5 CAPs - For teaching us about an internet celebrity who's a real legit mo-fo

20 CAPs to LeftHanded Matt

  • True Companion Award - 20 CAPs - For playing and commenting on Sam & Max Hit the Road along with Michael

10 CAPs to Vetinari

  • Psychic Prediction Award - 10 CAPs - For being the closest guesser to the Sam & Max Hit the Road PISSED rating

10 CAPs to Alex

  • Uninvited Houseguest Award - 10 CAPs - For hosting a holiday dinner party with our favorite retired police officer, Jim Walls

10 CAPs to arcanetrivia

  • RTFM Award - 5 CAPs - For reading the manual when the reviewer did not

  • I Lost on Jeopardy Award - 5 CAPs - For having deep cuts of Weird Al in her playlist

10 CAPs to Laukku

  • Puzzle Wager - (-10) CAPs - For betting that Michael would be stumped by a puzzle in Sam & Max Hit the Road

  • Autonomy Award - 5 CAPs - For knowing the difference between “free reign” and “free rein”

  • Quick and Dirty Operating System Award - 5 CAPs - For catching an obvious Microsoft reference that Michael missed

  • Nothing Compares 2 U Award - 5 CAPs - For detailing some differences between the CD and floppy versions

  • I Picked the Wrong Week to Quit Sniffing Glue Award - 5 CAPs - For referencing a scene in an undeservingly overlooked movie from the makers of Airplane and The Naked Gun

5 CAPs to ShaddamIVth

  • MapQuest Award - 5 CAPs - For correctly identifying US states and bordering countries on a postcard map

5 CAPs to Ross

  • Bio-Conversion KITT Award - 5 CAPs - For knowing where the gas filler door should and shouldn’t be on a stock Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am 

5 CAPs to ATMachine

  • Not Ready for Primetime Commenter Award - 5 CAPs - For helping explain a recurring bit from the first decade of Saturday Night Live 

5 CAPs to Anonymous

  • It's Not a Tumor Award - 5 CAPs - For noticing an embarrassingly bad typo in the spelling of an actor-turned-politician’s name


  1. For the earlier iMUSE games, they had custom tracks for AdLib, MT-32, and PC speaker. I think Day of the Tentacle dropped PC speaker and added General MIDI, and Sam & Max only had General MIDI plus a set of AdLib instruments to use with them.

    So it doesn't surprise me if MT-32 doesn't sound that different.

    1. It surprises me a little, because IIRC Sierra didn't phase out good composing for the MT-32 until they went completely all-out on Windows. Sam and Max was a pure DOS game.

      For example, the recently completed LSL6 from the blog, on a Roland Sound Canvas (a relative of the MT-32) sounds incredible compared to compared to a SoundBlaster, even though they are both miles above the lack of effort put into the music for Sam & Max.

      Still to go in 1993 for Sierra includes PQ4, Gabriel Knight, and QFG4, and, oh my god is the MT-32 soundtrack amazing for GK...

      Next year's KQ7 will be the first title for Sierra, I think, that shifts to GM instead of MT-32 as the hallmark for sound. It's hard to compare to LucasArts, because their next adventure title won't be for 2 more gaming years, 1995's Full Throttle.

    2. The Sierra game that shifted their music standard from MT-32 to GM was Quest for Glory 3 from 1992; for LucasArts it was Sam & Max. This page lists the original device for each game in the rightmost column. (To be fair, the page doesn't cite sources, which is part of why it was deleted from Wikipedia where it originally was hosted, but I would still trust it more than non-expert people here.)

      >is the MT-32 soundtrack amazing for GK

      The majority of that video (0:13 to 4:53) isn't MT-32 but prerecorded audio, which the game plays for the main menu & credits as long as you have a capable card.

    3. >The majority of that video (0:13 to 4:53) isn't MT-32

      Self-correction, the dream sequence (1:35 to 2:21) is MT-32.

    4. Interesting list. I didn't realize the change happened slightly earlier.

      If I'm understanding the columns right (because it's a little confusing), GK was designed for the SoundCanvas but is fully compatible with the MT-32, without exploiting bugs in the old firmware, which explains why the non-CD sound is as good as it is.

      Apparently, the same thing can be said about Sam & Max, according to that list, so I'll stand by my disappointment at the quality of the music overall.

  2. A fair score I think, you weighed the good against the bad quite well.

    You raised most of the issues I had with the game, but for me I think they brought things down to a point where I was less forgiving. Primarily the interface is horrid, yes. Just cycling through the icons feels like effort, as the mouse clicks won't register if you go too fast. And the dialogue icons are absolutely useless. They go against any kind of intuitive idea of what Sam will say. Rubber duck?

    I was also disappointed whenever I tried to speak with Max. Initially it feels like he's set up to provide you with hints when you're stuck, but he just says the same unhelpful sentences all the time.

    Other than that it may feel like I'm nitpicking, but the core experience of enjoying the game is ruined for me by the design choices. No text descriptions, no ability to just look at things in the environment and get some feedback. Difficulty in finding exits to other areas. The sense of exploration is taken away and the world feels empty.

    There's also the entire tone of the game which just doesn't match my sensibilities. I find that I don't really like Sam or Max (unlike you, I found Sam's flat voice acting to grate). I don't like the bizarre aggressive nature of everyone and everything presented here, nor the particular brand of "wackiness".

    Reading this back sounds like I completely hate this game. I don't, but I think I maybe hold LucasArts to a higher standard. They had gotten things so right up to this point and even as a kid I was just turned off by so many choices made in this.

    The art an animation is fantastic though, I will give it that. And I absolutely enjoyed reading your playthrough and getting your own thoughts, thanks!

    1. I'll reply more fully when I'm not in front of my phone, but I also agree with you about a lot of this. Especially holding LucasArts to a higher standard.
      This game score of 58 puts it in the top four of the games we've played so far this gaming year. That's not bad. But, compared to the last couple of games from the publisher, it's atrocious.
      That's why I also put the disclaimer at the beginning, about how I like the game, even though I was about to point out a lot of negatives. From another publisher, this is an excellent game. From this publisher, maybe not so much.

    2. I was also disappointed whenever I tried to speak with Max. Initially it feels like he's set up to provide you with hints when you're stuck, but he just says the same unhelpful sentences all the time.

      I didn't think to try to talk to Max for hints, but in retrospect it seems like an obvious thing to try. I did talk to him once or twice, I think. Like when I needed the bathroom key.

      And the dialogue icons are absolutely useless. They go against any kind of intuitive idea of what Sam will say. Rubber duck?

      Not defending this awful conversation system, but it *was* in the manual what those meant. Back in those days, we read the manual. Ir at least we claim that now when telling our children. ;)

      And I absolutely enjoyed reading your playthrough and getting your own thoughts, thanks!

      Thank you! I have fun doing this, and it's more fun when I enjoy the game.

    3. you only read the manual when you actually bought the game... so it could be a sort of "if you pirate then we annoy you"

    4. I was joking, but just a little bit. The floppy version still had manual-based copy protection, so we're still in that era where the manual matters.

    5. the idea of the icons dialogues, was to avoid spoiling the jokes as it happened in MI2 for example, where you had a great joke, but you could read it before saying it. Not sure who exactly mentioned it, but it was part of the philosophy for this game

  3. This is actually exactly how I felt about the game first time I played it (but I couldn´t really articulate it as good as you at the time), the game is flawed but still a fun game. I think the standard from earlier Lucasart games makes the flaws stand out even more and this leads to a question: is it the game itself that is evaluated or the legacy and expectations of the title?

    1. is it the game itself that is evaluated or the legacy and expectations of the title?

      For me, I think I evaluated the game itself, but I'm sure others could be swayed by comparing it to their past works. A valid question for all reviews. Soon, it will become an issue when we get to the playthrough for PQ4, and next gaming year, I think it will be an issue for KQ7.

    2. I understand your neutral position as an old time adventuregame blogger, this was more about the average gamers thoughts and feelings about a game, I think about this and my own biases a lot in my enjoyment of new and old games: what are my expectations, what are the legacy, how much nostalgia do I have to the genre, even what is my current mindset and the time and weekday of playing... these are all valid factors to my experience and enjoyment of a game.
      This is mostly ranting but I think some of my personal thoughts about this is relevant in valuating a game and the time you spend with it.

  4. bigfluffylemon3 March 2024 at 14:16

    Thanks for the playthrough. I'm surprised at the modest rating. I agree that it's not LucasArt's finest, but it's a 90s LucasArts title which IMO makes it better than 90% of what's out there. But maybe that's the rose tinted specs talking.

    1. Out of the 23 mainline games played for 1993, it's at #5. I think that matched what you just said. It's in good company.

      The top ten from the Full House spreadsheet:

      Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle (72)
      Space Quest V: The Next Mutation (67)
      Dracula Unleashed (62)
      Eric the Unready (60)
      Sam & Max Hit the Road (58)
      Simon the Sorcerer (57)
      Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist (55)
      EcoQuest II: Lost Secret of the Rainforest (55*)
      Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out! (55**)
      Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon (53)

    2. From that list, i think Freddy Pharkas & Larry 6 are better games than Sam & Max, and I say this even if I always been a bigger fan of LucasArts than Sierra

    3. I agree. I personally feel those games were scored a little lower than I would have myself, but remember, this whole thing is subjective with different reviewers.

  5. I'm happy for having guessed right, but still I thought it would somehow score higher. Apart from the technical issues (which you highlighted very well in your rating), my main problem with the game is that most of the humour and situations are strongly US-centric, which didn't fly very well with me while playing (and did even less in the 90s when I played it for the first time).

    1. I thought it would, too. But I think I mistook my love for the source material for any memories of the original game.

    2. If he scored it any lower I was ready to pummel him like some of the evil-dooers in the street.

  6. I actually really liked the telltale games, so they did something right y getting the ball rolling and inspired others to greatness :)

    1. Wasn't it too little too late at that point?

  7. ouch that's a low score. Too bad, for me Fate of atlantis, MI2, DOTT, Full throttle and Sam and Max are the top lucasarts games, while all others are of varying quality. I also enjoyed the battleship game quite a lot as a distraction.

    You also missed mentioning that Nick Jameson, did a quite nice voice in this game, and not that horrible dr Ubermann from FOA.

    Not sure where to post this, but, Im looking for help (experts, or quality proofing) a series of videos Im about to start about adventure games (first one is Maniac Mansion). Any way to contact someone interested ?

    1. The Battleship game was rather well done, and perhaps I didn't say that loud enough when I blogged about it.

      But me personally, I wouldn't put Full Throttle at the top of the pile. It was way too short, trading substance for style at times. I would put the original MI, Grim Fandango, and even Zak McKracken on the list above it.

      As for Jameson, yes, you're quite right. He did a great job -- and while I wasn't as perturbed by the Ubermann voice in Fate, it certainly wasn't a highlight of his acting career.

      As for the video help, I wish you luck and look forward to viewing the results -- and hopefully it will fit in with our content here and maybe highlight it as well...

      I wish I knew of people who would be able to help -- I know myself, I'm not that interested in the video proofing/editing part, you might need to find some young whipper-snapper and teach him or her about adventures... :)

    2. The battleship knock-off seemed kind of crummy to me. Yeah, the animations and voices were nice...the first time around, but it didn't have much of an easy way to skip it, you know? Plus having a one-tile car in said game is a serious faux passe as far as battleship goes.

      If by quality proofing, you mean making sure you aren't screwing up the audio mixing, your voice is clearly understood and you don't make any obvious factual errors, I can help with that. I'm not the best person to ask since there are wizards who can detect issues with audio I can't understand at all, but as far as something the average person would notice, yeah.

    3. Plus having a one-tile car in said game is a serious faux passe as far as battleship goes.

      Giving them the benefit of the doubt, they probably had to change the rules of the game enough so it wasn't an exact match, to avoid getting sued by Mattel. Hence, the catapult spaces and the different ship sizes. (As opposed to the original.)

  8. I think you softballed this one. It's very much an amateur hour production outside of most graphics. (random 3d models is goofy, man) Poor hotspot finding, especially for room exits, illogical use of said room exit hot spots, a generally empty feel. Even in the humor and road trip department it seems like its lacking. Feels more like a fan game, not even something like Flight of the Amazon Queen which just did Lucasarts's style poorly.

    1. Glad we don't agree on everything! :)

      I don't disagree, really. I'm just glad that there's ONE person here who thinks I gave it too high of a score. So far, the feedback is that I'm right on, or lower than expected.

  9. Any reason I'm not in the "Companion Assist Leaderboard"?

    1. Not sure what happened, but I just fixed it.
      Guess your number was so high that it broke the chart.

  10. Just had to drop in to say I enjoyed the write-up immensely. The style not my thing but I can understand that if you like the type of humour then you will love the game. The score is more than fair, I feel like too many reviews of the game enjoy the writing so much they ignore the flaws, but the faults aren't knit-picked either.