Episode 2 – The Tomb of Sammun-Mak
Ahhh, Sam and Max, the Freelance Police, a dog and a rabbity thing. The randomness of the Sam and Max series of games should be well known to all by now. Players should also be well aware of what to expect from this style of game. As the second part of The Devil’s Playhouse series, The Tomb of Sammun-Mak offers nothing new regarding the basic gameplay. It’s all about the story…
At the end of the last episode our heroes, Sam and Max, had come across what looked like their very own skeletons, possibly suggesting a less than perfect ending for the mystery-solving pair. So far as cliff hangers go, this left us wondering about the fate of Sam and Max and eagerly awaiting the next episode.
Well, as it turns out the skeletons did not actually belong to the crime fighters, but to their great, great grandfathers, Sameth and Maximus. They find some film reels that may explain the fate of their relatives.
There are four film reels to choose from and by watching them, the player takes control of the suitably attired relatives way back in 1902. These movie reels follow the story of Sameth and Maximus, but not in any kind of order. The player is free to choose which movie reel they participate in and will find themselves often jumping back and forward through the story at an alarming rate. By moving from one period in time to another, the player may well discover the answers to puzzles that have previously stumped them. Slightly confusing it may be, but it cannot be said to be boring.
So Sam and Max get to watch the adventure unfold by watching the movie. And what a movie it is. All of the usual suspects are present and accounted for. As we have come to expect from a TellTale game, it is filled to the brim with bizarre, random characters that often come out with one-liners designed to make you giggle. The puzzles are often strange and bewildering, but never really out of the players grasp.
Solving the puzzles will quite often come down to skipping between movie reels, but the use of Maximus’ psychic powers will often present the solution. The mystical can o’ nuts will allow our heroes to instantly hide and the ventriloquist dummy allows voices to be thrown. Also of use in the solving of puzzles are the Moleman curses. Whilst they may not seem to be initially helpful, they are indeed very funny and, in a strange way, provide solutions to some taxing problems.
It is difficult to discuss a game like this without giving too much away. As always, the game looks, sounds and plays really well. Whilst very funny, I can’t help but feel that the jokes are starting to lose their edge and constantly relating the random one-liners may be getting a bit old. But maybe that is just me?
What more can be said about a game that features molepeople, elves, vampires and a very annoying baby Amelia Earheart? Mysterious tombs, dangerous train journeys and a mystical can o’ nuts that allows the heroes to hide inside? Well, it is confusing, often totally random and always tongue in cheek. It could also be said to have the most shocking cliff hanger ending thus far in the series.
I am sure that you know what you are letting yourself in for by playing this. There is about 6 hours of good natured entertainment to be had and I cannot think of a better way to spend this time. If you have yet to play episode one of The Devil’s Playhouse, it may be worth going there first, just for continuities sake. Not that there is anything stopping you from jumping straight into The Tomb of Sammun-Mak. It will still be just as gloriously confusing.