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SAM & MAX HIT THE ROAD

Reviewed by  Mr. Bill & Lela


Anyone who has ever driven along the highways and byways of America, especially on old Route 66 (called Route 99 here), will get a large charge out of this game.

It is a brilliant satire of all of the typical tourist traps and monuments to bad taste found along our roadsides during the 20th century. But it doesn't just stop there. It also makes fun of our middle class tastes and pop culture icons, including several hysterical parodies of famous personalities.

Based on the 'politically incorrect' comic created by Steve Purcell, this deranged animated adventure stars Sam, a 'canine shamus', and his partner Max, a 'naked bunny with attitude'! They are freelance police detectives, 1950's style, out to right the wrong in the world: screaming down the highway (because their siren is broken) in a 1960 Desoto that has been painted to look like a black and white squad car.

As the game begins, they are just hanging out in their office after solving a big case when the phone rings with yet another weird assignment from the Commissioner. A Bigfoot 'Abominable Snowman' named Bruno has run away from the carnival along with Trixie the Giraffe-Necked Girl. Of course it isn't long before they discover that this is just one small part of a larger pattern of Bigfoot disappearances, and so they're off: driving across the country "on a peril-fraught mission to make the world safe for Sasquatches"!

This is a 3rd person, point and click game with an easy interface and inventory. You control Sam while Max follows along doing his own thing in the background, but there are some places where you will 'use' Max just like an inventory item to solve a puzzle. The puzzles are part of the zany investigation and are primarily inventory based, involving finding an item in one location for use in another, and often combining inventory items to create something new. But since you can't die or run into a dead end, you can try everything.

In addition there are several mini games (that you find along the way) included for your amusement with the same demented attitude as the story and titles like Wak-A-Rat or Car Bomb, a Sam and Max Dress-Up book and Paint-By-Numbers kit, and even a couple of delightful screensavers. And some of the music from the game can be played independently from the CD using tracks 2-5.

The music itself is great: jazz for Sam and Max (turn on your speakers and refresh to hear some now), with a smattering of different selections (rock, blues, etc) for other characters and some typical (and funny!) country western. And the cartoon style graphics are superb, reminiscent of Day of the Tentacle, with colorful and highly detailed backgrounds and super animations.

But it is the off-the-wall humor and irreverent attitude that makes this game truly outstanding and one of a kind. The locations that you visit are only slight exaggerations of some of the tacky U.S. tourist traps that actually dotted our landscape: everything from Gator Golf ("where they take the term 'water hazard' seriously") to bungee jumping out of the nostril of your favorite President at Mount Rushmore, with regular pit stops along the way at the ubiquitous Snukey's for pecan pralines and postcards.

And the characters are absolutely priceless! With some brilliant parodies (film star Woody Allen, country western singer Conway Twitty, and new age psychic guru Uri Geller, among others) and dialogue that is filled with one-liners, pointed references and wisecrack observations, it all adds up to undoubtedly one of the funniest games that we've ever played! It's one of the all time great classics.

"So help our frightening furry flatfoots find the fugitive freak. The corn dogs beckon!"

Developed (1993) and published by LucasArts Entertainment.

This game is also available along with 2 other CDs ( Indiana Jones and the Fate of AtlantisDay of the Tentacle ) in The LucasArts Archives: Adventure Collection.

Minimum System Requirements:

Where To Buy This Game:

Walkthroughs or Hints:

"Game Guide & Walkthrough" available here!

"Game Guide & Walkthroughs" available here!


Mr. Bill's   Adventureland
Copyright  1998, Revised 2001
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