PC Review: Sam and Max: The Tomb of Sammun-Mak (The Devil’s Playhouse Episode 2)

May 19, 2010 by  

Sameth and Maximus grab The Devil’s Toybox, but how did they die?

At the end of The Penal Zone, Sam and Max turned around to find bony remains of what looked like them. An omen of things to come? No. Actually it turns out that they were their great grandparents Sameth and Maximus. However, they did leave behind 4 film reels that play out how the duo got their hands on The Devil’s Toybox and how they died. The difference is that you have to actually play it out yourself.

Each film reel takes place at different parts of the story such as trying to win a contest to go to Egypt, getting the Toybox and trying to find out how stole it on the train home, then you can answer the questions at the end for them to claim their prize. Maximus also has psychic powers and this episode introduces some nice new ones like a ventriloquist’s dummy that lets you put your words in someone else’s mouth and a can o’ nuts that hides Sameth and Maximus until they decide to put out of the can.

Instead of simply completing one reel to the next, you must switch between them to find items and answers that will help you complete each one before tackling the 4th. You can also get killed by making mistakes, but this will result in a rewind or being taken back to the projector to change the film reel. Each film reel is pretty interesting and explains quite a bit, especially how Jurgen (From Beyond Time and Space) became a vampire in the first place!

The puzzles in this episode are pretty tough and chances are you may need to use the walkthrough on Telltale’s website (at the time of writing it isn’t live but its meant to be going up soon) Although the majority of them can be worked out, plus Sameth and Maximus do drop the occasional hint depending on the settings you put on. Doing a flashback episode was a risky thing for Telltale to do, since most would rather just carry on the main story. Having said that, I imagine that everything in here will play some significance in future episodes. It’s also a pretty damn good episode to see old and new faces, plus the writing is top notch as always.

The episode is perhaps a little shorter than the first, but it’s still a decent length. The ending is pretty obvious though, especially considering the name of the next episode…”They Stole Max’s Brain!” Although it will be curious to see an episode in which Max isn’t active, at least not near the start. Of course, this is pure speculation at this point.

The Verdict

The Tomb of Sammun-Mak is a great follow-up to The Penal Zone, despite being a prequel episode to the events of how The Devil’s Toybox was discovered. It’s typically zany and ludicrous…but that’s what makes Sam and Max one of the best episodic series’ there is. Now, I can’t wait to get Max’s brain back!

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