Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse Episode 3: They Stole Max's Brain Impressions

The Sam & Max franchise gets a film-noir twist in the next episode of The Devil's Playhouse.

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Contrary to the reports we've been hearing for the last decade, the classic adventure genre isn't dying. In fact, adventure games had a particularly strong showing at E3 2010, thanks in part to the continued efforts of Telltale Games. We stopped by the developer's booth to get a glimpse of the next installment in the current season of Sam & Max.

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Who's Making It: The witty minds at Telltale Games, of course. This is the team behind the other Sam & Max episodes, as well as Tales of Monkey Island, Wallace & Gromit, and upcoming games based on the Jurassic Park and Back to the Future licenses.

What It Looks Like and What It's About: They Stole Max's Brain looks to film noir as its inspiration, from both a visual and a gameplay perspective. The fan-favorite narrator returns to guide us through the charming story, which starts with Sam returning from a bathroom break to discover that Max's head has been sawed open and his brain is nowhere to be found. The visuals and dialogue have a fantastic crime-fiction attitude but are twisted with tongue-in-cheek wit. As he investigates this terrible crime, Sam may launch into melancholy monologues--a habit that inspired a character in the demo we saw to say, "Are you trying to get me depressed?" During another conversation, a rat proclaimed that he "saw something brain-related." Series fans will love the hysterical dialogue and charming characterizations.

What You Do: No surprise: The newest Sam & Max episode is a story-driven adventure game, though the film-noir inspiration expands beyond just the visuals and dialogue. The first half of the game focuses on interrogation. As Sam seeks clues to Max's missing medulla, he'll have several ways of handling the various suspects, all of whom have secrets to hide. As Max, you can threaten suspects, ask for information, or even mutter about various melodramatic musings. We saw these options in action when Sam approached a moleman, who eventually revealed that the space gorilla was involved and had apparently been released from the penal zone.

The episode goes in a different direction about halfway through, but unfortunately, Telltale Games did not respond to any of our intense interrogation techniques by dropping any tantalizing tidbits about that shift in gameplay.

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What They Say: They Stole Max's Brain will be available to download in a matter of days, on June 22, 2010. Two more episodes will round out the current season.

What We Say: At one point during the demo, a character alluded to an itchy sensation in his boxers. If you like adventure games or Sam & Max or just appreciate games that put a smile on your face, They Stole Max's Brain is likely to elicit a similar reaction in your own underpants.

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davonas

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this game looks kind of okay

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buckethead12346

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thinks its gonna be good

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Genesis_123

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Did it a game that was literally going to be released a week later need to be at E3?

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jeffv547

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I usta play that one on mac back in the day. Fun stuff

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rgrambo

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"Why is this not on the 360?" BOO HOO! Nothing but crumbs for us PC gamers for years now. (oh, I mean us theiving software pirates that drove off the devs) And just in case youre lost to my cynicism, Im calling those particular devs (you know who you are) lying profiteers that sold out to console money and then blamed and slandered the consumer. (piracy exists for all platforms, grrr) Dont worry Tripleseed it wont be long. Soon, we'll just use our PC to transfer money and personal information for in-game (console) marketing strategies. Mad props to those crazy PC'centric devs! Tripleseed Posted Jun 23, 2010 1:49 pm GMT Why is this not on the 360? I've got all the Sam & Max episodes that were released on the XBLA, so it's a bit disconcerting that they haven't released these yet. It's on the PC, I don't see why they can't just port it to the 360.

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Tripleseed

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Why is this not on the 360? I've got all the Sam & Max episodes that were released on the XBLA, so it's a bit disconcerting that they haven't released these yet. It's on the PC, I don't see why they can't just port it to the 360. :(

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Aderdunn_3

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kinda funny and attractive........I really like Sam&Max

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Reilly86

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I’ve yet to play this series but 1 and 2 were both great. Hit the Road is still the best Sam & Max game.

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jamccain

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sweet tommoworw

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jamccain

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my favorite seoson yet

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FlamingFury

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Did a Telltale employee write this? It's sucking up to them heaps lol. The game does look good though.

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no_cultureicons

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There's already a trailer on the Telltale Games site.

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hasathegreat

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I love Sam & Max! so far the season was great! can't wait to play that one! But why don't they release a trailer like in the previous ones?

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