XBLA gets Sam & Max and Axel & Pixel

Downloadable game service gets adventurous with second season of Telltale's freelance police and Silver Wish Games' artistic point-and-clicker.

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Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space
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The spirit of adventure is alive and well. After years of neglect, the adventure genre has been showing plentiful signs of life, from LucasArts' revamp and rerelease of the Secret of Monkey Island to next year's hotly anticipated PlayStation 3-exclusive Heavy Rain.

As evidenced by the Torture Me Elmer doll here, Sam & Max has an
As evidenced by the Torture Me Elmer doll here, Sam & Max has an "off kilter" sense of humor.

The genre is getting an extra boost with this week's Xbox Live Arcade updates, as both of the new titles on Microsoft's downloadable game service--Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space and Axel & Pixel--are traditional adventure games.

Axel & Pixel marks 2K Play's first foray onto the Xbox Live Marketplace. The game follows a painter and his dog as they try to escape from a surreal, hand-drawn dreamworld. Silver Wish's previous work includes the 2004 PC and Xbox flight combat game Wings of War. Axel & Pixel is now available for 800 Microsoft points ($10).

As the other featured Live Arcade release of the week, Beyond Time and Space compiles the second season of Telltale's episodic adventure series featuring the canine-lagomorph detective duo. Over the course of the game's five separate cases, players journey from the North Pole to outer space to hell and back, wacky antics ensuing at every turn. Beyond Time and Space is available for 1,600 Microsoft points ($20). For more on the game, check out GameSpot's review of Sam & Max: Season Two.

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