+ Mind numbing puzzles
+ It's free
- It's way to short
- Newcomers drawn by the fact the episode is free are dumped in the middle of the series
Abe Lincoln Must die follows everyone's fave Dog and rabbity thing, Sam and Max, while they cause chaos in the white house and run for president in the elections. Inevitably this is going to lead to a series of gut achingly hilarious events involving a dating agency, an anti-soda organisation and the Lincoln memorial.
The main attraction to Abe Lincoln Must Die is the fact that it is a free game. This means that you get a free full game without having to join any mailing lists or shady advertising schemes. However a lot of free games before Abe Lincoln Must Die have either seemed shallow or they just sucked and so the idea that it is free may make you turn up your nose. Well if it comforts you this is a free episode in a series of games you usually have to pay for, ensuring that this is a quality title and not some amateur attempt at making a point and click adventure game. But being a free episode to a story driven series brings a few bad points. The biggest and most noticable dissapoint is the game, due to the series' episodic release structure, is very short even if you explore every nook and cranny programmed in to this game. Also if you are a newcomer to the series and like me you have been drawn to this game because its free you are acutally dropped in to the middle of the series. And as there are more than a couple of references to the previous installments in the series to appeal to Sam and Max fans you are going to feel like you are being left out on the joke.
Saying that though the game is filled to the brim with humour that everyone will find hillarious. You would literally need a heart of stone to not laugh out a belly laugh on at least one occasion. As soon as you boot this game up and you watch the opening sequence you know you are in for a treat when Max draws his gun and says "get the keys." after sam reveals the president of the united states is planning on introducing mandatory gun registration. In fact I found myself clicking on absolutely everything multiple times to make sure I had unlocked every line of dialog and milked my last laugh from the game. Nearly the entire game comprises of brilliant political satire in some form or another and it will appeal to adults and children alike. This satire is backed up by a brilliant cast of wild and wacky characters, who are reminisent of both Monty Python style personalities and Sam and Max themselves seem to be a dark and disturbing take on the Looney Tunes. And thats no bad thing either! The constant bouncing of jokes between the calm and collected hound and borderline insane rabbit is the funniest thing in the script.
The gameplay comprises little more than pointing and clicking on items. This may seem shallow at first to the newcomers to the genre but the further you delve in to the game the deeper this gameplay style gets. In fact all the way through the game you will have to have your wits about you because some rather fiendish puzzles that have some rather simple, kick yourself for not seeing it any quicker, answers are thrown in your path as soon as you gain control of the main characters. As an example the opening puzzle took me around half an hour just to find out that I had to go back to the office and phone the white house. I don't want to spoil any more puzzles for you but I can say that you will be spending some time thinking of ways of getting to the end of the game.
Graphically Abe Lincoln Must Die is nothing truly special. It isn't bad but don't expect a technological breakthrough either. The frame rate is solid and the cartoony style is great with, which I have previously stated, it's Looney Tunes go bad style. However some enviroments look a little sub par with a lot of todays features no longer using obvious 2D backgrounds. Also some of the animation looks a tad clinical.
The game has a great soundtrack. Im not just talking music here but I'm also talking about effects and voice acting. The voice acting backs up the script amazingly well, capturing the characters personality perfectly. Any different and Abe Lincoln Must Die wouldn't be anywhere near as funny as it is. The music is very good. Not good enough to make me rush off to buy a soundtrack any time soon but it is in itself a parody of the od movie soundtracks, a parody it does well.
Overall Abe Lincoln Must Die is a great little package which is pretty much only marred by it's greatest attraction, it being free, and it's disapointingly short length. No excuses, you must play this game. It is free so you are not loosing out on much even if you don't like it.