Dating back to 1993 and requiring a 386 processor and a whopping 4 MB or RAM (my current PC has 6,000 times that amount), Sam & Max Hit the Road is one of my earliest CD-ROM games. To this day it’s one of the most beloved adventures games and it made Telltale’s take on the franchise such a nostalgia-fueled joy as well. Now, the first season of those Telltale games is back in a remastered version – here’s what to expect.
Of course Telltale (in its original form) is no more, but the Sam & Max license went to Skunkape Games, which has people on board who previously worked on the franchise as well. The current release only features the six episodes in the first season, but some of the visuals suggest that seasons 2 and 3 will get the same treatment, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for new adventures after that.
The new Remastered version of Sam & Max Save the World looks and feels like you remember it, until you look a little closer and notice the improvements that have been made. Better resolution and aspect ratio options are par for the course with remasters, but everything also feels a bit more polished. The game runs smoother than before, and the characters no longer just flap their mouths open and shut randomly but actually do so in sync with the voiceovers. And although we played with the classic mouse and keyboard option, there is now also an option to play the game with a gamepad, opening up the door to a possible console version later as well.
Content-wise, not much has changed – the locations, puzzles and story beats are the same ones you’ve experienced before. The same is true for the humor, which as a result becomes a mix of great nostalgic fun and a few outdated quips here and there. Not everything has aged well, but the cartoon-like look – especially with a little polish – is still pleasant to look at, even though these aren’t the most detailed visuals you’ll encounter.
For fans looking to dive back into the Sam & Max series, this offers a nice layer of polish and the hope of more on the horizons. It also comes with a discount for people who already owned the Telltale versions. For newcomers it’s the best time to jump in, although I have a feeling that without the nostalgia factor these games will become less enjoyable.