Now, as this game uses the same engine as Episode 1 and is very similar in terms of gameplay, graphics, and sound, this review will be as concise as possible, since I see no need to reinvent the proverbial wheel.
Having successfully thwarted the evil plans of self-help guru Brady Culture and his use of hypnotism, our heroes Sam and Max were yet again sitting around the office looking for things to shoot… err… do. A call was all it took for our heroes to discover that famous talk show host Myra (think Oprah meets Tyra Banks) has decided to take her audience captive and continues to force them to accept her free give-aways (in this case a lifetime supply of soap, among other items). It will be up to our steadfast heroes Sam and Max to save the day yet again.
As the second episode in an episodic adventure game series, Situation Comedy supplies precisely what you would expect, in that it is more of what we saw in the first game. More humor, more dialogue choices, more driving mini-games and more hunting for items and inventory management. However, instead of launching Episode 2 with a sequel mentality of “bigger and better than part 1,” we instead see a backslide in terms of what we receive.
Situation Comedy seems to suffer from the “more of the same” syndrome. Namely, we get more of the same pun-filled and witty banter between Sam, Max, and the many colorful characters to whom we are introduced. Personally, I found myself laughing significantly less in Episode 2 than I did in Episode 1, and perhaps this was due in part to the fact that it was very similar in presentation to Episode 1. For instance, many of the descriptions of items found in the various areas, especially the office, seemed nearly identical to those used in the previous episode.
"Situation Comedy seems to suffer from the “more of the same” syndrome."
I also found the inclusion of the driving mini-game in this episode to be disappointing and completely unnecessary; it actually seemed to take away from the game for me. I found the introduction of elements like the Skin Bodies and Bosco’s new identity were extremely humorous, but weren’t explored enough for me to truly appreciate them.
Following the theme of more of the same, Situation Comedy is structured very similarly to Culture Shock. In this episode, you are again asked for a predetermined number of goals to be met prior to proceeding to the end-game sequence. The puzzles tend to range from collecting items to trying various dialogue options until you get things right. In terms of difficulty, I found Situation Comedy to be slightly easier than Culture Shock and, for those who didn’t read my previous review, this means Sam and Max Episode 2: Situation Comedy is very easy.
With episodic content, we are seeing that developers don’t seem to know how much game to include in each episode to keep people playing. Some type of formula needs to exist, as I completed Situation Comedy in just over two hours, which was about an hour shorter than the previous episode. I am not certain if this episode wasn’t long enough, or if I was just much more prepared for it playing through the previous episode, but I just did not enjoy it as much as I did Culture Shock.
"I just did not enjoy it as much as I did Culture Shock. "
Still, for a relatively inexpensive game that is bound to entertain you, however briefly, it is a fun experience. I recommend this game for those who are fans of the Sam and Max series, but I recommend a pass to those looking for a longer gameplay experience for their money. As such, if you are a fan of the series then consider it a 7 out of 10; otherwise, see the score below.
Entertaining new characters.
The spoofing of pop culture continues to impress.
Solid voice acting and dialogue.
This game is like taking the first game, removing an hour, and then the challenge.
What is offered in Episode 2 does not quite match the price point.