Sam & Max Hit the Road – The Freelance Police, Crime Fighting Vigilantes [VIDEO]

You may know of the Sam & Max characters from the more recent Telltale reincarnation, however for those who were enjoying point and click adventure games back in the early 90’s will remember the original video game featuring a six-foot upright dog wearing a very official looking suit and a bizarre looking behaviourally challenged rabbit.

Together they form the Freelance Police, a superb yet bizarre crime fighting duo who find themselves in all types of unusual situations.

If you were looking for two individuals who tackle day to day problems in lets shall we say an unorthodox manner, you have certainly come to the right place. Sam and Max will find solutions to problems that never really existed in the first place and create problems that only their solutions can curtail. This is the wacky and strangely wonderful world of Sam & Max. Confused? Well don’t worry as this is a ride you will not wish to miss.

Released by LucasArts for DOS in 1993, Sam & Max Hit the Road is a 2D point and click adventure game that begins with a mad scientist who takes it upon himself to tie up a rather attractive brunette to a chair after their relationship won’t pass the dreaded ‘friends’ stage. In true mad scientist form, he resorts to pointing sinister looking weapons at the damsal in distress, threatening that she will ‘fry like a pork sausage’ – not bad considering this is only their third date!

Just in the nick of time, Sam & Max Freelance Police ram their car through the wall into the scientists lair. In a rather nonchalant manner, Sam greets everyone followed by sticking his hands casually in his trouser pockets, while Max is confused at their probable wrong turn. It doesn’t take long though for our duo to understand the situation, which happily for Max results in him giving a good old fashioned butt whipping.

After a few short moments, it soon becomes clear that the scientist is actually some kind of android – clearly demonstrated by Max ripping its head off, revealing the workings within. If things weren’t complicated enough, this turns out to be a ticking bomb!

With no time to lose, Sam & Max grab the bomb and drive off in their car – although forgetting to untie the grateful lady from her chair. The ‘pleasantly understated credit sequence’ begins with ‘cheesy retro ambience’ and of course the memorable music we have all become to love, a mix of Jazz and other genres thrown in for good measure.

Back at Sam & Max’s office in New York, it’s time to decide what to do with the soon to explode bomb so it doesn’t hurt anyone they know or care about. The solution is to simply chuck the head out of their office window as ‘there is nothing but strangers out there’.

With perfect timing, the office phone rings and the scramble to answer the call where Max never seems to succeed takes place. This is their all important next mission from the Commissioner.

A frozen Sasquatch (that’s a Bigfoot to you and me) by the name of Bruno disappears, captured by well known Country & Western star Conroy Bumpus along with his henchman Lee Harvey. Conroy intends to cruelly use Bruno as part of his singing act.

The voice acting is lovingly crafted and so is the cartoon styled artwork that oozes comedy through every backdrop and animation. The iMUSE dynamic music adds to the suspense and humour as it changes rapidly to suit the moment, while the imaginative storyline has you captivated from scene to scene.

Who could forget the chain of Snuckey’s stores with a creepily similar setting and rather large customer, the visit to the World of Fish and a trip in a helicopter, the Celebrity Vegetable Museum, a swinging challenge at Gator Golf as well as the majestic view at the World’s largest ball of twine.

The traditional interactive options that usually covers a third of the display with selections such as ‘Look’, ‘Open’, ‘Use’ and others are nowhere to be seen – instead the beautiful artwork fills the entire screen, while a click of the right mouse button revealed the various interactions on offer. All that appears is an inventory icon in the corner to access your collected items.

Also included are a set of mini-games to break up the gameplay a little, however these didn’t receive very good reviews from the critics.

Sam & Max Hit the Road is a truly delightful point and click adventure game that takes two unusual characters, places them in a world full of laugh out loud comedy and takes you for a crazy joyride that you will never forget. Titles in this genre don’t get much better than this!

If you enjoyed this content, you can support James' work by purchasing them a coffee...

James Woodcock

James is a Freelance Journalist, Copywriter, Author, Blogger & Podcaster specialising in gaming, gadgets and technology, both retro and modern. Ever since he experienced the first controllable pixel movement on the television screen, he has been entranced by the possibilities and rewarding entertainment value generated from these metal and plastic boxes of delight. Writing hundreds of articles, including commentary and reviews on various gaming platforms, whilst also interviewing well-known industry figures for popular online publications. Creator of the ScummVM Music Enhancement Project and host of the Game & Gadget Podcast. View his portfolio for more information.

James Woodcock has 1094 posts and counting. See all posts by James Woodcock

Leave a comment...