Sam and Max: This Time It’s Virtual!
Sam and Max: This Time It’s Virtual! Images:
I'll have to admit I was excited to play this one! I love off the wall commentary and this is a franchise that brought me back to childhood.
However as the game progressed, so did my enthusiasm towards it. My location would change but the mechanics were so repetitive it started feeling like an unrewarding chore to keep playing.
Like a parent trying to convince you that cleaning your room could be a fun game if you just want it to be.
Now let's get into it...
Simple and repetitive. The game plays as if you're in a repetitive tutorial on how to shoot, climb and throw objects for 80% of the game with what feels like only 20% of the game is story-driven.
Very little to complain about here as the environments are wonderful, colorful, and detailed! You truly feel as if you jumped into the cartoon world of Sam And Max.
This is where the game shines most. The voiceovers are top-notch and what we've come to expect from the Sam And Max franchise!
The voice acting for the main characters and various bad guys really pull you into the cartoon world.
What a total let down in my opinion! For a game about detectives, there's truly no plot or mystery whatsoever!
The game feels more concerned about the mechanics such as teaching players how to properly climb and shoot than it does about its story.
There is very, very little story progression with no overall story arch to make you care about reaching the end.
After an hour of simple minigames, I finally got into an actual investigation and it lasted under 20 minutes. Once the investigation was over that was the end of that bad guy and it was on to another hour of the same minigames with just a slightly different theme applied to them.
Replayability in Sam And Max comes with a letter grade score system in each of the minigames.
At the end of each minigame, you're presented with a report card displaying your stats. The issue was I felt no motivation whatsoever to improve my score.
Maybe a global leaderboard or a chance to challenge a friend's score would have been welcomed. Even collectibles or unlockable trophies would have added to this game... Yet what we get feels lazy and bare minimum.
The environments are very detailed and full of as much lively character as Sam and Max themselves.
When you enter the office of these characters, there are LOADS of objects to interact with, and picking each object up sparks clever dialogue between the characters about that item!
When presented with multiple items to toss at objects, Max will often jump in, curl into a ball and let you toss him as well!!
They made guns/bazookas/lasers/super-soakers manual reload which is nice but nothing to the extent of say Population: One
There are a couple of areas in which the game breaks immersion and the biggest culprit of this is restricting your movement during some dialog. Nothing feels worse to me in VR than when you go from having full control of motion to feeling as if your feet have been nailed to the ground.
They also try and force you in parts to move between movement with thumbsticks and moving in the real world. This is especially frustrating to anyone forced to play seated. However, it doesn't happen often!
Motion Options: 10
There's every motion setting you'd like here in VR with the exception to vignetting. I was pleased to find speed settings for free motion. You're allowed to speed up or slow down your walk speed and well as the ability to teleport if you prefer that.
You start off in the back of a convertible cruising through the city and that may trigger motion sickness for the faint of heart but if you can get past that you'll most likely have no issues in this game.
There was one consistent spot that really made my knees go weak. Every time you complete a minigame stage in their obstacle course, the section lifts into the air and your brain tells you that you're falling through the world when you're really not.
Learning Curve: 10
The mechanics of this game are simple, almost too simple! It really feels like an introduction to VR than anything else.
The most challenging and creative mechanic in the game is a "Simon Says" meets "Bop-It" style puzzle that has you defusing bombs built into robot heads!
Anyone can pick this game up and play with very little instruction or challenge.
Value for Money: 6.2
This one is tricky because it really does depend on your gaming preferences.
If you love simplistic midway minigames, off-the-wall commentary, and the Sam and Max franchise... Odds are you've already made your mind up and have purchased this game regardless of the review!
For everyone else, this game will feel completely overpriced. This game is VERY repetitive and you can really feel they've done all they can to stretch simple mechanics out in order to have Oculus accept it into the store.
Sam and Max: This Time It’s Virtual!
Summary: Sam is a dog with a hat. Max is a hyperkinetic naked rabbity thing. Together, they’re the Freelance Police
Game Modes: Single User
Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative
Platforms: Oculus Quest
Publishers: Big Sugar
Release Date: July 8, 2021
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0