Sam & Max: The Tomb of Sammun-Mak for the PC is the latest episode in Telltale Games' Sam & Max series The Devil's Playhouse. The release of episodic content has proved a success for Telltale; does the good fortune continue in The Tomb of Sammun-Mak?
In the game you control Sammeth, a dog who stands upright at six feet tall, wears a snappy suit and solves mysteries that are far more bizarre than the fact that he's a 6 foot tall dog who wears a suit. Yes I referred to him as Sammeth and not Sam because in The Tomb of Sammun-Mak you actually control Sam and Max's great grandparents Sammeth and Maximus, who just so happen to be detectives as well. While majority of the game sees you controlling Sammeth you will periodically need to control Maximus, a rabbit who actually wears clothes for once. The reason is that Maximus has mysterious psychic powers like a magical can of nuts, Charlie Ho-Tep (a psychic ventriloquist dummy) and most importantly the astral projector.
I say most importantly because Sammun-Mak shakes up the gameplay by telling the story through a series of film canisters. The canisters show the story of how Sammeth and Maximus recovered the Devil’s Toybox from the Tomb of Sammun-Mak. Along the way you're challenged by leading toy manufacturer Kringle and his elf employees, mole people and members of the brotherhood of Yog-Sogoth. Each film canister represents a different part in the story and, using the astral projector ability, you will need to jump to certain parts in the story, often advancing forwards in time, to discover a clue for an earlier part.
This change in storytelling was an interesting and generally well implemented element of the game. It makes it more than your standard point-and-click title and continues the innovative storytelling Sam & Max titles are known for. The game will usually let you know when you've exhausted the current reel but it's up to you to choose the correct place to go next. It can be a bit daunting at first, jumping around, but it's quite easy to get in the groove of things and find clue after clue. Maximus’s psychic powers were also well implemented into the game. They were often a key component to completing the required puzzles, if you could work out where and when to use them properly.