Playing Telltale games on a PC is a wonderful and magical experience, but playing them on anything else can be at best frustrating. Be it poor control schemes or worse frame rates, Telltale's record on home consoles has not been the best and unfortunately Sam & Max does not show a major sense of improvement. But before we get into what went wrong, I want to talk about the things Telltale got right because for all its technical failures The Penal Zone is still a great Sam & Max adventure.
Like the previous titles, The Devil's Playhouse features a season-long story arc driven by the Toys of Power, a series of classic children's toys that imbue Max with new abilities. Thought most of these toys serve as little more than keys to a puzzle a few prove to be invaluable aids. The Eyes of Yog-Sogoth for example grant Max the ability to see into the future, and serve as a subtle hint system. Though at times they can give away a little too much information, most of the time they give you just enough to get going. Max will also spend a lot of time utilizing the teleportation toy that allows him to instantly move to any telephone for which he has memorized the number.
The toys also serve as a means to drive the plot and in this particular episode attract the attention of Space Gorilla/Alien Invader, General Skun Ka'pe (also known as Skunkape). The story begins with Sam & Max trapped upon the Skunkape's ship as he rains down death upon the the city. Following a series of events involving a telepathic space brain and Max morphing into a Bazooka, Sam manages to trap Skunkape in the Penal Zone, a Phantom Zone-like, inter-dimensional prison. Unfortunately for them once the credits roll it becomes clear this was all just a vision seen through the Eyes of Yog-Sogoth. While pondering just what this vision could mean, Skunkape's ship arrives and lands next to Bosco's Inconvenience Store. He claims to come in peace, but Sam & Max know better and set about proving his evil intentions and stopping his quest for the Toys of Power. It's weird, at times nonsensical and everything you could possibly want after the long three-year drought Telltale forced us to endure.