From The Archive is a series that takes articles previously written by Jennifer McMurray and presents them to a new audience. The Mole, The Mob, and The Meatball review was originally published at The Adventuress on May 18, 2010.
The third episode of the season continues the feeling of deja-vu from the last, but still manages to be a fun game.
In the previous episode, the duo found a hypnotic bear tied to Don Ted E. Bear and the Ted E. Bear mafia. This episode sees Sam & Max traveling to the Ted E. Bear Mafia Free Playland and Casino to try to get to the bottom of the hypnosis once and for all.
The running gags continue once again, with Bosco impersonating a nation with a bad accent, Sybil taking on a new profession, and Bosco ultimately selling you a worthless gadget for a lot of money. It’s only three episodes in, but it’s already starting to get a little stale. The previously used locations of Sam & Max’s office, Bosco’s, and especially Sybil’s are also becoming quite repetitive by this point. I started off liking Sybil a lot, but by this episode I’m growing a little tired of her.
Sadly, the new location is not that interesting this time around. It’s fun for fans of Telltale’s earliest work to see an unexpected cameo from a character from a previous game. He works out surprisingly well, and actually fits into the world of Sam & Max perfectly. He’s my favorite new (to this series) character in this episode.
The jokes are a little more mature in this episode, and there is a running gag revolving some innuendo that is pretty funny. I found myself going to every character with the gag just to see what their reaction would be. There is also a play on words involving Don Ted E. Bear that I found pretty funny. The humor in the game starts out slow, but kicks it up a notch towards the end. There is a really funny sequence with Max during the final scene that actually made me laugh out loud.
The music is a shining moment here, as the music is really memorable. The shining moment is a really funny musical number that is a throwback to a scene in the Conroy Bumpus Museum in Sam & Max Hit the Road. There are actually quite a few references to Sam & Max’s first video game outing in this episode, which brings a bit of continuity to the series that I’m glad to see.
Despite the tired running gags and over-used locations, this episode still has a lot of humor in it to make it worth playing. The music has never been better in a Telltale Sam & Max game up to this point, and the voice acting is excellent as always. Telltale was still refining the episodic concept at this point, and it doesn’t reach the levels of later episodes in the season, but it’s still worth playing.
3½ out of 5