|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Telltale Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Telltale Games/GameTap||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 12, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Nathan Meunier
A dark castle stronghold in foreign lands is churning out an army of the walking dead which turn up at the doorstep of everyone's favorite anthropomorphic freelance police duo, and this time the furry detectives find themselves in mortal peril, the soul sucking kind.
Sam & Max Episode 203: Night of the Raving Dead is gloriously packed full of horror-related staples from a spooky castle setting, scores of brain-eating disco zombies, and a Frankenstein-like abomination looking for love to an emotive, masochistic vampire who also happens to be the your typical goth wanker. Apparently, Telltale's top-notch wit knows no bounds as season two continues on strong in this latest installment laden with zombie goodness. Needless to say, the fun ramps up when holy water, garlic flavored clove cigarettes, and 40 oz. of Gut-smack Malt Liquor are involved.
To change things up a bit, most of the story and gameplay in Night of the Raving Dead is actually a flashback. The episode kicks off with Sam and Max in the clutches of Jurgen, a vampiric creature obsessed with his own popularity among the zombie hordes (who also happens to run a posh dance club at his lair in Stuttengart). As the duo is precariously trapped in a spike encrusted diabolical machine poised to consume their souls, they pause to ponder exactly how they ended up in such a mess to begin with. The answers reside in a tale full of zombie shenanigans that unfolds over the course of several hours in what easily ranks as one of the best episodes in the series to date.
Sam & Max first take notice of the undead invasion when a zombie bursts into their office and makes off with the dismembered hand of Jesse James that's mounted on a plaque above their closet. Outside, there are zombies roaming freely, and the duo follows a trail of clues leading them to the distant land of Stuttengart where the crazed Jurgen is running a techno dance club for the undead. Detective skills alone are not enough to best this bloodsucker, and the duo must utilize fancy footwork, return from un-death, and prevail in a Goth rap contest (among other bizarre activities) to succeed in this supernatural face-off.
The sudden appearance of zombies is not the only oddball situation the detective duo will have to deal with. Following her recent falling out with the giant talking statue head of Abe Lincoln, Sybil is in the market for a new boyfriend, but her prospects are slim. Sybil's plans to interview and select a candidate before joining with them using a recently acquired (and consequently insidious looking) Soul Mater orb give rise to a few laughs and tie-in well to the plot later in the episode. Something is awry with Bluster Blaster over at the garage where the COPS enlist Sam and Max to help them distribute their newly developed internet service for zombies (which results in a hilarious Paperboy-style mini-game). At Stinky's, a run-in with the reanimated hand of Jesse James' leads to a gun slinging shootout, and a return to the TV studios lets Sam and Max set unique influences on the viewing audience.