|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|
Fortunately, the undead theme in episode 203 is given the same absurdly hilarious and thorough treatment as almost every other subject to appear in a Sam & Max episode. Players can readily expect an abundance of jokes about eating brains and zombie-speak alongside other gags poking fun at raver and goth subcultures with glow sticks and clove cigarettes respectively. A few well-placed nods to zombie pop culture are nicely worked into the game. Horror film and video game enthusiasts should enjoy references to George A. Romero and Resident Evil, among others. It's funny as hell when Sam turns up an old typewriter ink ribbon lying on the table in the Zombie Factory and even later on when the bloody phrase "you are dead" splashes across the screen.
The cast in Night of the Raving Dead features a good balance between recycled characters from past episodes and interesting new additions. Aside from being fairly irritating, Jurgen is perhaps one of the more odd villains to be concocted in season two. Agent Superball makes a surprise return (both as a potential love interest for Sybil and as a bouncer for the castle at Stuttengart); Flint Paper gets to kick some undead behind; and the moon hamster guy is truly vile. Otherwise, players will see a few new faces and a few old ones, including the COPS, Stinky, Abe, and the pretentious acting chicken from season one, among others. Bosco is noticeably absent (his store is padlocked) from the episode, but the cliffhanger ending of Night of the Raving Dead insinuates this topic will be explored in a future episode.
While areas like controls, gameplay, graphical style, and the quality voice acting found in the Sam and Max series are largely the same from episode to episode, the puzzles do fluctuate occasionally. Some are tough while others are more obvious; the hint system will keep you on track in a pinch. Each episode continues to provide a surprisingly consistent level of charm and humor in how the puzzles are implement which is a big part of what makes Sam and Max titles so enjoyable. Overall, the challenges continue to be interesting this time around, and it's fun to see the return of the multiple choice musical selection puzzle when it comes to the rap-off between the detectives and Jurgen.
A zombie episode is perfectly fitting for the series, and it's a refreshing change of pace from past themes. Telltale once again pulls it off with buckets of style in Night of the Raving Dead, making it hard not to recommend for newcomers to the series or seasoned Sam and Max fans.
CCC Staff Contributor