Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse Episode 3: They Stole Max’s Brain! Review
PS3 | PC
Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse Episode 3: They Stole Max’s Brain! box art
System: PS3, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Telltale Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Telltale Games 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: June 22, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

This doesn’t make They Stole Max’s Brain! a bad episode, though. The puzzles are as worthwhile as in past episodes (for the most part), though perhaps not quite as head-scratching as in episode two.

Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse Episode 3: They Stole Max’s Brain! screenshot

The development of the season’s storyline is really the vehicle for They Stole Max’s Brain!, in fact. Like any good middle-parter, the plot thickens, previously established actions and characters’ roles are more firmly cemented and earlier plotlines (expect to see more of Sammun-Mak, Paperwaite and other familiar faces) begin to converge, making sense of what’s been seen thus far.

There are even a couple of new characters are introduced, most notably a Patrick Warburton-esque cockroach named Sal. As has been characteristic of the rest of The Devil’s Playhouse, They Stole Max’s Brain! is also more entertaining that laugh-out-loud funny, though it has its moments.

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Ulimately, They Stole Max’s Brain! is an important episode of The Devil’s Playhouse, but it also suffers somewhat from middle-child syndrome. The noir opening is by far the highlight of the episode, and while there are some strong points in the remainder, it remains a good-but-not-great outing with the freelance police. With any luck, episode four, Beyond the Alley of the Dolls, will re-up Telltale’s game (the closing shot of this episode—a creepy horde of silent, soulless Sams—is certainly one that raises eyebrows). Let’s hope there’s some fresh twists on the game’s tried-and-true design, or at least some new toys of power to play with, when it hits next month.

By Steve Haske
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
HD Sam & Max continues to shine.
4.0
Control
Controls are the same as they’ve always been—easy to use and precise.
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Another fantastic vocal performance by The Devil’s Playhouse cast. Sam’s David Knowlin particularly deserves high praise here, effortlessly growling hard-boiled monologues in the opening of the episode.
3.7
Play Value
Despite the episode’s fantastic opening, They Stole Max’s Brain! is a good, but not great, Sam & Max adventure. It’s a shame there aren’t any extras to make you play through again
3.8
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • The Devil’s Playhouse’ plot thickens in this third episode of the season
  • One of the most varied chapters to date
  • Shows sides of Sam and Max never before seen


  • Screenshots / Images
    Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse Episode 3: They Stole Max’s Brain! screenshot - click to enlarge Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse Episode 3: They Stole Max’s Brain! screenshot - click to enlarge Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse Episode 3: They Stole Max’s Brain! screenshot - click to enlarge Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse Episode 3: They Stole Max’s Brain! screenshot - click to enlarge Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse Episode 3: They Stole Max’s Brain! screenshot - click to enlarge Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse Episode 3: They Stole Max’s Brain! screenshot - click to enlarge Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse Episode 3: They Stole Max’s Brain! screenshot - click to enlarge Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse Episode 3: They Stole Max’s Brain! screenshot - click to enlarge

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