Sam & Max Episode 201: Ice Station Santa  
by Danyboy
January 8, 2008

 

The Story

As in a television sitcom, the season premiere kicks off a brand new story arc, enabling new audiences to dive right in along with returning fans. "Ice Station Santa" finds jolly old Saint Nick a bit off his rocker, terrorizing the elves and sending out presents that range from disappointing to downright dangerous. The future of Christmas hangs in the balance like a hand grenade perched on the shaky bough of a Douglas fir, and it's up to Sam & Max to set things straight.

Introduction

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town

In the first episode of Season 2 Sam & Max: Ice Station Santa, Santa has gone nuts and started distributing silly gifts early in November and sent a hit man to take care of our two heros. The two detectives are investigating the reason behind Santa's madness and want to get him back on track. In this episode, Telltale gives a new meaning to Christmas with a touch of authenticity taken from some of the Christmas stories we all have heard in our lives. The action of the game stars as soon as we load the game. We see a lot of the characters we saw in Season 1, but we also get to meet many new characters. Humor is still a big part of the game.

Graphics and Gameplay

Sam & Max: Ice Station Santa is mostly a third person point and click adventure game. Graphics are as good as they were in Season 1. The backgrounds are beautiful and colorful. The characters also look very good. There are new places to visit in Sam & Max's neighbourhood. You can access the menu by pressing the gear at the top left side of the screen or by pressing “Esc” to access Save/Load, Options, New Game and Quit. The inventory can be accessed by clicking on the cardboard box in the bottom left part of the screen. In the inventory, right clicking on an object will make Sam comment on the object. If you want to pick up the object left click on it to use on other objects or on characters. Clicking on a location will make Sam go to it; double-clicking makes him run. None of the characters encountered during the gameplay are stationary.

Interesting facts about the game:

- A lot of saves can be made.

- Beautiful 3D graphics and bright and beautiful colors.

- Sam can now run.

- Funny and interesting story.

Puzzles and action sequences

There are three arcade style puzzles and believe me when I say than none of them are hard to do (even when you have to use the keyboard at some point). The amount of time given to accomplish the puzzles is very generous. There is also a Stinky silly quiz where the right answers aren't that easy to find.

Music

The music is entertaining and well-chosen. The jazzy style fits every part of the game. I only wish more Christmas songs would have been used in the game.

Dialogue

Those who found that some of the dialogue in Season 1 was somewhat repetitive will be pleased with a bunch of funny new conversations between the the main characters. For Sam & Max everything is a joke even if their lives are in danger. Clicking on a lot of objects will make Sam & Max say funny comments about them and when you do that, the gameplay will be longer.

Bugs and/or patches

I didn't encounter any bugs during the gameplay.

Computer specifications

Minimal requirements:

OS: Windows XP / Vista
Processor: 800MHz (if using a video card with hardware T & L); 1.5GHz (if using a video card without hardware T & L)
RAM: 256MB
Video card: 32MB 3D-accelerated video card

Recommended Configuration:

OS: Windows XP / Vista
Processor: 1.5 GHz
RAM: 512MB
Video card: 64MB 3D-accelerated video card

My computer specifications

Windows XP SP2
RAM: 1024 MB
Sound: Onboard Sound Controller
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 6200 TurboCache
CPU: Intel Pentium 4, 3.00 GHz Processor
Disk Space : 16.63 GB
DirectX 9.0c

Closing statement

If you read my previous review of Sam & Max Season 1, you already know that I'm a devoted fan of this hilarious duo. The game had a great story, fabulous graphics and the hairy duo is just a lot of fun. Telltale made this new episode equal to the previous ones and in my opinion this episode was slightly better than the previous episodes. I do hope that the Sam & Max games will be around for many years to come. They are unique among all the games available on the market right now.

Official Website:

Sam & Max Episode 201: Ice Station Santa

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