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Sam and Max The Devils Playhouse Episode 5

 

 

SCORE: 61

 

Sam and Max The Devils Playhouse Episode 5 

 

Sam & Max return to finish out this season in Episode 5: The City that Dares Not Sleep. If you’ve followed this season of Sam & Max, you won’t be surprised by much in this fifth and final installment. Now sleeeeeep…(okay this probably isn’t funny to you unless you’ve played it).

The graphical presentation is identical to that of the previous episodes with perhaps a bit more color here and there due to the design of the environment you’ll spend most of your time in. You’ll find the usual cartoon violence, though it is less pervasive than some of the other episodes in the series. There is a bit of death touched upon in this one, but in the form of self-sacrifice for the good of others which is a redeeming quality not often found in this series. Some exaggerated imagery of pregnancy is prevalent and may be disturbing or just plain distracting to some.

As usual the music used is fantastic and perfectly suits the wacky style these games are known for. The voice acting is excellent and the dialog between characters is consistently hilarious. Unfortunately the game again finds the need to throw in some foul language here and there to tarnish the otherwise sharp- witted script. The “a-word” and “d-word” are both used more than once as well as a few suggestive comments here and there. While these are certainly not the worst things found in modern video games, being that this episode is again rated 10+ I am disappointed that these things made it into the final cut.

The replay value is negligible as is to be expected from this type of episodic game. There are no bonus features or unlockables to speak of. Players will get the most of this series by playing all 5 episodes in succession as each episode by itself tends to be quite short. Episode 5 in particular seems to have more focus on wrapping up the storyline than providing players with things to do.

The gameplay holds no surprises. Pointing and clicking, dialog selection, and puzzle solving are still the name of the game. The use of psychic powers is greatly diminished in the episode, which is a significant change from previous episodes. The solving of puzzles is still fun and there are a good variety of things for players to riddle out. The fantastic hint system is still present making the puzzle solving as difficult or as easy as you’re comfortable with. There are also plenty of throwbacks to previous episodes and seasons that fans will appreciate. As I mentioned before, this episode seems a bit weighty on the side of storytelling and a bit light on the gameplay side of things.  Obviously it was necessary to wrap things up in this final episode, but I would have enjoyed a bit more actual gameplay.

This series has disappointed me with its consistent and unnecessary use of suggestive themes and subtle profanity. The game is marketed as safe for players 10 years and up which I feel is a bit deceiving for parents. Parents seeing a 10+ rating on a game with a very cartoonish appearance are likely to assume this is an appropriate game for their child to play. As a parent myself, I would be very concerned by the content my child would be exposed to when playing this game. In this episode my biggest problem was the fact that Satan makes an appearance (as one might assume by the title of this season). What’s worse is how lightly the whole subject is approached and that Satan is portrayed as a poor misunderstood villain. I am more than aware that the creators of this game do not necessarily hold the same views and beliefs that I do. I simply want parents and potential players to be aware of the content so they can make an informed decision when they consider purchasing this title. I would love to see more of this series from Telltale without the use of profanity and suggestive themes. The game can certainly stand well on all the good things it has going for it without the pointless offensive content.
-Roger

 

Graphics: 60%
Sound: 56%
Replay/Extras: 57%
Gameplay: 85%
Family Friendly Factor: 47%
System: Playstation 3/Personal Computer
Publisher: Telltale Games
Rating: 'E10+' for Everyone 10+
{Alcohol Reference, Comic Mischief, Language, Mild Cartoon Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes}

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Roger@familyfriendlygaming.com