• Sam & Max Hit the Road


  • Graphic Adventure


  • LucasArts


  • LucasArts

Release Date:

  • November 1993

On Wikipedia:


  • Mac, DOS

Game Designer:

  • Steve Purcell

For the sake of not repeating myself, I did write a bit on Sam & Max Hit the Road in my original review with other point-and-click adventure games. Most of that review still holds, but I did mention a plothole where Bruno and Trixie were captured. After replaying it there is a line when the mole man Shuv-Ool does "sense" Bruno with a line borrowed from Star Wars (which they could get away with since it was the same company). Otherwise, there's not a lot I can say about it...the puzzles are alright and can be brute-forced if necessary (if you don't mind backtracking and pixel hunting)...the "road trip" theme is fun but even if LucasArts had made a sequel (there was one, but it was cancelled late in development and would have been based on the "GrimE" engine) it would be completely different thematically, so it wouldn't have had the road trip theme...which while it might be tired out for another Sam & Max game (at least so soon after Hit the Road) is still ripe for cutting into.

Stopping at "Snuckey's" with a Bernald Bernoulli look-alike.

The other part of what makes the theme interesting and engaging both that it's rare, but not to the point of cynicism as we've seen in so many games and movies especially in post-9/11 America. There's almost no mention of politics or anything political, save for one throwaway line that mentions Dan Quayle. As far as the rest of the game goes, as The Digital Antiquarian mentions, there's both a bit of nostalgia but also with the "awareness that, really, all of this stuff was pretty tacky and stupid even in its heyday". Likewise, there's several jabs toward the country-western genre in general but the also the fact that Conroy Bumpus is not actually from rural America at all (he grew up in Brighton). Unfortunately, while the theme, writing, and puzzles are good, the plot is far weaker (not that Sam & Max particularly care for it), but at least it didn't end up like Monkey Island 2 turned out to be (but that's for another time).

So how would I rank it against other SCUMM games? Well, I haven't played some of the lesser-known, lesser-loved ones (LOOM, The Dig...Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders)...but I would put it above Full Throttle, at least...and probably above Secret of Monkey Island since it's kind of dated...and above Maniac Mansion which is rather difficult, and unlike later games has a variety of variety of ways to die or otherwise lose the game, even if it was not as cruel as what Infocom and Sierra On-Line were doing at the time.

But I'm not just comparing it to other SCUMM games, I'm comparing it to the other point-and-click adventures on this page...and I'll guess I'll bump it to GOOD, even though I have reservations about giving it such a glowing review.