Today, Telltale Games officially announced Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse, the third season in the series, for the PC, Mac and PlayStation Network. The series will release in 5 episodes beginning with the first episode titled The Penal Zone coming out April 15th.
I had the chance to sit down and play the beginning of this episode with Telltale, but before I get into the details, let me catch everyone up to speed. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Telltale Games, they tend to focus their efforts on episodic games, which resemble TV episodes complete with cliffhangers. As for Sam and Max, the police duo originated in comic books in the early 80's and have since made the leap over to the video game realm.
The Penal Zone has this B movie or sci-fi vibe to it, complete with narration by an old creepy guy in the same vein as Rod Serling from The Twilight Zone. Sam and Max are locked away courtesy of General Skunkape and it's your job to assist in their escape. I don't want to spoil any surprises, but you will see some familiar faces from previous seasons.
The first episode will introduce you to a new mode called Max Mode, which will allow you to take control of Max and use these magical items called Toys of Power. The first Toy of Power is a teleportation phone which can teleport you directly to the location of characters whose phone numbers you've acquired. The second is called Rhinoplasty, which is basically a huge ball of silly putty, which Max can use to copy pictures with and then turn into that object (For example, I could press the putty into a picture of a bazooka and then Max would turn into a bazooka). The third Toy of Power is a mind reading device. Each episode is focused on a single toy and puzzles involving it. What is wonderful about these devices is that it has created a new way to interact in the Sam and Max world. You don't just use an item from your inventory in a straightforward way like you may think. The game forces you to think out of the box and as a result makes for very rewarding gameplay.
From what I was shown, the Devil's Playhouse looks to be just as entertaining as the past seasons. Telltale has slightly improved on their technology, so I would say the game looks a bit better than it has in the past. Otherwise, if you are a fan of Sam and Max, this game is a must-have. If you have never played Sam and Max, the great thing about Season 3 is that it has nothing to do with Seasons 1 and 2, so you can still have a good time.
Although The Devil's Playhouse will be released on PSN, Mac and PC at first, it will be released on other yet to be announced platforms.