Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Sam & Max Episode 204: Chariots of the Dogs

Destructoid review: Sam and Max 204: Chariots of the Dogs

5:33 PM on 03.13.2008 // Anthony Burch

erere

BUY THIS GAME. Or rather, buy the whole season.

I've previously reviewed more Sam and Max episodes than I care to count, but this most recent one is by far the best, and the most undeniable proof that Telltale's Sam and Max series is one of the best things to happen to adventure gaming -- or gaming period -- in quite a while.

Where the other Sam and Max episodes were content to tell self-contained stories, Episode 204: Chariots of the Dogs ties together the narrative threads from almost every other episode of season two, making for hilarious twists, turns, and revelations a-plenty. The seeds that were sewn in episodes 1-3 finally come to fruition with this most recent installment: in this sense, Chariots of the Dogs proves just how cool episodic gaming can be. Of course, apart from that, it's also got some of the coolest, funniest puzzles in the entire Sam and Max series.

So, yeah. It's really good. Buy the whole season, if only for how this episode ties everything together. 

Hit the jump for more details. 

 

Sam and Max 204: Chariots of the Dogs (PC)
Developed by Telltale Games
Published by Telltale Games/Gametap
Released on March 13th, 2008

Chariots of the Dogs picks up exactly where Night of the Raving Dead left off: Bosco has gone missing, and it's up to Sam and Max to find him. As the first episode which directly connects with a previous one, Chariots has a greater narrative immediacy than the previous Sam and Max entries. 

Older episodes were pretty much self-contained: they told self-contained stories, included self-contained jokes, and generally did everything in their power not to reference other episodes during what was presumed to be an experimental stage in the episodic gaming model. Since Telltale had no idea whether people would watch the episodes in order, they tried to make each individual installment as user-friendly as possible. This ain't the case with Chariots of the Dogs, and the game is much, much better for it.

erer

Every minute of Chariots is jam-packed with in-jokes and fan service for thsoe who have followed the series since episode one, but not in a stupid reference-stuff-just-for-the-sake-of-referencing-stuff sort of way (I'm looking at you, Bender's Big Score). Every joke feels earned, and every plot twist is not only genuinely surprising, but totally hilarious; the show's big questions have been slowly and subtly built up throughout the course of season two, and they're finally being answered in an utterly satisfying way. For fear of spoiling anything, that's all I'll say about the plot.

Lest you fear that Chariots is nothing but a gameplay-devoid vehicle for a groovy story, worry not -- in addition to having the best story of the series, it's also got the best puzzles and gameplay structure. 

Since the series' inception, people complained that there wasn't enough variety in the locations. Every episode, Sam and Max would visit Bosco, and Sybil, and, starting this season, Stinky. You'll still visit those same areas in Chariots of the Dogs, but you'll do so using a gameplay mechanic which, in two words, should tell you everything you need to know about how purely badass this episode is.

Those two words, of course, are "time travel."

erere

Like Day of the Tentacle before it, Chariots of the Dogs' entire running time is based off time travel puzzles. Near the beginning of the game, Sam and Max get a time machine. Apart from providing a very quick and easy way to get the player from location to location without having to actually walk there, the whole scenario makes for some awesome logical quandaries. Throughout the game, you'll go back in time and prevent Bosco from ever being born, meet alternate-timeline versions of yourselves (I can honestly say that recent-past Sam and Max are responsible for the single biggest belly laugh I've ever had whilst playing a videogame), and hang out with at least one character players have heard a lot about, but never before seen in person. But again, I don't wanna spoil too much.

The episode's only real flaw is its anticlimactic ending: it sort of works as a cliffhanger for the next episode, but the "boss puzzle" which traditionally caps off every Sam and Max episode was nowhere near as difficult or lengthy as it should have been given the otherwise incredible quality of the rest of the episode. 

Don't let that dissuade you from playing, though; despite that very, very small flaw, Chariots of the Dogs is satisfying, surprising, hilarious and fun. It's the best Sam and Max episode ever, and it climactically delivers on what the episodic format always promised. I already knew the Sam and Max episodic series was one of the best things to ever happen to adventure gaming; until Chariot of the Dogs, I didn't know it was one of the best things to happen to gaming, period.

Buy the whole goddamn series.

Now.

Score: 10



THE VERDICT

10

Sam & Max Episode 204: Chariots of the Dogs - Reviewed by Anthony Burch
Editor's Choice Award - Is it legal to marry a videogame? Because I want to be with this game every day for the rest of my life. It completes me. It is my soul mate.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.




 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Sam & Max Episode 204: Chariots of the Dogs


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Testing the new blog editor update

With The Sudden Outbreak of Resident Evil Remasters...

(Fire)Watch Out!: Moving past our sensitivity for spoilers

Shouldn't gaming be more than a digital tableau?

Avengers Academy is a diseased freemium abscess on the taint of mobile gaming

Persona 4 Golden and Positivity

Cblogs of 02/06/16 and 02/07/16 + Lane to Lane Combat within the Storm

What is Metroidvania?

Wanna Bet? Fall 2015 Finale

Conquest of Elysium 4 - Review

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Lawman avatarLawman
Totally game-related, I promise.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Initial impressions on the new Digimon PS Vita game: Has Guilmon. I'll give it a Guilmon/10. Guilmon of the Year 2016. That means it's good.
Larxinostic avatarLarxinostic
Coming soon: the cat-waifu game of our steamy dreams. [img]http://i.imgur.com/UPjQCI4.png[/img]
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
They should make a Lego version of LoL just so they can call it Lego Legends.
Parismio avatarParismio
Its time for:
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
If I were to develop a mobile game, I think I'd call it Nekro Atsume.
Parismio avatarParismio
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
The ultimate waifu has been decided scientifically. There is no need to participate in the waifu wars any longer. (I won't tell you who it is until I make my own post of course)
ThePlotHoles avatarThePlotHoles
After being a Dtoid member for more than five years, finally wrote my first real blog post. Thoughts appreciated! http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/ThePlotHoles/-fire-watch-out-moving-past-our-sensitivity-for-spoilers-340096.phtml
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Spent all weekend sick. Missed this show. Ive been wanting to see some Death Magnetic live too. Oh well. Next time. Mainly this song.
Jinx 01 avatarJinx 01
Looks like Titanfall is getting a TV show... not sure why but okay I guess lol. Link in comments.
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
I'm starting to get really excited for the approach of the new FE games! I'm going to revisit Awakening. Are any of the DLCs worth it at all? (AKA what's the deal with the Future Past DLC?)
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Gametrailers 2002-2016 :(
ikiryou avatarikiryou
When the waifu addiction gets out of control
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
It is my father fuckin' birthday. I'm 29 today, now and forever. Everyone knows you stop ageing at 29.
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
Street Fighter 5 is coming out soon umm Dibs
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Too lazy to put all my favorite Pokemon/Personas/Demons in one image, but Shadow Chie is yet another favorite of mine. DOMINATRIX BANANA HEEEEEEAD! :3
True Green Sphere avatarTrue Green Sphere
I like it when comments suddenly spark new blog ideas in your mind.
Larxinostic avatarLarxinostic
PSA to the collective Waifu / Pokemon / SMT War combatants. [img]http://i.imgur.com/b4nZwbQ.png[/img]
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Downloading Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth. It feels a little weird to be installing a game on the Vita that isn't porn, if I'm being perfectly honest.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -