The Adventures Of Sam And Max: Freelance Police! (1997-1998)
Many years ago I got into computer gaming, and I will be writing more about some of my favourite games here soon. For a while I only had various consoles, but in more recent years I got a PC. I wondered what would be the genres of games that I would like playing the most, so I bought a few magazines to find out more about what there was available and one particular genre really started to stand out to me.
This was the genre of comedy adventure games, where you would have to solve inventive puzzles and there would be plenty of laughs along the way with the various characters. There have been lots of great games like this over the years produced by such companies as LucasArts and Telltale including Grim Fandango and The Day Of The Tentacle, but my favourites have included the Monkey Island series and also Sam And Max.
Sam And Max are a comedy double act consisting of Sam the six-foot tall hat wearing dog and Max who is a small rabbit-type thing. They were created by Steve Purcell in the late-80s and are an investigative crime-solving duo who work in a dank New York office and always tell plenty of jokes. When I first got into their games such as Beyond Time And Space and The Devil’s Playhouse I enjoyed the challenging puzzles and the interplay between them, especially the way that Sam always said “you crack me up little buddy” when Max came out with yet another zinger. The voice acting was great too.
Whilst trying to find out more about their work I realised only very recently that their adventures had been turned into a TV cartoon in the late-90s. The Adventures Of Sam And Max: Freelance Police! was shown on various children’s channels in America and Canada in 1997, and it was shown in this country a couple of years later on satellite channel Fox Kids, and also on Channel 4 as part of The Bigger Breakfast, an extended version of the early-morning show during the school holidays.
I was pleased to discover that every episode of the cartoon has been uploaded to YouTube so credit goes to “torturetoi” for letting me finally see this show. I was also pleased to realise that the cartoon is definitely as good as any of their games have been. A lot of the episodes are very strange and it seems that being given yet another tough assignment such as being beamed into space to stop an alien invasion is just an everyday occurrence to our heroes, but somehow they always save the day. There was also lots of odd jokes, creative characters, parodies of various films, and they were always breaking the fourth wall too with their daft asides.
Although it won an award and was well received by viewers and critics, the TV cartoon version of Sam And Max didn’t last very long unfortunately, ending in 1998. There was only one series of 24 episodes made and the majority of these are only ten minutes long. It seems that there hasn’t been a DVD release in this country either, which is disappointing as I would definitely buy it.