Sam & Max Episode 6: The Bright Side of the Moon Review

All good things must come to an end, and sadly, that time has come for Sam & Max: Season One. The Bright Side of the Moon, the 6th and final episode, seemingly wraps up the loose ends of the season and still delivers the painfully hilarious lines and quips that highlighted the series. Coming out of left field back in October, Sam & Max: Season One managed to not only do what big companies haven’t grasped (episodic game releases) but also kick-start a seemingly dormant franchise to a new-generation of fans. So how does the last episode shape up? In short, it delivers. It does what a finale should do; tie up loose ends, provide some very funny puzzles and end on a truly hilarious note.

With the previous episode, Reality 2.0, being the clear highlight of the series, how does the last one compare and stack up? Well, it may not exceed the hilarity of the past episode, but it still manages to deliver in its own right and continues many new small gameplay changes that seem to only enhance the game series as a whole. In a tactic that started with Episode 4, Episode 6 starts with you on the moon, or at least a location that’s different from your office. While this change may be small, I feel this tactic is better since it won’t bore players to death who have started each episode, like me, at the office. Telltale stated that starting from Episode 4, they will start taking comments from the community to better the game.

Another new tactic is that Telltale is incorporating different dialogue for things that are around the environment. Now that the story has drastically changed, things around their office had different dialogue attached. In Episode 6, these items have different dialogue than Episode 5 which is nice, and adds to the longevity since I implore everyone to listen to what the duo has to say. One example is the various magazines on display at Bosco’s store. This time around, there’s "Pointless Puzzles," which Max states, "must be about adventure games," and "Zazzle & Fib," which he states, "it must be hard finding copyrighted character names these days."

So you may be thinking, why did I say the moon as the starting location? Well, that is where the game takes place. The duo are sent to the moon to discover who is behind all of the wacky hijinks throughout Season 1, and that’s Roy G. Biv. Biv is seemingly controlling the Earth through hypnosis, so it’s up the duo to find out why. After passing through the "protected" door, the duo enters the sanctum of Biv and I have to say, the area is definitely the high point of this episode. Running through his headquarters was very fun and all the subtle jabs to the duo’s past adventures were noteworthy. While you will be doing the standard gather items to proceed to the next area, the writing and humor takes center stage again and are clearly worth the price of admission.

Hands down, one of the best puzzles of the entire series is featured later in this episode. Basically, three of Max’s body parts are split up and form three lagomorphs that represent Max’s persona — red Max (violent), green Max (sheer and uncontrollable hunger) and blue Max (sloth). Without these feelings, the real Max turns into a complete happy fool and Sam’s reaction to Max’s comments are hilarious. The best part is rounding all three up and hearing what Max says afterwards. This definitely has some of the best quotes of the series.

Since this is the last episode, Telltale decided to go with the reunion route by sticking seemingly everyone throughout the game and during the ending credit roll — which is pretty funny but doesn’t showcase anything at the very end. This time around, Sybil is now the queen of Canada (get ready for Canada jokes) and Bosco returns as his mother. Confusing? Yes, but it’s definitely his best role despite all the standard clichés. A few folks from way back in the series also return as you enter Biv’s headquarters, including Pennyworth from Episode 2 and the COPS from Episode 5.

Unfortunately, while this episode provided some pretty good puzzles, the ending and complete wrap-up of the entire series is slightly under whelming. Mostly everything is wrapped up, but it just seemed something was slightly missing from the overall presentation. Some predominant characters of past episodes, the Soda Poppers for example, are not used in the final wrap-up, and that just seemed weird with them being used heavily in past episodes. Other characters like Bosco are underutilized in the final episode, too. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean the story was bad. The story is great, and hilarious at plenty of moments, but how it wrapped up was kind of rushed, and we’re left with a "that’s good but that’s it?" feeling.

Season 1 is over, but dry those tears as Telltale has basically confirmed development of the next season. Considering that the season has been a success and basically brought a once-dead franchise back to life, we’ll be seeing more of the duo in the future. Episode 6 ends on a relatively high note, and the season as a whole fully delivered as being a wonderful and hilarious adventure series. Even though you can buy all the episodes separate for $8.95, I’d recommend picking up the entire season for $35. The Bright Side of the Moon is a fitting end to the season, and a good episode in itself.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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