The Freelance Police -- Sam (a dog detective) and Max
(his rabbit sidekick) are increasingly ambitious. In previous Sam & Max
episodes, they investigated crimes involving television stars, a talk show
host, and the toy mafia. In Sam & Max Season 1 -- Abe Lincoln
Must Die! the Freelance Police are asked to monitor the erratic
behavior of the President of the United States. Who’s next on their list,
one wonders? Superman?
“The Buck Stops Here”
As the game opens, Sam and Max learn from the Commissioner that the
President is promulgating odd decrees – mandatory group hugs at all
sporting events, for instance. (Not such a bad idea, actually.) Our heroes
hop into their luxury Desoto and end up in front of the White House.
They encounter a Secret Service agent at the front door. They ferret
important information out of this stolid guardian. It seems that, in these
difficult financial times, agents aren’t just responsible for security.
They also serve at the White House as part-time gardeners, receptionists,
and maintenance workers. Who knew that Secret Service agents are so
multifaceted? And (as you learn later) that’s only a fraction of the
talent required for the job. No wonder the Agency’s hiring practices
Once past security, Sam and Max penetrate the inner sanctum --- the
Oval Office. They even get a close-up view of the War Room, where things
really get interesting.
Abe Lincoln Must Die! features third person perspective and a
point-and-click interface. It is longer than the previous episode (The
Mole, the Mob, and the Meatball) and has more of a plot, including a
diverting twist or two. Dialogs in this episode maintain their irreverent
cleverness. Voiceovers are also excellent, though Sam’s voice seems a
shade muffled compared to Max’s.
“1000 Points of Light”
The stylized, cartoon-like graphics are colorful and provide multiple
sight gags, suiting the game’s tongue-in-cheek comic tone. You’ll visit
Sam and Max’s original neighborhood, as well as three locations at the
White House. For the first time, our heroes encounter natural vegetation –
not even the Freelance Police can kill the White House lawn.
You will interact with plenty of objects in the environments, many
providing riffs on historical/political events. You will see the bald
eagle – the United State’s National Emblem -- clutching unusual objects in
its claws. My favorite: the drippy gasoline can. This game ranges into the
territory of political satire, and does so rather effectively. As such,
the humor is frequently too sophisticated for young children.
Animation is fluid, even of inanimate objects. There is one surprise
cutscene that had me shaking my head in sheer astonishment. Minor
navigation problems are back – several times Sam walked in the opposite
direction to the one in which I had meant to guide him.
Music is jazzy and cheerful, starting with a Looney Tunes rendition of
“Hail to the Chief,” and then ranging from Dixieland-like insouciance to
frenetic 1920s Flapper music. Ambient sounds include the whirr of
hydraulic lifts and the pounding of footfalls.
I found the puzzles to be more difficult in Abe Lincoln Must Die!
than in the previous two Sam & Max episodes, and about equal to the
difficulty in the first episode. Some puzzles are based on dialog choices,
others on the use of the inventory. A couple of the inventory conundrums
are particularly cunning. There is a chase sequence, but it does not
require quick reflexes. Game length this time logged in at about three
I played Abe Lincoln Must Die! on
GameTap, but the game is also available via download at
Telltale Games. A version that includes all six episodes will
eventually be available on disk.
Quick List for Sam & Max Season 1 -- Abe Lincoln Must Die!
This is the fourth episode of six in the new Sam & Max game series.
It’s a droll mystery starring our heroes: Max – a power-hungry rabbit and
Sam – his canine enabler. Our heroes lay siege to the White House, the
Secret Service, and the President of the United States. General wackiness
plus political satire appropriate for teens and up.
Voiceovers are excellent, as is the writing. You can use the space bar
to click through the dialogs.
Colorful, detailed 3D graphics with plenty of sight gags.
Point-and-click interface. Third person perspective. Subtitles with large,
Inventory and dialog challenges. No mazes, no sliding tile puzzles, no
color discrimination challenges, no tone matching puzzles, no timed
challenges. The most difficult puzzles use inventory items in creative
A mild navigation problem. Plenty of save slots. You cannot die.
I played the game on
GameTap, but it is also available at
Telltale Games via download.
Sam & Max Season 1 – Abe Lincoln Must Die! is aimed at fans of
Sam and Max and anyone who savors the ridiculous – particularly where
politics are concerned.
Final Grade: A-
My Computer Specs:
Windows XP Professional
Pentium 2.80 GHz
2046 MB RAM
Direct X 9.0c
512 MB NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX
SB X-Fi Audio
design copyright ©