Sam and Max are freelance police: One a very large bipedal dog in a fedora, the other a hyperkinetic rabbity thing, and both are heavily armed and comfortable with violence. They originated as a comic strip in the 1980s and have been the subject of multiple videogames over the years, including two LucasArts classics (opens in new tab) and a trio of episodic series from Telltale.
The first of those Telltale collections is coming back in December as Sam and Max Save the World – Remastered, an update that collects the six-part series into a single game with overhauled graphics, improved audio, controller support, and other enhancements.
Interestingly, the "new" Sam and Max isn't coming from the reconstituted Telltale Games (opens in new tab), but from Skunkape Games, a studio made up of former Telltale developers. "After Telltale closed its doors in 2018, four members of the Sam & Max development team acquired the rights to the studio’s Sam & Max games. With help from several other former Telltale employees, they've remastered the first season of Sam & Max episodic games, so old fans and new players can enjoy this classic series once again," the FAQ (opens in new tab) explains.
"Many of Telltale’s other games and the Telltale name itself were acquired by LCG Entertainment. That company isn’t involved with Sam & Max Save the World Remastered. (But they have helped us out with a few logistical issues, and we appreciate it!)"
Sam and Max Save the World – Remastered will support widescreen displays "and the highest resolution your hardware allows," has remastered and re-encoded music (the original "was compressed like crazy to keep download sizes small," the studio said), and features "tweaked character models," new acting and camera work in some cutscenes, a couple of new exterior locations, five new jazz numbers on the soundtrack, and a new opening sequence aimed at making it feel like a single, cohesive game, rather than six episodes mashed together.
The gameplay, stories, and gags all remain unchanged, however. "While our team members worked on Sam & Max at Telltale, so did a lot of other people, and we were careful not to tread on their work or change too much stuff just because we felt like it," Skunkape said. "We’ve tried to strike a balance between making the game better and preserving what made us so proud of it in the first place."
Sam and Max Save the World – Remastered is set to come out on December 2, and will be available on Steam (opens in new tab) and GOG (opens in new tab). Owners of the original on either storefront will be eligible for a 50 percent discount on the remaster, which (when it's live) can be claimed here (opens in new tab). And it looks like a good bet that Telltale's subsequent Sam and Max games, Beyond Time and Space and The Devil's Playhouse, are being remastered too: All three games are listed at the top of the Skunkapes website (opens in new tab).