Episodic gaming’s dynamic detecting duo travel through time and space (and the local convenience store) in Chariots of the Dogs, the latest installment of their series' second "season". A substantial improvement from the lackadaisical content of episodes two and three, Chariots never quite reaches the awesomeness of season two opener Ice Station Santa, but it does offer some solid yuks and a head-scratcher or two.
As with all the Sam & Max games, Chariots features a simple, point-and-click system for interacting with the world. While the episode starts off with some fairly straightforward puzzles, it eventually uses the time-travel conceit to drive some pretty durn clever late-game quandaries. The game also uses time travel to set up some “inside” Sam & Max gags, which players of previous iterations of the series (all the way back to the original LucasArts SCUMM game) will not want to miss.
One problem with the time-machine plot device, though, is this: either by design, or as a result of the way the writers wanted to tell the story, it severely limits the number of locations to which you’ll go. The majority of Chariots’ gameplay takes place in the same few locations – only the time period changes. While this can help you get your mind around a few puzzles, it also makes for a rather repetitive mise en scene.