Another month, another $9 episode of Sam %26amp; Max. That's something we could get used to, so long as the quality holds up, and so far the series manages to get a little better with each installment. Sure, Sam %26amp; Max Episode 3: The Mole, the Mob, and the Meatball might play exactly like the last two, with no real changes except for the puzzles, settings and plot. But the comedy's a little sharper, and the hit-or-miss stabs at pop culture have been chucked in favor of big guns, absurd gangsters and surreal slapstick.
Like in the last two episodes, you'll play dog detective Sam and his horrible rabbit pal Max, who wander around trying to solve mysteries by clicking on everything and annoying their neighbors. Said neighbors have officially gone from being new, original characters to full-on running gags; once again, tattooist-turned-therapist-turned-tabloid journalist Sybil has found a new dead-end career, and paranoid convenience store clerk Boscoe has a new beret. Which he thinks is a disguise.
You won't spend too much time with them, though, so let's move on. In Episode 3, our heroes are tapped to take on the bad guys who were hinted at in the last episode's ending: the Toy Mafia, a shady hypnosis ring whose members spend every waking moment wearing unbelievably creepy teddy bear heads. Unlike the last episode, the story here cuts almost directly to the chase, putting you face-to-face with Toy Mafia goons with little fuss or distraction beforehand. Unfortunately, this also means the story is shorter, with fewer of the neat throwaway gags and optional distractions that fleshed out Episode 2.