Sam & Max Season Two, Episode 1: Ice Station Santa - first look

Certain characters will also react if they notice you lingering near them for too long. "There's a sneaky system in place," said Grossman, "that is trying to help drive the story forward behind the scenes, by detecting whether or not you're frustrated and sort of playing little scenes for you and try to push things along when it finds that out. For the hardcore people, they can just turn that off."

The existing cast will also be joined by characters from the Sam & Max comics, like Flint Paper, the strangely cheerful 1930s private-eye throwback who rents the office across the hall from Sam and Max. Paper (seen briefly in silhouette in theSeason Two trailer) is notable as one of the few people that psychotic rabbit Max really respects, mainly because he spends every waking moment either throwing chairs at gangsters or making out with classy dames.

Much like the previous episodes, Ice Station Santa won't be designed to be too difficult. It will, however, feature more than just endless clicking, item collection and puzzles this time; starting with Ice Station Santa, each Sam & Max installment will feature its own self-contained, action-sequence minigame. The DeSoto-driving chase sequences from the first four episodes will return (with players able to use keyboard controls as well as the mouse this time, thank God), but Ice Station Santa will also feature an underground fight club where you'll make a wind-up doll box hulking rats, all of whom are patterned vaguely after characters from the Nintendo classic Punch-Out!! And if that doesn't sound at least a little interesting, then we question your sense of fun.

Mikel Reparaz
After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.