• Publisher: GameTap
  • Release Date: Oct 18, 2006

Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 47
  2. Negative: 0 out of 47
  1. One way or the other, if you have a glimmer of an iota of a flicker of adventure love left in that congealed lump of moldering paté you call a heart, you owe it to yourself to check this one out. This game only slightly suffers from being too short and otherwise easily bunny hops into gold star adventure game territory.
  2. To sum up: Sam’s ability to quip is unparalleled and wanton destruction may, indeed, be Max’s forte. But humor is clearly Steve Purcell’s.
  3. A game worthy of the name Sam & Max. Even better is the fact that we'll be getting more every month for the next six months! I'll say it again, Sam & Max: Culture Shock is a must-buy.
  4. A wonderful piece of entertainment, and easily the best adventure game since the days of "Grim Fandango."
  5. Enough modernization to upgrade the old-school point & click adventure experience evenly mixed with the same amazing storytelling, humor and problem-solving challenges that the genre was known for make this a triumphant return for both point & click adventures and the zany duo of Sam & Max.
  6. 90
    Sam and Max's return is both a funny, well-written return to form and a real testimony to the episodic format in general. Culture Shock shows remarkable sympathy for the strengths of the original game, and has a polished, streamlined presentation that nails its feel.
  7. Not just a fun adventure game on its own but also an impressive example of how the growing episodic game trend could evolve.
  8. AceGamez
    The best thing about all this is the price - for under nine bucks you're getting about four hours of gameplay (a little less if you're really smart or *gasp* cheat, you cheaters!) and with five more chapters on the way, the cost is absolutely affordable.
  9. If you like aprehending criminals with some humor and nonsequitous bad taste then this is for you.
  10. 87
    The real joy of playing Sam and Max is in watching the hilarious interactions unfold and in spotting the throwaway jokes hidden in magazine racks and picture frames.
  11. I was pleased to find that SME1 contains all of the humor, atmosphere, and genuine fun of the previous game.
  12. The game is designed to be the opening episode in a collection of related games, but its story is still self-contained and there’s no cliffhanger designed to compel you to buy the next episode in the series.
  13. 85
    At such an enticing price, having to subscribe to the episodic format is a small concession for such great content found in Sam & Max.
  14. PC Gamer
    The joy of Culture Shock is clicking on anything and everything that's interactive and listening to the characters riff on it in philosophical brain-gasms. [Holiday 2006, p.112]
  15. Although a relatively easy game, Culture shock leaves you craving to play the next episode. Lets just hope that the villain of Episode 2: Situation: Comedy is more up to par with bad guy standards.
  16. When you put together how fun Sam and Max: Culture Shock is to play, all the added content you get from GameTap, and how funny the interchange between Sam and Maxthemselves are, this game makes for a perfect fit.
  17. The bottom line is that I was playing the game, enjoying the plot and the puzzles and occasionally thinking, “Wow, that was a funny line. So why aren't I laughing?” There is a Voice Director listed in the credits. Perhaps he can pull more out of the actor for the next episode.
  18. With sardonic humor, a cool jazz score and engaging 3-D graphics, Culture Shock has even more style and wit than the original game. Unfortunately, the fun ends far too soon. This is not a full game but simply the first of six chapters, and you can finish the whole thing in four or five hours.
  19. All and all, the game will run between four and six hours, depending on how long you decide to look and click on everything. A lot of the dialogue and comments are nifty, and intriguing to listen to. The puzzle solving is relatively easy, and the humor is the major draw to the game.
  20. Fortunately, you don’t get any mind-numbing puzzles that can only be solved by luck either.
  21. The game is fun and amusing after so many years of waiting for a decent adventure, but it still doesn't manage to stand up to the traditional and utterly absurd puzzles the old LucasArts game is famous for.
  22. All in all quite a satisfying experience, although a bit short.
  23. Culture Shock in every way looks, sounds, and feels like a true Sam & Max sequel. If you can forgive the ease of the puzzles and embrace the episodic concept, it is nothing less than a complete blast of fun.
  24. It's a great little play for adults and kids. Kids will love the driving. The game is fairly short, around 3, maybe 4, hours of play, but they're a fun-filled few hours.
  25. If this is a reflection of the rest of the season then Telltale should be given some of the most deserved applause around because finally someone has had the guts to bring the two partners back for more.
  26. Some of the humor errs on the side of cornball, but the charm, vaguely sleazy trappings and surreal violence of the Sam & Max comics are more intact here than in any other adaptation thus far.
  27. The gameplay is simple and is short enough to finish in one evening. But that's not the point. The focus is on the characters, humor, and story, which the game delivers in spades. This is a joy to play.
  28. 80
    Culture Shock marks a great (if not perfect) start to what will hopefully be a long run for the pair.
  29. games(TM)
    Culture Shock retains the snappy humour of its predecessor, ensuring that long-suffering fans of the detective duo will no doubt love the game as much as the original. [Dec 2006, p.113]
  30. While there is a limit to how much replayability Culture Shock offers, with a nine buck price tag it's several hours of bang for your buck. I figure a movie costs more than that, particularly with popcorn, and no one keeps me from bringing my own candy to the computer.
  31. Computer Games Magazine
    Still, it delivers an excellent—albeit it extremely short—experience. [Dec. 2006, p.72]
  32. More polished than I ever dreamt it would be.[Christmas 2006, p.86]
  33. Simply speaking, for $9 (which is under a fiver in proper money), even if you’ve already bought BS4, there’s no reason at all not to get hold of this. As far as we’re concerned, we’d rather have had an updating of Monkey Island or Day Of The Tentacle. Until – or even if – that day arrives, Culture Shock will more than suffice as a reintroduction to a world of gaming that has long since past.
  34. 80
    A great game. We would have liked to have seen some more difficult hurdles to overcome and maybe even an extra hours gameplay would have kept us more happy until Episode 2 comes out. If you love point and click this episodic series looks like it could be good.
  35. Those looking for grueling puzzles may not find complete satisfaction here, but if you're primarily after light-hearted humor with a bit of thinking in between, then I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
  36. One of the coolest video game duos are back for a brand new adventure full of memorable characters and great graphics.
  37. Pelit (Finland)
    One of the most refreshing adventure games in a long time full of clever and funny dialogue. The puzzles are much like the main characters: witty and out of control. [Feb 2007]
  38. 80
    Sure, a few of you may balk at this “sacrilegious” abbreviation of your favorite old school franchise, but you’ll be missing the point: this may just be how adventure gaming survives. Let’s hope so.
  39. Sam and Max return to the PC adventure game scene with the same great sense of humor and solid production values, but some may be turned off by the game's episodic nature.
  40. netjak
    It does seem, though, that the gamer who patiently waits for all the episodes to come out, and then plays them in one long block is going to have a much more satisfying time, in my opinion.
  41. If you enjoyed the classic PC game and/or enjoy Sam and Max comics, then you’ll definitely love the game.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 30 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 30
  2. Negative: 2 out of 30
  1. JacobP.
    Nov 12, 2007
    Excellent game, it lives up to the expectations fans have had since the original game in '93. A must have.
  2. NickG.
    Dec 10, 2006
    This is a great puzzle-type adventure game. The puzzles are amusing and can be logically worked out, the humor is entertaining, and the This is a great puzzle-type adventure game. The puzzles are amusing and can be logically worked out, the humor is entertaining, and the graphics are pretty decent. My only complaint is short the game is even for just being a single episode in the series. It can easily be beat in a day. Full Review »
  3. Dec 27, 2014
    This one is a bit tricky to pin down since it's the first episode. It's so long a ago I played the original game it's hard to make anyThis one is a bit tricky to pin down since it's the first episode. It's so long a ago I played the original game it's hard to make any meaningful comparison between them. I do however get some added nostalgic value out of this just because it's Sam & Max game and mostly very well made one also.

    As stand-alone game it gets many things right. Dialog is funny, the environment and characters are wacky (although maybe somewhat less so than in the original game) and most puzzles can be solved without resorting to walkthrough every five minutes. Items are also used sparingly and are typically easy to find. There's really no puzzles where you have to guess which two of your 50 items need to be combined or situations where you can't find some critical item since you clicked wrong pixel.

    This is the longest of the three first episodes (haven't played the rest yet). Mostly because you spend a bit more time on exploring and learning stuff. Still, it can easily be played in one evening. Story-wise this might be the weakest of the three, but it doesn't really matter at this point.
    Full Review »