Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. 72
    As an introduction to the season, The Penal Zone does a good job of setting the stage for more zaniness to come. Unfortunately, the story elements here are a bit thin but at least the episode focuses on one truly interesting new character in the cast.
  2. While it's enjoyable to solve puzzles and uncover a story in a genre that doesn't receive a lot of mileage these days, it's a little unfortunate that the themes and humor borrow from this ancient Looney Tunes-meets-90s-attitude rather than create a new world and identity all its own.
  3. I'll also go out on a limb and say this is probably the easiest of the Telltale titles I've played to date. For me, that's a good thing.
  4. With the trademark sharp witticisms layered onto challenging and inventive puzzles, this is the best possible start to the new season.
  5. Given Telltale's record for producing excellent games, returning fans shouldn't even think twice about picking up this first chapter for Chapter 3.
  6. 100
    It's a bigger, better-looking adventure that moves the series forward in some surprising and substantial ways, and it remains one of the few legitimately funny games out there.
  7. 77
    For fans, there is no question to pick this one up, as it gives you three to four hours of fun and traditional Telltale gameplay.
  8. Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - Episode 1: The Penal Zone is a good start for the third series from Steve Purcell's pen. It really makes you want the next chapters right away.
  9. But I cannot fault the game for being clever, and at just under 3 hours total, the episode is over just when things begin to really mesh, leaving you wanting more from the second episode.
  10. A good episode with a spoonful of originality, The Penal Zone is probably the best start of TellTaleGames' history. Taking Max's control directly is so amazing and explosive that any other feature looks less important: adventure games have founded a old/new (crazy) house. On the other hand the game is really short.
  11. AceGamez
    70
    Telltale Games have created a charming little adventure – a rare low budget gem tucked away amongst the PSN dross.
  12. 85
    The Penal Zone is as charming and laugh-out loud funny as any entry in the Sam & Max franchise; intricate puzzles and sharp writing making it a smart download for any adventure game aficionado. Good job, little buddy.
  13. Overall, Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse brings an amusing story, with great writing, and mixes that together with some terrific gameplay.
  14. Play UK
    90
    Particularly clever. [Issue#194, p.102]
  15. PSM3 Magazine UK
    86
    Great value, if stubbornly old school and a little obscure. [June 2010, p.98]
  16. The freelance police are back and in top form. Telltale could not have picked a better game with which to make their PlayStation debut.
  17. It clearly establishes a repeating theme of Max gaining and then exploiting ridiculous new psychic powers with each episode, something that, if the quality of the execution stays where it is, should make for a fun season.
  18. A great start for the third season of one the most important franchises in the adventure genre.
  19. Not that the other games in the series were slouches when it came to their style, but the new season blows them all out of the water, with enhanced graphics and gameplay improvements that move the series in a wonderful direction.
  20. 77
    This is the first episode of five and the first one is trying to be extremely funny, which is a bit too much at some points. On the other side the puzzles are fun and especially for fans of Sam & Max it is a good game to play. Do you like old-school point and click adventures? Then Sam & Max is a nice one to purchase.
  21. 82
    The 3rd season of Sam & Max gets a great start with this entertaining and very original first episode. Max' special powers allow some cool and innovative puzzles, and the smart humor and storyline will keep you playing till the end credits. To make the game more suitable for mainstream gamers however, point & click is replaced by a simplified controller scheme and also the difficulty of the puzzles is dumbed down again. But even experienced adventure gamers will enjoy this episode, despite the lack of a real challenge.
User Score
7.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 19
  2. Negative: 3 out of 19
  1. Apr 22, 2014
    8
    I decided to get this game off of PSN because it was on sale for just a dollar. This was my first experience ever with the Sam and MaxI decided to get this game off of PSN because it was on sale for just a dollar. This was my first experience ever with the Sam and Max franchise, and my first adventure game experience for probably about 10 years or so, and I can say that I am happy with my purchase. The thing to know about this game is that it is a dialogue-driven experience. While I do wish that there was a bit more puzzle solving, the large amount of dialogue was surprisingly never boring. The characters in this world are all a bunch of weirdos, especially the protagonists, which makes this game consistently engaging and funny. If you are looking for a slow and relaxing game to laugh at and give your brain a bit of a workout, I would recommend Sam and Max. Full Review »
  2. Jul 4, 2011
    1
    There are very few things that are good in this game. The humor is sometimes good, and the answers to the countless number of puzzles you willThere are very few things that are good in this game. The humor is sometimes good, and the answers to the countless number of puzzles you will encounter are SOMETIMES interesting (other times stupid.) There are many things bad about this game. The story is horrible. There are many load time that are way to long. The graphics are terrible. The music is annoying. Most of the time the answers to the puzzles DON'T MAKE LOGICAL SENSE. Full Review »
  3. Oct 5, 2017
    4
    I played this for free many years ago, but I remember disliking it quite much. I did not find the story interesting, and that is essential inI played this for free many years ago, but I remember disliking it quite much. I did not find the story interesting, and that is essential in a graphic adventure, where gameplay is not the main element. Besides, the gameplay was also confusing to me; I was unable to know what to do without using a guide. Maybe now it would different, I do not know. Full Review »