Early this summer I reviewed Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual! on the Oculus Quest 2 and while the game had its fair share of issues at least it was playable and I had a reasonably good time. I did wish for better graphics than what the Quest was offering, and when I learned the game was coming to Steam I was understandably excited for a more visually pleasing experience. Sadly, that is about the only thing this new release has going for it. Gameplay is much smoother, details are improved and the annoying pop-up found in the Quest version is all but gone; at least in the parts I could play.
Therein lies my biggest issue with the PC VR version of Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual! – it’s unplayable. I’ve had the game for nearly three weeks now. I was loving it from day one, as I helped Sam & Max take down some crazy hydra monster outside their office building before going inside to see if I had what it took to join the Freelance Police. The game looked marvelous and played perfectly as I checked off all the tasks, and then it was time to head to the abandoned amusement park where I was ultimately forced to abandon this game.
So if you are looking for a full review of Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual! then you’ll need to read my Quest 2 review, as my gameplay for this version ended at the very first stop at the park – bomb defusal. The first time I tried to play this back at launch the screwdriver was not working properly. I reported the issue and a few days later a patch released to fix this and numerous other issues. When I jumped back in the screwdriver was functioning perfectly but now none of the squeeze/yank/twist motions were working. My virtual hand would literally pass through the knob/handle/plunger and I was unable to perform any of those actions, which are much more frequent than using a screwdriver. Poke and Boop still work fine. So by fixing one issue the game became even more unplayable. I’m not sure if other bugs exist in other carnival games because frankly, I am not remotely incentivized to even play beyond this first unplayable mini-game.
I typically don’t review games I don’t complete or at least play a substantial portion of, but having already completed this merely average game on the Quest I am simply here to tell you that Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual! is broken and unplayable. It may ultimately get patched and turn out to be just fine but I’ve got other games to play, and don’t have time to keep coming back to this. And you, the consumer, should certainly not be paying $30 for a game that is so broken only 30-40 minutes in. I would have thought a Quest game could easily be ported over to PC but apparently not, so if you want to experience any of the humor Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual! has to offer then do it on the Quest.