Looks like Jared Emerson-Johnson and his recruits have returned to the studio to beef up the soundtrack for Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space with live instruments and/or new tracks, akin to what was done for the remaster of Sam & Max Save the World. And that’s awesome.
Just your friendly Mojo PSA that pre-orders for the various physical editions of Sam & Max Save the World on offer from Limited Run Games close tomorrow, Sunday, May 30th at midnight. A quick reminder of the various products you can redirect your child’s tuition budget toward if you act now:
- Sam & Max Save the World (Switch): $34.99
- Sam & Max Save the World (Switch) Collector’s Edition: $74.99
- Sam & Max Save the World (PC) Collector’s Edition: $64.99
- Sam & Max Switch Slipcover: $4.99
- And here’s one I’m just noticing: a Limited Run Games logo T-shirt designed after the Sam & Max logo. That’s the kind of shamelessness we can respect.
As that slipcover implies, you’ll certainly be dealing with similar financial crises when Skunkape delivers their remasters of the remaining two seasons in due time.
In other Limited Run news, it seems that Monkey Island collector’s box has quietly been pushed from a Q2 to a Q4 ship date. Hey, getting Guybrush’s hair right is fastidious work.
This is a preannouncement of a preorder: Limited Run Games is going to be taking orders on a Sam and Max slipcase in about nine days. Or whatever the countdown says by the time you click over to it.
In a case of Japanese-style blurring, the slipcase lists the unconfirmed Beyond Time and Space and The Devil's Playhouse. I wonder what we're supposed to pretend is meant to fit in that big slipcase. Could it be...a banana?
So we're preannouncing that the other two Sam and Max games are releasing at the announcement of the Sam and Max slipcase preorder that goes on sale in nine days.
All these timely announcements would prompt me to tell you to go over to our mortal enemies good friends over at SamAndMax.co.uk for speedier Sam and Max updates, since they announced the preannouncement two days ago, but I think in this case the preannouncement is a bit, uh, premature.
Dan Connors and Jake Rodkin of Skunkape were the featured guests on the latest episode of the Retronauts podcast, in which they tell war stories both about making the original Sam & Max Save the World as well as the excellent remaster. There are a lot of good anecdotes here, including how Steve Purcell vetoed a lactating Max and an intended Salmon Mack origin story in Season 2.
It’s really an excellent conversation, and not just because of the multiple Mojo shoutouts. Though that does make it a contractual obligation.
Telltale's Tales from the Borderlands is back in action in next week for Xbox, PlayStation, and PC, after being piled in rubble when the company collapsed in September 2018.
The game is set between Borderlands 2 and Borderlands 3, but is purportedly accessible to anyone who's not played them. Gameplay-wise, it follows the template set by The Walking Dead.
My entire knowledge of the series comes from The Campo Santo Quarterly Concern, which published an oral history of the game. Did you know that the series sold so poorly that Telltale almost binned it halfway through? It only survived because its developers fought studio heads for it; a skeleton crew volunteered to stay after-hours to see the game to the finish line. Makes you wonder who stuck that "popular" in Polygon's subheading.
Some good news for those who missed out on Telltale's Wallace and Gromit's Grand Adventures: they're back! On Steam and GOG. On the latter of which they're 60% off at the moment, setting you back $5.99. Get going if you want 'em, lads; Mojo enjoyed the games back in the day, even if we never reviewed the fourth episode. They hold up nicely.
The real question: when did they return? The answer: who knows? How did no-one tell us about this? In what world is Mojo ahead of the news cycle? What do we pay you people for?
Though no timetable has been offered, the innuendo from Skunkape has been strong that they will be following up their remaster of Sam & Max Save the World with similar treatments of the other two Telltale seasons.
Well, the implicit became explicit a few days ago when Skunkape shared this glimpse from episode 201 just in time for Christmas:
The North Pole is sure looking good in HD. Can the same be said of Stinky's Diner, Easter Island, the Stuttgart castle, the mariachis' spaceship and Hell itself? Hopefully 2021 holds the answer.
It's true! Head over to Gamasutra for the press release. I am particularly happy about Wallace & Gromit, an understated gem that represented an important transition point in Telltale's gameplay style, and which the more skeptical among us feared was permanently condemned to licensing hell.
Who wants to be the studio to acquire - and finish - the Bone games? Gabez's never launched hosted site is still waiting to be justified.
If you're that one person who reads Mixnmojo, wants to play every Walking Dead game Telltale put out, and have yet to buy a single one, you're in luck: every game in the studio's arguably most famous series is available in one HD'd packaged for about 50% off everywhere. The biggest discount (at 55%) is available at Fanatical, which sets you back $22.49 and about 30 to 40 hours of (emotionally devastating, life and death choice-based) fun. Similar deals are available at other websites, but Fanatical's is the cheapest I've found.
The package includes behind-the-scenes stuff, dynamic lighting/art touch-ups to previous seasons carried over from the final one, and seasons one, two, A New Frontier (season three), The Final Season, the "miniseries" Michonne, and the "400 Days" DLC.
The rights to Batman: The Telltale Series, Batman: The Enemy Within, Hector: Badge of Carnage, Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent, Puzzle Agent 2, and The Wolf Among Us (as well as the publishing rights to RGX Showdown) were acquired by LCG Entertainment with their formation of Telltale 2.0 on August 28, 2019. They later acquired the rights to Tales of Monkey Island on June 26, 2020.
The rights to Telltale's The Walking Dead games were acquired by the creator of The Walking Dead, Skybound. They are now published by Skybound Games, a subsidiary that contracted members of the Telltale staff to finish The Walking Dead: The Final Season from the Telltale 1.0 offices in 2019.
The rights to Tales from the Borderlands were acquired by 2K, the company that holds the rights to the Borderlands franchise.The rights to the Sam & Max games were acquired by Skunkape Games, a company formed by former Telltale 1.0 staff (and the studio that's currently remastering the games).
These games are currently available to purchase (plus Sam & Max Save the World is available to pre-order in its remastered form. Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space Remastered and Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse Remastered will be available once Skunkape remasters those as well).
The rest are not available for purchase (although all are available to redownload if you purchased them from GOG.com, Steam, the Telltale Store, PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, Nintendo e-Shop, etc.). These remaining games presumably remain in rights limbo. We'll keep you updated as (hopefully) more legacy Telltale games become available to purchase again.
Oh, and the CSI games still belong to Ubisoft, but no one cares about those.
When Telltale was taken out behind the woodshed in 2018, one of the projects it had in development was an unannounced Stranger Things game – the strangest thing about which was probably the fact that it was a Telltale game that Jared Emerson-Johnson wasn’t handling the music for.
Instead, the soundtrack was the commission of Antimo & Welles (The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us), who apparently got a fair amount of work done at the time the lights were turned off, leaving their music in limbo. Now, two years later, they’ve arranged a suite of the “best bits” of their unfinished work and shared it for all to enjoy:
Well, here’s something we’ll be able to dine out on for a while.
Sometime after Telltale folded, some choice Telltale veterans – original CEO Dan Connors, engineering maestro Randy Tudor, technical director Jon Sgro, and affirmative action Mojo alumnus Jake Rodkin – thought to themselves, “Hey, what if we made those Sam & Max games we built at Telltale not only available again, but gussied up with retrofitted engine improvements like some tarted-up whore?”
That question obviously rhetorical, the quartet joined forces with Steve Purcell, scooped up the game assets at a flea market and founded “Skunkape Games” (which certain eagle-eyed busybodies already noticed had been quietly restamped as the publisher of the Sam & Max seasons on digital outlets earlier this year), and under this new moniker are primed to do just that.
And soon. Sam & Max Save the World: Remastered is due to drop December 2nd, with the other two seasons to follow.
To be honest with you, the results look jaw-dropping. These games have always been gems, but the above makes me unspeakably giddy to experience them all over again in widescreen with their new coat of paint and without voice compression targeting 60MB file downloads. There are loads of other little enhancements promised as well, but it’s probably best to discover them for ourselves.
For media and more information (including how to pre-order), check out the official Skunkape web presence or maybe even Sam & Max.net. That’s right, anonymous sources tell us that the beloved hub is coming back from the dead, and putting on new airs: What was once The Unofficial Sam & Max Website is to be imminently reborn as very much an official resource. Gandalf the White’s transformation looks like a damn haircut by comparison.
So you’re telling me we’ve got this, a new Sam & Max VR game, new Sam & Max figurines, the return of the forums, a Monkey Island anthology box set, revelatory violations of the Monkey Island source code, and Psychonauts 2 in its final stretch of production all the while? You bet your hiney you are. Mojo has renaissanced yet again.
If you bowed out of buying Telltale's adventure games around the time they stopped producing Sam & Max or Monkey Island episodes, now's a great time to grab a Humble Bundle of their later releases.
Spend US$1 and receive:
Batman: The Enemy Within – The Telltale Series
The Walking Dead – Season 1
The Walking Dead – 400 Days
Oxenfree and the Oxenfree soundtrack (non-Telltale)
Pay more than the average purchase price and you'll also get:
The Wolf Among Us
Batman: The Enemy Within Shadows Mode
The Walking Dead: Michonne
The Walking Dead: Season 2
Spend over US$15 to also receive:
Batman: The Telltale Series
Batman: The Telltales Series Shadows Mode
The Walking Dead: The Final Season
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier
Heaven's Vault (non-Telltale)
On top of that, profits from the sales will go towards diabetes support and research. So what are you waiting for, go buy the bundle.
Like the dead-but-resurrected Telltale that birthed it, The Walking Dead shuffles on. You can buy every entry in the series, from the acclaimed, surprise hit first season through the company's swan song, via Fanatical's Sanctuary Bundle, which sets you back $4.99 for the lot. That's Steam keys for all what my Palestinian grandma calls "zombiss" plus Sanctus Reach, Rollercoaster Tycoon Classic, Blood: Fresh Supply, This War of Mine, and Redeemer: Enhanced Edition. And, for $4.99, this is a steal, tempting even to people such as yours truly who shuffled away from Telltale once Walking Dead changed the game (sorry).
You could do worse than support dark humour-as-marketing ("Sanctuary Bundle" raised an eyebrow, but I appreciate the effort) in these troubled times. Escape your troubles into a world overrun by the flesh-eating dead by clicking here.
Edit: Never post stuff at the tail end of a 20+ work day, kids. The Walking Dead games available are season one + "400 Days," season two, and Michonne, the "miniseries". You'll have to get seasons three and four separately.
Hey, in these SARS-CoV-2 times, we read what we can get. And you know, TheGamer’s top ten Telltale Sam & Max list is worth a perusal. They correctly got all the episodes from Mojo’s perennial favorite The Devil’s Playhouse on there, though I personally would put "They Stole Max’s Brain!" as number one. (Although "Looks like it’s time to boil the haggis!" alone should have boosted "Beyond the Alley of the Dolls" up a notch or two.)
As we’re all awaiting our impending doom, why not share your favorite episode?
One of Telltale’s underrated titles was Tales from the Borderlands, a game I’ve chosen to forget was a spin-off from Gearbox’s Borderlands franchise. As it seems, a sequel to Tales… might be in the works according to DFTG. To wit…
The rumor in question comes from notable leaker Hereitismydude, who recently took to Reddit to share some information. According to them, Tales from the Borderlands 2 is indeed happening, but it won’t be arriving for a few more years. “Gearbox is working out a deal for Telltale to have season 1 back as we speak, AdHoc is on board for season 2,” according to Hereitismydude. In addition to this, it is rumored that another Poker Night is also on the table, but it would just be Telltale making that.
Oh yeah, Poker Night, too, but whatever.
I do believe AdHoc -- which is in the middle of developing The Wolf Among Us 2 -- is made up of many from the Tales… team, so we chalk this up as good news.
(I apologize for this interruption in the Willow/Indy stream.)
Step into the shadows and experience the twisted world of Telltale’s Batman in a way that brings the fractured persona of the Dark Knight and the City of Gotham to life in a sinister, new way. Enhanced with hand recolored game play and remastered textures, the Telltale Batman Shadows Edition brings all ten Telltale Batman episodes across two seasons into one, complete game while staying true to the spirit of the Dark Knight’s rich, visually compelling history.
• Batman: The Telltale Series (Episodes 1-5)
• Batman: The Enemy Within (Episodes 1-5)
• Batman Shadows Mode
Shadows mode is a black-and-white-and-colour-splash re-texturing of the games, so far as I can tell. And it can be purchased as a DLC add-on if you already have the game(s).
As well as the current release on Steam, it's also out now for Xbox One, and coming soon for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC owners who prefer to buy from the Epic Games Store.
Although the fate of The Walking Dead: The Final Season was what seemed to worry the gaming press most when Telltale threw in the towel at the end of last year, it was the incubating follow-up to the critically acclaimed The Wolf Among Us that was perhaps the more lamentable (non-human) loss when the building came down.
Happily for fans of either series, both of those losses were ultimately recovered. The Walking Dead got its finale earlier this year, and today yesterday Forbes reports that the-holding-company-now-going-by-Telltale is collaborating with AdHoc Studio (the current home of several ex-Telltale developers) to revive the other orphaned project. Here, have an announcement trailer:
Now to revive that The Devil's Playhouse soundtrack album...