Puzzles are at the core of Adventure gameplay, they provide challenges for you to overcome with brains rather than brawn. For Action Adventures, they offer a break from the hacky-slashy-stabby-shooty element of title.

Every week I’ll bring you a new puzzle, drawn from some of the best and worst adventure or puzzle games I’ve ever played. Every once in a while I’ll even leave you one of my own for you to solve. If you do, I’ll find a way to reward you!

This week’s puzzle comes from the first season of Telltale’s Sam & Max – Sam & Max Save the World.

Early in the game, mind controlled precocious child stars—a group of brothers called The Soda Poppers, stars of a once famous show—invade your street. They’re tagging everything with Eye-bo logos and other nonsense, even peddling the video cassettes. Before you can find out what Eye-bo even is or get to the mastermind behind it, you need to take care of the Poppers. Each of them requires a different action to stop, from knocking them over the head with something round and really hard to giving them bathroom urges before sending Max in to keep it occupied.

What I love about these puzzles is that even at the start of the game they show how clever Telltales could be with their puzzles. For the most part, they’re simple Inventory puzzles, but each Popper has a trick to him, a bit of precise timing you need to nail so your efforts aren’t in vain. Some you have to lure to just the right spot even. It’s very interesting and doesn’t depend on the per-episode Boscotech item, which becomes the recurring annoyance in the season.

Have you played any of the Sam & Max games before, what did you think?

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