Sam & Max Plunge Through Space (cancelled Xbox adventure game; 2001-2002)
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Sam & Max Plunge Through Space was a planned sequel to the 1993 video game Sam & Max Hit the Road, announced in 2001. It was to be developed by the Infinite Machine, a small company consisting of former LucasArts employees; however, Infinite Machine went bankrupt in 2002, and the project was cancelled. LucasArts then bought the rights to Sam & Max and attempted to develop its own sequel, Sam & Max: Freelance Police, which was also abandoned later.
Premise And Gameplay
In the words of the lead developer Steve Purcell:
"It was actually based on a story I had written years before called Sam & Max Plunge Through Space. Sam & Max have to recover the stolen Statue of Liberty which they find parked in another galaxy and being used as a casino called Green Mama's. Then they are pulled into interplanetary intrigue with an evil despot and a mysterious hidden world where everyone resembles Max. We were breaking it down into an action/exploration/adventure game and I was pleased with where it was going. It was a lot heavier on "adventure" than "action". It was intended to be more of a hybrid, giving you the story and characters of a point-and-click adventure, but with the pacing of a 3D platformer. You'd have controlled Sam directly, moving around environments about the size of an FPS level, solving item-based puzzles and getting into dialogue exchanges. Enemies would wander the level, so you could always go back and shoot and/or beat them up. (I remember that we spent a good bit of time trying to figure out how to do shooting without over-complicating the targeting interface, before we remembered that it's Sam & Max, and accuracy is kind of irrelevant.) We were hoping to have a platformer without shallow characters or annoying jumping puzzles, and an adventure game without the feeling that nothing happens when you get stuck. The best part of having a pitch go unpublished is that I can say that we solved every problem, and it would've worked perfectly, if only it had gotten made."