The Devil's Playhouse
|“The Devil's Playhouse”|
Season Three Boxart
|Release date||April 15, 2010 (first episode); April 3, 2010 (first episode, iPad)|
The Devil's Playhouse is the third season of the video game series by Telltale Games, which started April 2010 for PC, Mac and PS3 (via PlayStation Network). The first episode is also available for iPad, but it's not clear if and when the rest will be. It was released episodically, as with the 2 previous seasons. Unlike previous seasons, The Devil's Playhouse was not co-published with GameTap.
The Devil's Playhouse features direct control and optional hotspot highlighting as well as real-time shadows. In the previous two seasons, the player could control only Sam, with Max roaming around, but in this season, a prominent new gameplay feature is that Max gets psychic powers, and to use them the player can control Max directly from a first-person perspective. Puzzles are designed to focus less on inventory use and more on applying the limited set of new powers creatively. Another new feature is that Sam has a notebook with information on the case (and your immediate goals), characters and Max's powers.
Pre-order bonuses for the Telltale version included access to a special subforum, a coupon code for a free episode of another Telltale game, and some "additional goodies and discounts". PSN pre-orders got a discount instead.
The gameplay, subject matter and graphics of the game all give it a heavily different presentation-style than that of the previous two seasons. Unlike the first two seasons, which had very similar interfaces, controls, graphics and gameplay mechanics -- this game changes all that to create a new presentation.
 Overall plot
The plot revolves around the ancient artifacts known as The Devil's Toybox and the Toys of Power, which grant great power to those who can use them (they have "The Gift"). Max is one of the people equipped with "The Gift". The toybox was created by a dark demon to give to his even more demonic grandson to distract him from crushing Earth. The toybox was left to the world when the demons returned to their dark dimension. The toys were spread all across the world. Max's grandfather, Maximus, also has the gift.
After defeating Skun-ka'pe, seeing their ancestors defeat Papierwaite, destroying the alternate reality of Sammun-Mak and foiling the world destruction plans of Charlie Ho-Tep, and also destroying most of the toys, Max turns into a gigantic monster and begins attacking the city. He eventually is defeated and killed, only for Max X to take over his place as Max. The season ends with Sam and Max either A, walking into the time machine, or B, returning to the city.
The Narrator appears all throughout the episodes narrating, generally, the beginning and end.
- Sam and Max: The two protagonists who are trying to protect people from stealing the Devil's Toybox. The former is a tall 6-foot canine detective while the latter is a hyperkinetic "rabbity-thing".
- The C.O.P.S. - Sam and Max's long-time companions helping them operating out of the back of their Desoto.
 Neutral Characters
- Flint Paper - A detective who plays in subplots throughout the season.
- Girl Stinky - One of the two proprietors of Stinky's Diner. She is in a mystery relationship with a mysterious figure known as "Mr. S".
- Grandpa Stinky - The other proprietor of Stinky's Diner. Commonly annoyed by Girl Stinky.
- Mole People - Mole people with anthropromorphic-like functions.
- Sal - Girl Stinky's apparent boyfriend. Of multiple different loyalites.
- Ms Bosco - Bosco's mother, now owner and runner of BoscoTech labs.
- Harry Moleman - Commonly mistreated and unlucky moleman.
- Yog-Soggoth - Demon covered in mystery in The Tomb of Sammun-Mak and They Stole Max's Brain! -- is actually a port of Anton Papierwaite.
- General Skun-ka'pe - Space gorilla trying to steal the Devil's Toybox and take over the world.
- Anton Papierwaite - A man trying to unleash the demonic forces of Yog-Soggoth on the world.
- Sammun-Mak - A former egyption pharoah who successfully (but briefly) creates an alternate reality in They Stole Max's Brain!
- Charlie Ho-Tep - One of the Toys of Power who tries to destroy the world in Beyond the Alley of the Dolls.
See the individual episodes for characters of lesser importance. Also, Bosco & Sybil, characters appearing throughout all but one Season One & Season Two episodes, make very little importance throughout the third season.
|The Penal Zone||April 15, 2010||General Skun-ka'pe comes to earth looking for a future telling toy, but Max finds it first. Now Sam and Max must defeat Skun-ka'pe after seeing a vision of the future showing his attack on Earth...|
|The Tomb of Sammun-Mak||May 18, 2010||In the year 1901, Sameth & Maximus travel to Egypt to obtain The Devil's Toybox in a movie watched by their great-grandsons..|
|They Stole Max's Brain!||June 22, 2010||Sam attempts to recover Max's stolen brain, only to unwillingly help a pharoah unleash his own ultimate reality to the world.|
|Beyond the Alley of the Dolls||July 20, 2010||A seemingly infinite amount of Samulacra -- Sam clones -- begin attacking the city, leaving Sam and Max to stop them and discover who is the mysterious "clone master.|
|The City that Dares Not Sleep||August 30, 2010||Sam must return Max, who since the last episode is now a building-sized monster, to his normal form before he destroys the city.|
The image to the right is a heavily brightened version of a promotional image by Telltale depicting the antagonists of the season. The Mole People, Grandpa Stinky and Sal are not villains and only side characters.
- A third alternate ending was planned based on the Silent Hill 2 "dog ending", which would have had Sam turn into a (non-anthropomorphic) dog at the clone chamber and Max talk to him in Japanese. This ending would have appeared as an easter egg on the DVD, but was scrapped due to lack of time.
- A link to the (no longer existing) preview site Samandmax2010.com appeared after the post-credits epilogue of Tales of Monkey Island. Clicking on parts of that site's star-filled background would reveal various pieces of concept art as well as The Narrator speaking various snippets adding up to the following:
- In all the universe, the only power beyond the mind's comprehension is the power to comprehend the power of the mind. If anyone of us could unlock this terrible power, would we use it to explore the mysteries of the infinite? Or would we use it to destroy? It's a familiar tale. A power-mad space gorilla pitted against a canine detective and a sociopathic bunny with psychic powers. But, my friends, this story's different. In this story, YOU are in control. There will soon come a time when YOU will be called upon to lead Sam & Max to defeat the forces of evil. No longer can you blindly mash buttons to unleash a torrent of irrelevant banter and comic mischief. Now YOU are all that stands in the way of the total annihilation of the planet earth.
- On the main Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse site, if you click on the item in Sam's hand, it takes you to . Currently, there is nothing else to this hidden page.
 See Also
A poster for The Penal Zone.
A poster for The Tomb of Sammun-Mak.
A poster for They Stole Max's Brain!.
A poster for Beyond the Alley of the Dolls.
A poster for The City that Dares Not Sleep.