I totally skipped it at first (upon getting the collection in 1997 or so) because I knew DotT was aimed at my age group, but Sam & max was a “new” thing and from the art, It bought it was aimed at a younger crowd. It really isn’t: In the incarnation in this game it was possessed of a defines sense of sarcasm and was released when LucasArts was really good at this kind of game.
As a property the history of Sam & Max is interesting. I think it started as a doodle by the author who later used it for comics for a LucasArts newsletter. There’s a small collection of comics that got published as a book that I have somewhere: It includes a few B&W issues and some color art done for LucasArts (which includes a fun scene of Sam in a Star Wars Rebel flight suit getting in his X-Wing, with Max as the R2 unit). After the game (and some cancelled sequels) there was a Saturday morning cartoon attempt, and later the episodic games from Telltale who got bogged down in (and later went under due to) episodic games for properties like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead.
I played some of the episodic games: They were a little too dependent on leaps of logic in a way that didn’t sit well for me. The biggest issue for point & click adventure games to me is trust. I stopped playing a bunch of Flash-based ‘escape the room’ type games years ago because I didn’t trust that the developers were thorough enough to a actually test and handle all the randomness. The Telltale Sam & Max games were pretty good for this, but seemed to rely on weird jumps like using a device in a new fashion with no foreshadowing. It is an art being ‘hard’ and ‘fun’ at the same time.
For the record, the best ‘modern’ game of this time I’ve played is Thimbleweed Park which I think shares some designers with this Indiana Jones game, or at least it’s prequels. It’s funny, well done, and in general there’s “trust” that the designers thought of most things you’d try and use failures to give you a hint in the right direction.