This discussion may contain spoilers!
Sorry Telltale, but this season is Sam & Max is kind of full of those puzzles. Either because of absences in design or some bugs, some puzzles are so easy to be solved. Players can actually solve them without bothering theirselves with the details (that are required to think about otherwise). This leads players disrespectfully but unknowingly think that developers don't put much effort in puzzles. But, the efforts are there, you just missed it! I'll be listing those I encountered or I'm heard of, complete with some thoughts of mine, so that you can think about it.
Note: I didn't re-download Penal Zone and The Tomb of Sammun-Mak, so if the issues I listed here are actually fixed, sorry to remind you again. I still think they worth to be addressed..
Episode 1: The Penal Zone
-Getting rid of Skun'ka-pe's minions inside and around Momma Bosco's building.
How to solve: Going into the building gets Sam kicked out of the building while Max's still there, getting beaten out by a minion. During this happens, Sam has to go on the roof and stay on the flagpole right over the minion outside while holding Stinky's cellphone, so that Max can teleport himself and the minion holding him to THAT cellphone, causing the minion to fall down on the other one.
Why's this so problematic: If Sam and Max teleport theirselves to somewhere else while on the roof, and then do all the stuff above except making Sam staying on the roof, player can still solve the puzzle.
What can be done: First of all, I assume it's about coding, and caused by a broken parameter. Parameter holding the value of Sam being on the roof changes itself to 0 to 1 or to 1 to 0 if Sam uses the ladders to climb on/off the building, but the value is kept untouched if Sam and Max uses teleportation to get out of the roof. This event tricks game so that it still thinks Sam's still on the roof after the teleportation. What can be done is simply giving the permission of changing the parameter back to 0 to the event of getting off the roof using the teleportation.
-Final confrontation with Skun'ka-pe where he holds onto a pipe to avoid getting sucked into the Penal Zone.
How to solve: You have to trick him with holding a fake toy on his face so that he tries to get it from Sam, but always fails as he's getting sucked by the Penal Zone with a great force. However, he recovers because ground has so much friction. Using the boiler, you have to raise the heat so that the molemen can sweat under Skun'ka-pe's feet, making him slip down after trying to get the toy once more.
Why's this so problematic: Becuase tricking Skun'ka-pe is a two-step process, many players only try the one-step processes first, such as clicking on hotspots. Boiler is a big hotspot, so people always raises up the heat before trying to trick Skun'ka-pe. Therefore, players can't see the cutscene where Skun'ka-pe recovers from being sucked, and can't understand why making molemen sweat is such an important detail.
What can be done: Making the boiler unusable before trying to trick Skun'ka-pe once is understandable. It makes sense, since Sam wouldn't be able to find a use of the boiler before realizing that the ground has so much friction. After seeing that cutscene, Sam can say 'I guess I have to find a way to make things more slippery for Skunkape.' to hint it out, then making it possible for us to click on the boiler.
Episode 2: The Tomb of Sammun-Mak
-In Reel 2, using one bust on two bust carvings to reveal a straight path.
How to solve:You have to slice the bust, using the gates of Life and Death. You don't know which door has the scyther next time, yet Sameth's so lucky he always finds the one without the blade. He has to get a bad luck charm, and grandpa moleman is able to do it. But this raises another problem, as Sameth and Maximus has to make the moleman hate them by using an information gathered in Reel 3.
Why's this so problematic: It's not as nefarious as the other ones listed. It's just that some friends of mine did solve the puzzle without realizing the importance of the bad luck charm in this puzzle. They did play the game in the reel order of 1-3-2-4, and did not try to slice the bust before getting the bad luck charm.
What can be done: It can be left this way, it's not a real problem indeed. As a measure, maybe it can be coded in a way that it's impossible to go in the burial chamber where grandpa moleman resides before talking to dad moleman about him first. That'd just avoid people going straight to the burial chamber, therefore getting the bad luck charm without even finding a use for that. Again, it's not as important, I'm just typing this out to have an even longer post.
-In Reel 3, trying to go in Kringle's cabin as he only opens the door when his order is complete and Sam and Max are not around
How to solve:Complete the order. Which is, not surprisingly, cookies and milk. You'll also throw in a can o' nuts as a ticket for you to get into the cabin. You already have the cookies, and the empty glass is already on the serving tray which is in front of Kringle's door. To fill the glass with milk, you have to make use of Nefertiti's Holstein Hex and turn Max into a cow. After everything is ready, put things in the tray, knock the door, say that you're room service, and quickly get into the can o' nuts.
Why's this so problematic: I didn't encounter a problem on this one, but I've heard that you can actually solve this without using can o'nuts in the right timing.
What can be done: As I said, I didn't encounter it, so I can't say much things on it. I don't know what to do first in order not to rely on using can o' nuts in the right time, but still, it sounds like a parameter problem like the one in The Penal Zone. So fixing the trigger events changing the parameter values may be the solution. I still don't know which event causes parameter values change, so I may need info from someone who GOT that one.
Episode 3: They Stole Max's Brain!
-Making Frankie not use his credit card AND gifting Sammun-Mak something rare.
How to solve:Both puzzles use the same solution in one point. In the gift puzzle, you have to make Sammun-Mak like toasters so that you can turn Max into a toaster then give it to him, BUT there are so many toasters on the planet so people keep giving him toasters, so you should destroy all the toasters on the planet at once first. Destroying Frankie's credit card also uses a similar solution. Simply turn into a credit card or a toaster using rhinoplasty (pictures are near Stinky's Diner and near Frankie's betting place) and then go to the museum and while Max's changed in one of those forms, hit Sammun-Mak from where it hurts most: Right in the corndog pyramid. That'll make Sammun-Mak hate credit cards or toasters, so it'll end up all the toasters or credit cards on the planet destroyed. Don't forget making Sammun-Mak love toasters again by using the laser show before gifting one.
Why's this so problematic:Max doesn't change forms while travelling around using Desoto. And to destroy the corn dog pyramid, only one click is enough when Max's currently using rhinoplasty. If it's the first time player looks at corndogs, Max will destroy it and player may be left oblivious why destroying the pyramid or having Max turned into something is important. Yet, that would cause solving the puzzle without thinking over it.
What can be done: While he's transformed, using Max can be split into a two-step process. First picking up Max from where he is and grabbing him (like how we did in the very beginning of Penal Zone), second using the basic structure of "USING X on Y" with Max and corndogs. That would be effective as noone would try such a thing before thinking about it, and it's not that hard to expect 'picking up transformed Max' to use him on something.
-Accusing someone as a heretic to get a badge.
How to solve:If someone doesn't kneel or salute fast enough, it's easy to accuse him as a heretic easily. Grandpa Stinky's knees hurt during a rainstorm, so he's the perfect victim. Use rhinoplasty on the newspaper box near Sal to transform Max into a storm cloud, then go neat Grandpa Stinky and make him kneel.
Why's this so problematic:This one carries the second most biggest bug in all the season (first being the game killer bust-vanishing bug in The Tomb of Sammun-Mak), as after having Grandpa Stinky exiled, he actually stays THERE after you go somewhere and come back. Not only that, you can repeat the same thing and solve the puzzle again. Not only THOSE, when you do that, it actually counts as you picked ANOTHER badge when you do it. So, complete it three times = get all the badges easier = get to the next part easily and unfairly. Not to mention, without bothering yourself with other, (imo) more difficult puzzles.
What can be done: DESTROY. GRANDPA. STINKY. Or make it unable for people to raise the "badge-counter" after solving the puzzle again.
-Fight against Skun'ka-pe.
How to solve:There are so many details here to bother yourself in order to defeat the space ape. Use the Future Vision of Max on the fighters to see that Sam actually manages to defeat Skun'ka-pe and what kind of a taunt Sam actually uses to distract Skun-ka'pe. Then go back to Sam again. First, distract Sammun-Mak so that he won't interfere with your fight. To do that, switching from Max to Sam is enough, as a cutscene shows Skun'ka-pe hits the laser projector so it creates visuals for Sammun-Mak to have an eye feast for himself. After that, taunt him about fighting molemen. Skunkape will get them mad so they'll stick their arms out. Normally, this is when Sammun-Mak interferes, but he's too busy looking at the sky. Then, taunt him about getting dumped by Papierwaite. He'll then get Papierwaite mad, so Papierwaite will blind him. Simply attack him then, and let moleman do the rest. When he's knocked out cold, finish him.
Why's this so problematic:Two of the many details of this fight is actually not even cared by much players (distracting Sammun-Mak and activating molemen) because it's DEAD easy to trigger those events. It's as easy as to switch between characters to distract Sammun-Mak, so a player fiddling with the taunt options and activated molemen somehow will end the fight quickly, without seeing the cutscene where Sammun-Mak chills molemen out by using a spell, wondering why it was so important to distract Sammun-Mak and getting help from molemen.
What can be done: The triggering event of distracting Sammun-Mak could have been something different (and something makes more sense) such as talking directly to Sammun-Mak or giving a different taunt to Skun'ka-pe, since he's the one swinging his axe more passionately to hit the laser protector.
That's it. Am I nitpicking? Maybe. But the reason I listed those out is that I don't want Telltale to get unfair feedbacks, after they put so many thoughts on their games and all. Feel free to discuss or add similar things you saw during playing so we can talk about this too.
EDIT: Now I think of it, I guess I sound like I'm trying to teach you guys coding or making a game. It's simply not, it's actually a practice of mine trying to deduce algorithms. See, I'm learning computer science and engineering, and I'm still being taught general sense of algorithm. So it's really entertaining for me to point those out. Long story short, it's helping me to poke your eyes. 8D