I've had the Sam and Max games in my Steam library for quite some time now (since May 2011, says my Steam history), and the games had been working fine for some time. I've recently (as in, past two weeks) attempted to return to them to play them with my daughter, and they simply won't start at all.
The screen flashes, and Steam will say the last played date is today, but then, nothing. Some of the season 1 will be so kinds as to give me a "SamAndMax[number].exe has stopped working" dialog, but that's about it.
I just tried to launch 302 (picked at random) as I haven't played any from Season 3. Steam told me the game had to switch to the new format, did so, and then DirectX was 'installed' for a period that seemed too long. In the end though, it launched fine.
I uninstalled 202 (not random, it's where I want to pick up; I've played through 201 on the PC). Launching it will make my screen go black for a second, then we're back to the desktop with a hard crash.
I've set compatibility mode to a couple of different levels (XP and 98) as well as tried to set the exe to run as an administrator: no dice.
If anyone has tips/tricks/workarounds/solutions, I would be quite grateful.