Jake Stonebender is one of the regulars at the prolific bar where people from the past, the future and various mythological dimensions meet. Some visitors share their personal problems freely with the protagonist - dragging him right into them as he tries to solve them. How do you turn a series of short stories into a computer game? Make it episodical. Each of the episodes can be played independently with the bar acting as the place where short interludes take place. Interestingly enough, each episode is quite long on its own, resulting in a massive game when combined.
What contributes even more to this feeling of massiveness is the seemingly insane way each screen is crammed full of objects. And there we are at the best indicator of this game being a total anachronism: At least since the early 1990s, the Adventure genre had been moving towards 'simple' and 'solution-focused' very fast. The old art of being entertaining on the counts of leading the player away from the actual plot was dying. Callahan's Crosstime Saloon swings into the opposite direction: There's so much to look at and so many people to talk to it might be too much for some players. A feast for seasoned Adventurers, though.
At least graphically, the game tries to break some new ground with its innovative (and to my knowledge never tried again) use of free-scaling, 1st person, 360° panning surroundings. A sense of perspective is supposedly added by twisting straight lines when something gets to the corners of the screen. This sometimes works and sometimes doesn't - gameplay-wise, it's certainly less inconvenient than static perspectives.
There's one more thing to talk about, and that's humour. Everything is oozing 'bizzare', every dialogue quickly turns into a duel of puns. Sometimes, this bias towards puns creeps into the puzzles, and that's the highlights of the game. A decent amount of knowledge about subjects such as 1970s rock music and 1940s horror movies is absolutely required as well.
But back to the humour: Sorry, as funny as the game is at times, it's just too much. And too 'American'. On the one hand, you have to admire the game's consistency and complete lack of shame to be what it is. On the other hand, for those whose thinking is just a little outside of the game's microcosm, its somehow limited view on the world can get a little annoying. While we're on this subject, I have to admit I haven't read any of the printed Callahan stories - the game could be heaven for fans and I wouldn't be able to tell you. This is a typical case of 'love it or hate it' - either you get it or you don't.
The game is still an experience I would recommend - however, it seems to have a very limited target audience on counts of both gameplay and contents. You know these diagrams with two circles overlapping? Not sure how large this area is for this game. If you're outside, you'll notice very quickly, but you might still enjoy it - I did.