Tales of Monkey Island is a stupendous amount of fun and revives all the brilliant points of the classic original.
It’s almost 10 years since we last saw Guybrush Threepwood, the slightly inept pirate of the Monkey Island series, but he’s back with a vengeance.
Fans of the original game, released in 1990, will be pleased to hear that it’s been given a 21st-century makeover; for those who want a brand new challenge, there’s Tales of Monkey Island.
The game is split into five chapters. The first, the Launch of the Screaming Narwhal, is out now and the rest will be released over the next few months, although you can pay for all five upfront for $35. The game follows Guybrush as he tries to stop the ghost pirate LeChuck’s pox spreading across the Caribbean.
Fans of the original series will feel right at home. The game is voiced by the brilliant original team, while the cartoony graphics look great and feel like a natural progression. The controls are easy to use – you talk, walk and use objects with just the left mouse button.
The clever puzzles that made Monkey Island so enjoyable are back. This is a game where you have to think your way out of problems. The learning curve is carefully balanced: at each stage, you have an instinctive feeling for how to achieve a goal, and the details slowly fit into place as you wander around, talk to characters and find new objects. The humour’s back, too, with a decent mix of laugh-out-loud moments and awful puns.
We were worried that the episodic format would make each chapter seem simplistic and too short, lacking the complexity and depth that made the original so much fun. This isn’t the case. The Launch of the Screaming Narwhal provides hours of gameplay as you try to escape from Flotsam Island on the only ship, completing sub-missions as you go. We can’t wait for the next episode.
Tales of Monkey Island is everything fans could hope for. If you’ve never played the original, buy the remake first and then get this.