Those of you who’ve read some of my earlier gaming roundups know by now that I am big fan of LucasArt’s Monkey Island series – yeah, I know I never shut up about it. Last year the company granted a license to develop this series to well known adventure game publisher TellTale Games. Over the course of this year they have developed and released an episodic sequel to the Monkey Island franchise called Tales of Monkey Island. TellTale has been releasing short chapters to the series each month, hence the term episodic, and will continue doing so until spring of 2010 when the series concludes – hopefully not for good. So far a total of four episodes have been released, with the most recent chapter released just last Friday. I haven’t yet had a chance to play it myself yet, but am looking forward to it.
Each episode chronicles the adventures of Guybrush Threepwood as he struggles in search for an ancient giant sponges (Le Sponga Grande) to absorb a terrible pirate pox he which he has contracted, and ultimately reunite with his wife, Elaine Marley. Unfortunately his plans are constantly being thwarted by a mad French scientist and his female bounty hunter, who wants to capture and dissect him for study. So the story goes.
So far I’ve been very impressed with the work TellTale has done and the effort they’ve made to stay true to the game heritage – right down to resurrecting characters from former Monkey Island games and constant references to persons, places, or things from Monkey Island lore – like the famous three-headed monkey. That never gets old. Each episode contains the same wit and humor that made previous releases so beloved by audiences for many years. The puzzles are a little confusing and poorly conceived at times – like combining a seahorse head with a canon to sink a ship – that just does not makes sense to me – but you will find the overall story and character dialog complete hilarious.
The 3D artworks is something of a hit or miss. Personally I prefer the old school comic style art from Curse of Monkey Island over 3D models, but that’s a matter of personal taste I suppose. And that minor quibble does little to detract from what is otherwise a spectacular game. The more irritating aspect to Tales of Monkey Island that I’ve found is in fact actually a testament to the game’s superb design – each episode is too brief, and leaves me craving more story. But as they saying goes in show business, always leave your audience wanting more.
If you haven’t yet played this game or are new to adventure gaming in general, go over to TellTale games and try it for yourself. It costs just $34.95 for a downloadable copy (PC) and is also available for Nintendo WII as well.
Visit TellTale Games online store for further details.