Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge

App review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
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PC game remake features edgy humor, complex gameplay.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The controls on this sequel are light years above those of the first Monkey Island game -- much, much simpler to use. One new feature -- which highlights any potentially usable objects onscreen -- is a major help when facing some of the truly perplexing missions players are tasked with.

Violence

The pirates in this game don't use much violence against one another. They cause damage with prank-like attacks, such as causing a bucket of mud to fall on someone's head. Voodoo dolls are also used to inflict pain.

Sex

There is an innuendo-laden conversation between Guybrush, the hero, and Governor Marley, his unconsummated love interest -- nothing explicit is said. One task involves finding a bra among the laundry of a male pirate; another involves stealing the chief villain's underwear.

Language

Pirates freely insult one another, but with nothing harsher than "pig" or "rapscallion."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The drinking of grog and rum play major parts in the story. One scene involves a drinking contest which ends with one pirate passing out.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge is an updated remake of an old PC game. In this new version, better-looking painted graphics replace the pixelly visuals of old (though, if you choose, you can switch over to the original old-style graphics -- this feature is what the "Special Edition" refers to). While you don't need to have played the first Secret of Monkey Island in order to enjoy this sequel, there are lots of references to the earlier story that may confuse or frustrate newcomers to the series. The game contains a good deal of gross-out humor (gags involving gobs of spit or dirty underwear, for instance) and some mild sexual innuendo. The hero is far from innocent; he cheats at gambling games and steals from people constantly. Voodoo also plays a big role in the story.

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Is it any good?

While the original had a better storyline (the plot here is more convoluted and the hero less sympathetic), MONKEY ISLAND 2 SPECIAL EDITION: LECHUCK'S REVENGE is still the better of the two games. The main reason for its superiority lies in the improved control system. All possible actions (use, pick up, open, etc.) are laid out at the bottom of the screen, so you don't need to laboriously open a menu every time you want to switch actions. And players who are baffled to the point of frustration by the riddle-like Monkey Island missions are helped out by a new feature that lets you highlight all usable objects onscreen. This is invaluable, since the general rule for Monkey Island games is: If you can pick it up, you will need it. The humor sinks into gross-out territory a bit too often, but overall, the dialogue is quite witty and there are more than a few laugh-out-loud moments.

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