Tales of Monkey Island
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this game is an episodic adventure game. This review is based on the first episode. It has an irreverent and funny tone, but it never crosses into vulgar or inappropriately violent territory. The strongest language is when a character says he's, "PO'ed." Violence is similarly cartoony, with the resulting injury being annoyance. For instance, a "bomb" goes off in a pair of underpants and irritates the villain.
What's it about?
There have been several adventure games in the acclaimed Monkey Island series, but nothing new in over ten years. Fortunately, this long-awaited release maintains the look and feel of the others, however; players still control the bumbling pirate/hero, Guybrush Threepwood in his quests for treasure and glory. And like the original games, you encounter many other silly characters spouting witty and ridiculous dialogue while clicking around environments and solving puzzles. The game, for Windows (and at a later date for the Nintendo Wii), is available in five, downloads, each representing a \"chapter.\" Users can download one per month, or buy all five on a DVD once the fifth chapter is released. If the first chapter is representative of subsequent episodes, each will contain at least five hours of gameplay.
Is it any good?
Exploring, solving puzzles and collecting clues and loot in the large world of Flotsam Island is lots of fun. The game's music and visuals hit the right, playful note and each puzzle has several, smaller, mini-puzzles, and they're generally satisfyingly challenging and silly. Perhaps most importantly, the game is peppered with the series' signature humor.
The only drawback is that the mouse-only mode of control is vary flawed; instead of simply pointing and clicking to direct your character, it involves right clicking and dragging. This method is both buggy and confusing to anyone accostomed to point-and-click adventure play. But you can use the arrow keys or WASD to move around instead and that mechanic works nicely.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the use of episodic structure in a videogame. Is it effective and fun to play an epiosde that leaves plot clues for future storylines? Is it worthwhile waiting for the next installment the way you would if it were a TV series, or should the Tales of Monkey Island be available to play all at once like most other games?
There's quite a bit of humor in the game, so it's worth talking about favorite lines, characters, and moments. There aren't many games created to really get players laughing. How well does it work here?