Tales of Monkey Island
By Alex Porter,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Episodic, downloadable pirate game mixes humor, adventure.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The bumbling main character, is essentially on the side of good and up against demon pirate, LeChuck.
Positive Role Models
While the game is mainly humorous fun, the main character is heroic in contrast to antagonists who are overty evil; his primary mission is to save his wife and collect loot.
Ease of Play
The game is very simple and requires only a few keys and the mouse to play.
Violence & Scariness
This game has some very mild, cartoony violence, such as planting "bombs" that do no damage but annoy other characters.
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No explicit swearing, though mention of "breaking wind," "gluteal acne," and some use of the French curse, "sacre merde."
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Products & Purchases
This game is presented in episodes which allows the developer to market each installment.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
On several occasions characters mention "grog," and in one scene they explain that "Light grog is just like real grog except without the taste, calories, or debilitating blackouts."
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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.
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Tales of Monkey Island
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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.
Talk to Your Kids 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?
- Platforms: Nintendo Wii, Windows
- Available online?: Not available online
- Publisher: Telltale Games
- Release date: July 9, 2009
- Genre: Adventure
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Alcohol Reference, Comic Mischief, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes
- Last updated: August 31, 2016
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