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Tales of Monkey Island: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal Review

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Developer: Telltale Games Publisher: Telltale Games
Release Date: July 7, 2009 Available On: PC and Wii

The Monkey Island franchise has been around for nearly twenty years. This 1990 hit from LucasArts spawned four sequels through 2000, when Escape from Monkey Island was released on PC and later on the PS2. That was the last we heard from Guybrush Threepwood, LeChuck and the rest of the characters in the Monkey Island series. That is, until now. TellTale Games has picked up where LucasArts left off with a new, revamped series of episodic games.

You play as Guybrush Threepwood, a pirate set on disposing of his arch-nemesis LeChuck once and for all. LeChuck kidnapped Guybrush’s girlfriend and you have to rescue her. Things go awry, the ship explodes and Guybrush ends up on the beaches of Flotsam Island. He finds out that due to wind patterns blowing towards the island, no one has left Flotsam in some time. Your job is to find a way off the island in order to rescue your girlfriend and defeat LeChuck once and for all.

If you have played any of TellTale Games’ adventure games, you should feel comfortably at home playing Tales from Monkey Island. The point-and-click movement from Sam and Max has been replaced with a radial three dimensional movement system where you click with the left button on the mouse and drag it in the direction you want to go. It works reasonably well after you get used to it, although this isn’t an action game, so it’s not like you are going to die from inaccurate controls.

A lot of the game is just reading dialogue and selecting responses. This is where you will learn the back story and clues as to how to solve puzzles. Not a lot of the game involves actual puzzle solving so much as finding items and knowing how to use them appropriately. For instance, you will run into a guy playing with dolls in the jungle. He wants a rare collectable ninja doll known as Dark Ninja Dave, but is stick with the more common Pink Pajama Pierre. You trick him into looking away and take one of his dolls. I won’t ruin the game for you, but I will just say that you have to somehow satisfy his request.

I have always been a fan of TellTale Games. Their satirical approach to gaming is a refreshing reprieve from the violence that dominates today’s landscape. Tales from Monkey Island is no different. This is a funny game with clever characters and a story line that will have you laugh out loud. Some of the puzzles are not all that obvious – I resorted to GameFaqs a couple times – but most of them are obvious enough after careful thinking. I definitely recommend Tales of Monkey Island: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal to adventure fans and Monkey Island fans alike.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 8.5
Gameplay: 7.5
Creativity: 8.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 7.7 out of 10
Written by Kyle Bell Write a User Review