Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 1 - Launch of the Screaming Narwhal
One Of The most difficult things in the whole game development industry to revisit a game so revered and beloved by fans and try to make a new version that not only meets expectations, but forges its own path as well. That is what Telltale have attempted (again -they have, of course, experience from dealing with the Sam & Max games) with this new and eagerly anticipated visit to Monkey Island. While nobody expects anything to match the sheer glory of the first two games, hopes were still very, very high. And, of course, they haven't been met.
Certainly my first impression was Uh-oh... when I first got into the game. I really didn't like the look of Guybrush or LeChuck, neither was I fond of the new interface or the fact the camera was far too close in for effective surveying of the scenery. Plus, you start out onboard a ship, which is rocking up and down on the choppy seas. Nothing wrong with that, except that it means your mouse pointer is constantly moving about. It doesn't make things difficult, but a misplaced click is very easily attained. Consider this is meant to be the tutorial, where you learn about the interface, the decision to make the screen shake about is a curious one.
Neither did things get any better when you find yourself on Flotsam Island, the location for this first episode. There are only two locations you can enter and some of the characters are uninspired, with the decision to re-use more than one of the character models a number of times being particularly ill-advised. I didn't connect with any of the other characters really, and the whole Porcelain Pirate bit was embarrassing.
However, Dominic Armato is back as Guybrush and this makes so much difference. While you might skip some dialogue from the supporting cast, you'll never be doing that with Guybrush. Even his character model grew on me as 1 progressed. The introduction of an old favourite about halfway through helped things too.
Puzzles-wise, things are pleasingly Monkey. If you fail to spot an item, it can become a grating experience, like any adventure game, but 90% of the time you'll be sure about what you have to do. There's also a clever twist on the familiar map puzzle routine as well.
While it's no classic, every Monkey Island fan should be playing this. It feels more like an introduction to what we hope will be the full feast in later episodes, and as this one got better after a less-than-encouraging start, we can't wait to see what comes next.
Download Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 1 - Launch of the Screaming Narwhal
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Snapshots and Media
- Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
- Penny Arcade Adventures Episode 2
- Sam & Max: Episode 4 - Abe Lincoln Must Die!
- Sam & Max: Episode 5 - Reality 2.0
- Saya No Uta
- Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People - Episode 5: 8-Bit Is Enough
- Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 5 - Rise of the Pirate God
- Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures: Muzzled!