When we last left Guybrush Threepwood: Mighty PirateTM, he had set sail once again to find a magic voodoo sponge so he can suck up the Pox of LeChuck that’s been infecting pirates all over the Caribbean! Unfortunately, Guybrush and his ship and crew have been swallowed by a giant manatee. In the third episode set inside the belly of the beast, help Threepwood earn the trust of a rag-tag group of manatee mutineers (and the return of an old favorite) so he can escape and continue his search for the sponge.
Tales of Monkey Island is an episodic point and click adventure game from TellTale Games, makers of similar styled adventures based on other popular properties like Sam & Max, Strong Bad, and Wallace & Gromit. Each episode, which has roughly 4 to 6 hours of gameplay, will be released separately about every month or so, and you can download them at TellTale’s Web site.
Similar to other TellTale games, use the mouse to point and click on objects and people to gather clues, talk to others, and collect items you can use to solve the games many wacky puzzles. TellTale’s other episodic adventures are fairly self-contained. But since Tales of Monkey Island still makes references and keeps items from past episodes, it’s best to start from the first episode this time. One new aspect is the ability to combine items to create new ones to help crack the riddles. By clicking and dragging two items from your inventory into circles and pressing the ‘combine’ button, you might be able to use two things at once.
Similar to TellTale’s Wallace & Gromit adventures, you click on items with the mouse and move around with the WASD keys. It would’ve been nice if you could have controlled the whole game with the mouse, but they had to do it this way since the game will also eventually be on WiiWare and played with a controller. Really, moving around with the arrow keys didn’t bother me at all, personally, but it might bug others.
The only other problem I had with this game is some of the puzzles were not as intuitive as I would have liked, and some of the items were not as easy to spot, especially with the dark graphics inside the manatee. But these problems are only minor. As with all other TellTale games, Tales of Monkey Island is highly recommended for point and click adventure game fans.
Tales of Monkey Island is rated E-10 for Everyone 10 and up. ESRB descriptors include, Comic Mischief, Language, and Mild Suggestive Themes. You can’t have a pirate adventure without a little “Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum,” but nobody actually drinks anything alcoholic. Being inside a giant manatee, of course there’s going to be some bits of gross out humor (you escape by using some manatee laxative). The game is full of Looney Tunes style slapstick antics and Simpsons-like parody and satire. And the sexual innuendos are very subtle and will go over most kids’ heads. Because of the trickier puzzles, Tales of Monkey Island would probably be best enjoyed by older kids. But the whole family would be able to play this one together. In fact, an extra set of eyes is always helpful to solve the puzzles.