Monkey Island is back! Telltale are revisiting one of the most loved classics of PC Gaming to bring us five new episodes. The demo and the first episode have been released, and I played through the former to see how Monkey Island translates into the world of modern gaming.
This being the cutting edge realm of the 21st Century it’s all in a 3D engine, of course. Cast aside any memories of the dubious move to the third dimension in Guybrush’s fourth outing, this time round the characters are well realized and expressive. Visually it seems that Telltale are aiming to recall the slim and colourful looks of the third game with great success.
It’s not just the aesthetic, the voice actors also return, and show good form in the painfully short snippet provided by the demo. While providing few laugh out loud moments, the charisma of the characterisation and the good natured humour of Guybrush’s chatter with Elaine is infectious.
Being the very beginning of the game the puzzles were understandably simple. The screen is pleasantly uncluttered, with the inventory system hidden offscreen, ready to slide in at the click of a button. It’s pretty slick but marred by a fairly obvious problem. I wonder what on earth led them to implement the clumsy and irritating movement system that sees you dragging Guybrush across the deck as a small ring orbits his torso, indicating the direction he’s facing. It’s a very distracting bit of UI periphery in an otherwise unobtrusive setup that sees Guybrush making drunken beelines to an item only a few feet away.
Still, there’s more than enough here to whet my appetite and, with the funniest moments occuring at the very end of the demo, the rest of the episode might just live up to the weighty expectations. Here’s hoping. The demo’s here, play it and let me know what you think.