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Tales of Monkey Island Available Here!









Telltale Games / LucasArts



Telltale Games



E +10 (Everyone)



July 7, 2009



‑ Another successful re-launching by Telltale Games of a classic point & click adventure

‑ Even if it needs to be adjusted downward for lower-end PCs or laptops, animation is still visually impressive

‑ Funny and smartly written storyline



‑ “Idol worship” task crucial to solving final puzzle is hard to do, as the weather vane is difficult to read at times

‑ Easy to get lost during jungle excursions because of the sometimes-confusing map navigation



Review: Sam & Max: Season Two (PC)

Review: Wallace & Gromit Grand Adventures: Last Resort (PC)

Review: Plants vs. Zombies (PC)



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Tales of Monkey Island: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal

Score: 9.0 / 10


tales of monkey island          tales of monkey island


Demonically possessed pirates, voodoo queens and seafaring ships braving tropical waters. It’s not another Pirates of the Caribbean movie; it is the long-time-coming return of Guybrush Threepwood, a classic pirate hero from the days when the PC point & click adventure game was most popular, in Tales of Monkey Island: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal from Telltale Games.


Just as it did when it brought back Sam & Max successfully back into gaming, Telltale Games has resurrected another classic LucasArts point & clicker with Tales of Monkey Island with the same result: an entertaining and hilarious adventure with what has become Telltale Games’ trademarks in its line of point & click episodic series -- a very strong story with excellent point & click fundamental gameplay




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(although with sometimes confusing and hard-to-solve puzzles).


Launch of the Narwhal revisits the original Monkey Island story, with the same familiar characters. Old-school LucasArts gamers will be elated to once again swashbuckle with Threepwood as he battles his longtime archenemy, the demonically possessed evil pirate LeChuck. A


first-rate opening sequence introduces Threepwood, LeChuck and Elaine, Guy’s lovely wife, who’s being held hostage by LeChuck.


Following an explosive beginning (literally), Threepwood is separated from Elaine and LeChuck while getting stuck on a seemingly inescapable island with yet another bad guy standing in his way to reunite with Elaine, defeat LeChuck and emancipate himself from the curse of LeChuck that’s now trapped in his hand but slowly creeping into the rest of his body.


Gameplay follows the same basic principles of point & click adventuring: search everywhere, pick up anything useful and combine any and all items with interactive points on-screen to solve puzzles. As is the case with all Telltale Games' episodic point & click adventures, the puzzles aren't always easy to decipher. There’s a hint system in place to help out in solving the puzzles, but it isn't as helpful as some of the previous Telltale Games series, most Notably Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures.


One of the biggest aggravations are the two main jungle excursions. The first, a “treasure” hunt, and the second, the final puzzle that has Threepwood playing a sort-of game of “Caribbean Idol”, both seemingly have easy-to-follow directions, based on a map and sound clues. But many times, gamers will have to inexplicably reverse direction to reach the next stage of the map. If the map isn’t followed exactly in the right order, Threepwood must go all the way back to the starting line, causing a lot of backtracking to get to the “X-marks-the-spot” goal.


tales of monkey island          tales of monkey island


In the second jungle trip, Threepwood must use a weather vane, which again seems very helpful in solving puzzles but turns out to be much more annoying. The weather vane in the final puzzle, once placed on top of each idol, is supposed to help gamers rotate each of the four idol’s correct facial features into place, thereby solving the particular idol puzzle. But the weather vane isn't always in an easy-to-see position, so there’s a lot of guessing instead of simply matching an easily visible weather vane face.


These are minor irritations to gamers (and many of the other puzzles follow a less-demanding, more logical path to solve them) that are more than made up for with the excellent story and the very funny and sometimes hilarious dialogue from a diverse cast of interesting characters. In the opening sequence Threepwood “inherits” LeChuck’s evil spell in his hand. There are laughs provided over and over as Threepwood’s possessed hand, as demonically evil possessed hands are wont to do, tries anything and everything to stop Threepwood from escaping Flotsam Island and its trapping winds.


Following excellent Sam Max, Strongbad and Wallace & Gromit episodic series, Telltale Games has done it once again. Tales of Monkey Island’s first episode, Launch of the Screaming Narwhal, is a “yo-ho-ho and a barrel of laughs” P&C adventure game. That’s especially true for old-school gamers that played the original LucasArts games, who will enjoy revisiting and reacquainting with their old pirate pal Guybrush.


‑ Lee Cieniawa


(July 20, 2009)


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