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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Adventure

 

Publisher

Telltale Games

 

Developer

Telltale Games

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

August 20, 2009

 

 

‑ Much more detailed storyline with accompanying hilarity

‑ Puzzles are more intuitive (and less frustrating) than previous episode

 

 

‑ Even with seemingly more to do gameplay-wise, much shorter episode than the first

‑ Still sometimes too easy to get lost and disoriented in the jungle

 

 

Review: Tale of Monkey Island: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal (PC)

Review: Wallace & Gromit: Muzzled (PC)

Review: Plants vs. Zombies (PC)

 

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Tales of Monkey Island: Episode 2 - The Siege of Spinner Cay

Score: 9.0 / 10

 

A pirate gal knows her pirate guy really, really loves her when he’s willing to sail the seven seas to “rescue” her. Especially when said guy pirate, Guybrush Threepwood, has to battle his long-time nemesis, an evil-intentioned doctor bent on global domination and a dangerous femme fatale mercenary to reunite with his pirate wife, Elaine.

 

tales of monkey island          tales of monkey island

 

At the start of The Siege of Spinner Cay, the second instalment of the Tales of Monkey Island point & click adventure series from Telltale Games, Threepwood is in pursuit of his perceived archenemy LeChuck, who is now pox-free and seemingly no

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longer voodoo cursed, and who just so happens to have Elaine aboard his ship. Is he kidnapping her? Have some nefarious plans for her? Looking for revenge against Threepwood via her? No, the apparently reformed LeChuck just needs her help in collecting a batch of escaped monkeys.

 

Seems innocent enough, but

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Threepwood isn’t buying that story just yet, seeing that his hand has been infected with the diseased pox LeChuck once contained throughout his body. He’s not in much of a forgiving, let’s-make-friends mood, having already fought off and escaped the no-so-nice doctor Marquis de Singe, who wants the pox-infused Threepwood in a quest for acquiring the pox’s evil power.

 

But just as Threepwood is ready to reunite with Elaine (and LeChuck), he discovers he hasn’t quite completely escaped the clutches of de Singe. A hired mercenary, Morgan LeFlay (who happens to have a love-hate relationship with Threepwood – with a little more emphasis on the “being somewhat in love” aspect), hunts down good old Guybrush, engages him in a swordfight aboard his boat, and slices off Threepwood’s pox-infected hand before she flees with said pox-infected hand and heads on back to de Singe (only to find out de Singe needs not just Threepwood’s hand, but all of him, to unleash his evil plan).

 

tales of monkey island          tales of monkey island

 

After fighting off LeFlay, Threepwood catches up to Elaine and LeChuck, but before there can be any happy marital reunion, Threepwood (along with Elaine and LeChuck) finds himself right in the middle of another fight altogether, at the port of Spinner Cay.

 

Nowhere near as big as the Flotsam Island setting of the first episode, Launch of the Screaming Narwhal, gamers will use the tiny Spinner Cay as the central point of this episode’s gaming adventuring. There, Threepwood will find Elaine trying to broker a peace accord between mermaid inhabitants, the Merfolk, and another pox-infected pirate, McGillicutty – who is also looking for the same La Esponja Grande that Threepwood is chasing in order to expunge the pox from him. However, McGillicutty isn’t very patient, and he’s not willing to wait for the Merfolk to give him the required artifact that lead to the way to La Esponja Grande.

 

It seems the Merfolk aren’t fond of McGillicutty at all, but have taken a liking to Threepwood (with some romantic overtures by the raft-owning Mermaiden Anemone). With the help of the Merfolk, Threepwood ventures out among the tiny islands that can be visited around Spinner Cay in search of items and articles that will help him find the three artifacts he’ll need to discover to acquire the La Esponja Grande-finding relic.

 

That will send gamers that played the first episode to familiar turf: the jungle, which is still easy to get lost and disoriented in, but not as frustratingly easy as it was in the first episode. The puzzles are once again not as cryptically difficult as those found in some of the earlier Telltale Games point & clickers. While not simple, the clues are much more intuitive, giving gamers an aggravation-free challenge without being too hard/too easy for the overwhelming majority of the game’s puzzles.

 

Despite clocking in with noticeably less gameplay than in Launch of the Screaming Narwhal, the Siege of Spinner Cay episode has a more involved storyline to submerge gamers in. Once completed, gamers will be given another well-conceived cliffhanger that leads directly into both the belly of a “beast” and the next episode: Lair of the Leviathan. The diversity of the locales Threepwood will visit along with a better puzzling system and smarter and (smart-ass) funny storyline more than atone for less gameplay time.

 

‑ Lee Cieniawa

lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(September 28, 2009)

 

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