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Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 1 on Game and Player

Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 1

Jessica Johnson  //  July 7, 2009

A mighty pirating adventure even a land lubber would enjoy.


early ten years have passed since the release of Escape from Monkey Island, and the mighty pirate Guybrush Threepwood is at it again. Still a klutz and rather unlucky at times, our favorite would-be buccaneer must do everything within his power to save the world from the demon plunderer LeChuck.

Point-and-click adventure games are best known for their fascinating tales and sometimes debilitating puzzles — but fear not, me hearties, Launch of the Screaming Narwhal so far appears to have plenty of the former and very little of the latter. Tales of Monkey Island is true to its well-written heritage and chock-full of hilarious one-liners, familiar faces, nostalgia-inducing music, and plenty of piratey goodness.

Avast! Save the world
from the demon pirate LeChuck.
The opening scene takes place in the Caribbean. Deep in the Caribbean, to be exact. Guybrush must rescue his wife, Elaine, and stop LeChuck from casting a spell on a helpless little primate believed to be the 13th Monkey of Montevideo. But in typical, Guybrush-like fashion, he manages to screw it all up and spread a pox on the entire world. Darn you, Guybrush!

Traditionally, point-and-click games required very little control on the player's part. By clicking and dragging items, information would be imparted or action sequences would play. Tales of Monkey Island is set in a fully three-dimensional environment and thus by design cannot be manipulated in the customary way. Controls consist of either WASD/arrow keys (similar to Sam & Max), or an all-mouse scheme that uses a rotating arrow that moves based on the position of the mouse.

If you are expecting the conventional controls, this new mouse system might seem awkward to get used to, but newcomers will most likely find it easy to work with. The controls make sense for the atmosphere the developer has created. The third-person perspective of the camera just isn't conducive to the old controls, so it makes sense to use it the way they have. Fortunately, there are options to fit any play style.

Despite this minor detail, this game is very well done, as would be expected from a development team like Telltale Games. I am certain the die-hard fans will approve of their addition to the Monkey Island series, as the story of Guybrush unintentionally spreading an evil pox across the globe is fitting to the overall story arc. The sheer volume of inside references alone is enough to keep a grown man entertained for weeks.

Any fan of the adventure genre will feel right at home. The usual setup can be expected: the ability to inspect just about anything, a place to store valuables taken along the way, and the freedom to complete quests at your own, piratey pace. For the newcomers, this 3D style might be fun and inviting. It is also important to note that it is entirely possible to over think problems, and therefore become frustrated. I entreat anyone new to such a puzzle-laden game to take their time and realize that half the fun is figuring it out the solution for yourself. Yo-ho!

Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 1



Telltale Games


Telltale Games

NA Release

July 27, 2009


Play Mode

ESRB Rating

In Favor

  • True to the series, nostalgic
  • Interesting, challenging puzzles


  • Tricky navigation in 3D environments

G&P Rating

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