Telltale games and Lucas Arts present us with their fifth instalment of the renowned Guybrush Threepwood – Mighty Pirate in the gripping Tales of Monkey Island. Brought out for Wiiware, the PC and Playstation, in these five chapters the hapless pirate unleashes the monstrous pox virus upon the Caribbean and its inhabitants, after cocking up a voodoo spell on the notorious villain Le Chuck. The adventure takes you from pillar to post as your hero encounters and fends off pox infected pirates, a merciless French physician, the glamorous pirate bounty hunter Le Flay and a very large and lonely manatee! Threepwood travels the length of the Caribbean exploring numerous islands and experiencing unpredictably adventures to some unexpected places. Amidst the five chapters is a narrative that sees you solving an array of cleverly derived puzzles as Threepwood endeavours through uncanny situations to reach the end of the chapter unscathed. This game isn’t an adventure that is solely about solving cryptic puzzles, but also a narrative of the dynamic relationships between the characters and how they develop as the story unfolds.
The supporting characters Elaine, LeChuck and the Voodoo Lady you may know from previous titles of the series. There are also some fresh faces introduced in this game; the notorious pirate hunter Morgan LeFlay and the Creepy French Physician the Marquis De Singe to name a few. Each offers a compelling part to the storyline with comical, engaging cut scenes and entertaining discourse. The renowned deliberate anachronisms and references on modern day popular culture are also present in the game. These characters are here to help you and sometimes hinder you; on occasion you do trod on a few toes and wooden legs, embedding a series of events that will soon catch up to you in episode 4 in The Trail and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood.
Each character has a distinctive personality and in the first chapter Launch of the Screaming Narwhal, which propels you right into the thick of the action, you see the dynamic and affectionate relationship between Guybrush and his wife Elaine. This relationship will be threatened several times throughout the chapters with the introduction of Morgan LeFlay in episode 2, The Siege of Spinner Cay and the personality adjustment LeChuck goes through.
For you new adventurers there is a very brief tutorial and for you avid followers of the series you know what to look for. There is a vast array of well thought out puzzles that keep you occupied from beginning to end that rely on different methods to find the solution. Some depend on the strange assortment of items you collect on your travels while others rely on dialog and response like in episode 3, Lair of the Leviathan. Another puzzle design you will come across is to escape from the sticky situations poor Threepwood unknowingly falls into, adding a new entertainment value to the game. This can really come into its own in the ending chapter Rise of the Pirate God where Threepwood and Elaine face the hardest of challanges.
The animated designs of the game though a little on the basic side work wonders for the general feel of the game. The quirky discourse and interaction between the characters are smooth and fluid while being amusing and compelling to watch. The environments were very colourful and animated in design and very suited to the overall nature of the game. With each chapter comes a new environment to explore and even more adventures and puzzles to complete. When it comes to the sound I felt the voice over’s added that extra bit of depth to the characters and was perfect for setting the mood for the story. Other reviewers claim there are a few hiccups with the sound and visuals so be aware you could experience this, however I personally cannot recall so it is possible I was enjoying myself to much to care.
Although it’s a short game to look upon (only five chapters) do not be deceived, it took me a good while to work my way through the secrets of the levels, but don’t be turn off by this … it’s a good thing. A small bit of advice… don’t take anything for granted, however if you find yourself stuck take a peek outside the metaphorical box, I found the stranger it seemed the more likely it would work. For a new comer to the series, I was entertained by the relationships between the cast and the intricate detail of the puzzles as well as the engaging storyline for the duration of the game. I would suggest any adventure enthusiast should pick up a copy of this game for your collection…
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.