Ask any adventure gamer what their top three favourite adventures are and no doubt The Secret of Monkey Island will be there, and with good reason. It provided quantum leaps in character development, storyline and comical writing, and for the adventure gaming genre in general. With adventure gaming rising from the ashes in the past few years, Lucasarts have reformed their adventure division to release a Special Edition of The Secret of Monkey Island. A game that is widely regarded by millions of fans across the globe, nineteen years later, is the game still relevant?
For those who have never played The Secret of Monkey Island you play as Guybrush Threepwood, an aspiring pirate who has arrived on Melee Island to seek fame, fortune and make a name for himself. This is point and click adventuring at it’s best, as you will traverse the island and meet a number of eccentric characters on your quest to Monkey Island and to defeat the evil Le Chuck. The puzzles are often trial and error, using different objects with different combinations until you find something that works.
So what’s new in this Special Edition? First of all the game has been re-drawn with high res slick new artwork which look a treat. The standouts are the water by the docs, the falling leaves, the little details look stunning. Want to compare the new art to the original, simply use the hot-swap key and you will be transformed seamlessly to the original graphics and music. For those who are veterans it’s nice to be able to play the adventure the way you remember from all those years ago, and for new comers to the series it’s great to see just how much work has gone into this special edition.
All the characters now have been touched up with voice actors which are simply perfect. Guybrush is just as funny as ever, and it helps the game to fit in with the new Tales of Monkey Island series that have just been launched. As with the new graphics, a revamped soundtrack comes along with the package and is executed perfectly. There is a mass of joy as you go from the new soundtrack, hit that hot-swap key and hear the original MIDI score. So much retro charm oozes from every facet of this title.
How long the game keeps you busy for is totally dependent on whether you are a new comer of a fan. For those who are new to the series, there is a gameplay potential of 5-10 hours, especially if you don’t succumb to the in-game hint system to solve some of the trickier puzzles. For those veterans you will be able to breeze through the game as everything is the same, but for a $9.99 price tag you can’t really complain.
The impressive thing is the iPhone version of the game is the exact same as it’s Xbox 360 and PC counterparts. It has the same full features, and once you are familiar with the touchscreen control, is just as good.
The Secret of Monkey Island is the pinnacle of storytelling in the gaming medium. It’s quick wit, humor and lovable characters have made it a favourite among gamers. While this Special Edition is essentially a facelift, it opens up this timeless classic to a whole new generation of gamers. IGN Ratings for The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition (PC)
Some of the funniest gameplay you’ll ever see in a game. There are so many things to point and click at to explore.
The new art suits the game style perfectly and the option to switch back to the original is fantastic. The animation is a little jerky, but it fits in with the way the original plays.
The voice actors do a fantastic at breathing life into the once silent characters, and the new musical score is a great experience.
The value factor is largely based on whether or not you’ve played it before. Either way once you finish it you won’t be picking it up again for a while.