Tales Of Monkey Island: The Trial And Execution Of Guybrush Threepwood

For an idiot that can’t even put her socks on the right feet (even when they’re labelled with L and R), you might think that a point and click adventure might be a little bit too cerebral.  Then again, for someone that laughed for fifteen minutes straight at the ‘Yee Bay’ joke in the latest episode of the ‘Tales of Monkey Island’, the point and click hits the right balance of brains and harmless stupidity.  ‘Yee Bay’.  Ha ha ha.  Classic.

Now that Tim Schafer is battling demons in the age of metal with Jack Black, the writing duties are no longer under the auspices of the double fine founder, but are actually from a little closer to home,  Telltale Games in… Swindon?  Well, the voice cast aren’t from within the boundaries of the Magic Roundabout, in fact the voice actor for Guybrush Threepwood is the same actor who brought the character to life in the much maligned Curse of Monkey Island game.

Now, I’m an occasional fan of point and click games.  I spent many an hour working out which little glistening batch of pixels you had to pick up and attach to another glistening bunch of pixels in the ‘Discworld’ game until it all got too frustrating and I found the online solution (you have to tie the string to the mouse so it can go down the drain, get the key and then you can pull it out – so simple).  The world of the point and click is now well into the third dimension now, and in the latest instalment of the ‘Tales of Monkey Island’ the supporting cast don’t all look exactly the same, except with slightly different facial hair.

The game is a refinement on previous chapters, rather than a revolution. You continue where you left off from in the last chapter and Guybrush is now on trial for supposedly doing a variety of stupid things to different characters in previous chapters, which you need to rectify, this is all done by doing some very obscure things for the characters who are responsible for your situation, but in turn will help you win your trial. You can see that Telltale games must have been bricking themselves when they finally got the holy grail of the point and click licence, but now they seem to have found their feet, and the game is really funny, confident and doesn’t rely on the model of the three blinking trials again. In fact, with the Wallace and Gromit adventures, and season one and two of ‘Sam and Max’, Strongbad and more – Telltale are revitalising the point and click genre; it’s nice to see other games like ‘Alex and Pixel’ finding their way to Xbox Live arcade, as well as the PC.

Having not played a ‘Point and Click’ adventure in years, I noticed you no longer click in a spot and the character then walks there, instead you click next to Guybrush and a ring appears around him with an arrow pointing in the direction you want to walk then you drag it around the screen to move about. This to me was wizardry, it’s great but took a bit of getting used to, but after getting my walking line right for navigating corners it was easy to do.

If you ever played the old PC or Amiga point and click games, then the same obscure puzzles, inventory combinations and humorous dialogue trees are here in the new generation. It all feels a little more streamlined and easier than the old days of the ‘drag the mouse all over every bloody screen until the cursor changes, then try and use every blinking item you have, only to be told ‘I don’t want to do that right now’! You’re in a locked room and you have a gun, why don’t you want to shoot the bloody lock, Guybrush ‘Stubborn Git’ Threepwood!’

I don’t want to spoil what happens, but there are loads of jokes, lots of unexpected solutions to problems, great voice acting and just, well, fun.  So – buy it.  Then hopefully Telltale will be able to afford the rights to some other LucasArts licences, how about ‘Tales of the Tentacle’, ‘The Ballad of Full Throttle’ – and maybe even: ‘The Gangs of Grim Fandango’!  I love you Glottis!







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