Top critical review
Not Monkey Island
on 25 January 2014
For me, this series of games felt so detached, and so lacking the qualities that made the original few Monkey Island games classics.
By a different developer, Telltale Games seemed to completely miss why Monkey Island was great. Instead of unique interesting characters in each scene, we have clones wearing different clothing but with the same voice. Instead of vast beautiful locations to explore, we're delivered small cumbersome environments with a distinct lack of charm.
Often the scenarios are weird and totally out of sync with the Monkey Island universe. Yes Monkey Island can often have bizarre features, but they're in context and kept somewhat believable. But Tales takes you into stomach of a giant leviathan, or a mermaid Island.
But it's the lack of genuinely funny moments, frustrating control system and erratic puzzles that ultimately turned me away from completing the series. I never got round to playing the last two games - although rumour has it they were vastly superior to the opening few chapters - I'd already bored and moved on.
This is not the future of point-and-click graphic adventure. Reviews of Double Fine's Broken Age, headed by one of the original Monkey Island designers, Tim Schafer, seem to indicate a more positive outlook. Double Fine have apparently spilled love and care into their product and it is said to shine through. Tales of Monkey Island feels like a product by numbers (literally).
As much as I love Monkey Island, I want them to leave it alone now. Telltales, have taken the franchise in a direction I felt genuinely uncomfortable about.