The game Return to Monkey Island is an adventure game that is fun and amazing. Return to Monkey Island, which is quite notable and places the series creator Ron Gilbert back in the franchise’s director’s chair for the first time in about 30 years, is a similar ride.
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Return to Monkey Island Review
The game is funny, polished, and a well-paced story packed with tons of puzzles that are both hilarious and challenging for a lot of people who appreciate an amazing adventure game.
And return wisely offers “Guybrush’s Scrapbook” in the main menu, as a fun, visual way for you to recap the previous monkey Island games that are narrated by Guybrush. But for Monkey Island earlies fans, this reunion with wannabe pirate Guyrush threepwood feels like coming home.
One of the most obvious ways that the Return to Monkey Island differs from its predecessors is in its art style. Gilbert could have gone the pixel-art route to pluck some extra low-hanging nostalgia fruit, but instead, he decided to go with a much bolder modern look. The game uses a large swath of the color palette, and the game’s over-the-top character design matches that of Monkey Island’s Sense of humor very well.
Monkey Island’s Delightful Music
The delightful music from the game could easily fool you into thinking that you are still in 1991. The music composers Michael land, Peter McConnell, and Clint Bajakian return with another pleasantly Caribbean score, and it goes quite a long way toward making this feel more like a proper return to Monkey Island.
The same goes with the voice cast, which is headlined by Dominic Armato as Guybrush Threepwood who brings a restrained, straight-man sensibility to a game filled with often-absurd scenarios, although he is not afraid to sling a bit of sarcasm when the situation requires it.
Everyone in this world that is aware of Guyrush is a well-meaning mess, but they are not able to help him anyway. Armato’s performance is a major reason why I felt the same way: there’s an innocence to Guybrush that shines through.
Story and Characters
The Return to Monkey Island is set just after Island 2, but the game has been built in a clever way that you would not expect. The game story involves – what else – the search for the secret of Monkey Island, and that quest revolves around Guybrush’s never-ending rivalry with the zombie-pirate villain LeChuck, and their Love-not-really-a-triangle with Elaine Marley.
As a matter of fact, Return obsesses over the foundational Mystery far more than any of its predecessors did, and it’s played up to repeated comedic effect. Decades of player wondering if Gilbert would ever reveal the real secret of Monkey Island is mirrored in the game with even Guybrush’s wife Elaine musing about why our hero must continue to cling to it.
Right in the process, the game revisits some familiar locations like Melee Island and of course Monkey Island, and it takes us to new ones; just as it also offers back familiar faces and brings in new characters. Shout-out to Locke Smith, who you get to visit on several occasions and who is well aware that her very name is a pun.
Classic Puzzle Game
The amazing story and memorable characters just contribute half of the classic puzzle game equation. The other part of the game is a series of puzzles that are both challenging and satisfying to solve, serving as the bedrock of any hearty helping of them here, always including a thread of comedy that runs through the traditional question of which item you would use on what person or location at every turn.
Solving puzzles is as great as satisfying a dopamine hit as ever, and the 2022 iteration of Monkey Island has learned to avoid the infamously obtuse “adventure game logic” that has made a lot of people bounce off of the originals back in the day.
According to IGN, “The puzzle structures and solutions don’t really tread new ground, but none were so abstract as to leave me wondering how the heck I’d have ever come up with the solution once I figured it out.”
The Guybrush always-available hint book is available to help you learn how to resort the puzzle. It is a very welcome evolution of a feature that was first introduced to the series in LucasArt’s 2009 remasters of Monkey Island 1 and 2.
the book gives you hints layer by layer, nudging taking you in the right direction, but still giving you the satisfaction that you would get from eventually solving the puzzle yourself. The game also has a new To-Do list that helps you keep track of everything that you are currently working on trying to solve without making it feel like you are being fully assisted in the game.