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Video Game Review: The Curse of Monkey Island

A LucasArts classic, before the company were dismantled, The Curse of Monkey Island is one of their most iconic titles. Whether you’re a long-time fan of the franchise, or just observing it for the first time, it’s fair to say that if you’re a gamer, you’ve probably heard of it! In this instalment of the Point and Click series, we join Guybrush Threepwood on his quest to save his fiancee, Elaine Marley. Will Guybrush be able to save her, or will she be a solid gold statue forever?

Source: Steam

Overview

Developer LucasArts
Platforms PC (Windows, MacOS)
Worldwide Release
October 1997
Genre Point and Click, Adventure
Price
£5.19 (as of time of writing, Steam)

Review

Story

The game opens up with Guybrush Threepwood having been caught by the undead pirate, LeChuck. Guybrush finds himself locked in a room with a pirate he recognises as Wally, who is looking to shoot Guybrush. With this in mind, Guybrush uses some suave conversational skills to reduce Wally to tears and ends up blasting himself out of the locked room. When he comes to, he finds himself in the treasure hold of LeChuck’s ship. He finds a beautiful, massive diamond ring. He couldn’t help but take it and use it to propose to his beautiful girlfriend, Elaine Marley.

When Guybrush and Elaine are finally reunited, Guybrush asks Elaine to marry him, putting the diamond ring on her finger. Wally reemerges and talks about how familiar that diamond ring is, saying it’s a lot like the cursed one in LeChuck’s treasure hold. When confronted on this, Guybrush doesn’t hide the fact it must be the same ring. Elaine goes to punch him but turns into a gold statue. Quickly seeking out help, Guybrush finds the Voodoo Lady who explains how to save Elaine from the curse, but when he realises he left a solid gold statue of Elaine Marley on the beach, he returns to find she’s been kidnapped… stolen?

Will Guybrush be able to get a mighty crew of pirates to help him become a mighty pirate, save Elaine Marley and defeat the evil LeChuck again? Well Big Whoop.

Gameplay

The Curse of Monkey Island is stuffed full of references to LucasArts’ other titles

There’s never a huge amount to discuss with gameplay of a Point and Click adventure game, it’s in the name. It’s implied that you point your cursor at a location and click it for a thing to happen. However The Curse of Monkey Island has a fairly intuitive system for handling different interactions. From talking to observing and even grabbing, you hold down the left mouse button and click on the option you’d like to take, else it’ll set itself to a default value, such as to pick an item up.

Sometimes, the game throws a random puzzle at you; sometimes memory, sometimes item combinations via your inventory. Othertimes, it throws logic out of the window, making you have to think completely outside of the box. An example of this is an early puzzle, where you have a boat that can sink, as it has a large hole in it. The way to resolve this? Make a plug, of course, but how on Earth can you make, or find a plug? Well, plugs are made of rubber and Plunder Island, the first main island of the game, is famous for its rubber trees – So you have to put this together to suss how to make a plug.

The game is very simple to play, as is to be expected of a point n click adventure game. However, just because it’s got a simple gameplay style, doesn’t mean it’s bad what so ever. If there was any crticism of the gameplay is that Guybrush does walk incredibly slow. However, if you want to leave a screen, thankfully this is done quickly with a double click of the exit arrow that appears. But, if you have a large scene, such as Puerto Pollo, unless you find the little “hidden” door which takes you from one side to the other (thus using the double click motion to make him move faster), it can be quite a lengthy walk.

Graphics

In my personal opinion, this is one of those games that’s managed to stand the test of time in terms of its graphics. This is mostly due to it being a cartoon, although on a larger screen, due to the size of today’s monitors, it does come across as very pixelated. Our full gallery is below:

Audio

The sound of The Curse of Monkey Island is always one of the highest points; the voice acting is simply stellar. Guybrush is equal parts annoying and charismatic, which makes for a hugely lovable goofball. Elaine sounds angry at the curse her fiancé accidentally put on her; LeChuck sounds suitably evil, but not as evil as the infamous Murray, the evil talking skull. Ultimately, every voice has been lovingly crafted by the voice actors, giving a distinct personality to every character.

Oh and whilst I could talk about the The Curse of Monkey Island soundtrack, why not listen to it? Honestly, it’s worthwhile!

Overall

A legendary game, which people all over the world have had the opportunity to play. If you haven’t had the chance to play this yet, then you really must. The fact it came out on Steam this year is, seriously, a blessing. I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands back on the Point and Click classic, so it’s been a blast replaying this. There are faults, as I mentioned above, however you can pretty much always forgive these faults, as the story is simply stellar, the logic is… Intriguing… And the characters are well thought out. Perhaps your views are different? Or do you share my sentiment? As ever, let me hear your thoughts in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.

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4 responses

  1. played and enjoyed it 10 years ago!

    Liked by 1 person

    May 16, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    • It was one of the first games I played where I seriously was able to bond with someone else. One of the classics of video games, which honestly should be required playing for future storyteller’s in the video game medium :)

      Liked by 1 person

      May 16, 2018 at 3:10 pm

  2. I completed the first Monkey Island game not so long ago and absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to move onto this one after the second. Great review! Very enjoyable read. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    May 16, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    • You’re in for a treat as you play through the series; personally, I hail The Curse of Monkey Island as the greatest in the franchise, but many others think 2 is, as well.

      Whatever your opinion is at the end of it – It’s a franchise that people must paly through at some point imo. Glad you enjoyed the article! :D

      Like

      May 16, 2018 at 8:52 pm

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