Our Score: 9/10
Return to Monkey Island is an unexpected and exhilarating continuation of the series’ illustrious adventure games The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge, which were created in conjunction with Lucasfilm Games.
It has been a long time since Guybrush Threepwood and his adversary, the undead pirate LeChuck, engaged in a wits-based conflict. Elaine Marley, his true love, has shifted her attention away from politics, and Guybrush himself is lost and unfulfilled because he has never discovered the Secret of Monkey Island. Melee Island has deteriorated, hip, youthful pirate leaders commanded by Captain Madison have ousted the old guard, and wealthy entrepreneur Stan has been detained for “marketing-related offences.”
Return to Monke
The majority of Return to Monkey Island takes place after the events of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge, and it follows our beloved rascally pirate Guybrush Threepwood as he searches for Monkey Island’s mystery as an older man. The ghost pirate LeChuck, Threepwood’s archenemy, naturally has the same notion. As you can anticipate, this sets up a race between the two adversaries to see who can figure out the secret first.
LeChuck has a ship and a crew and is about to leave, whereas Threepwood has neither, and Melee Island has changed significantly since his last visit. This presents a small difficulty for Guybrush as he lands on Melee Island at the beginning of his adventure. The city has experienced a changing of the guard in a number of different ways as certain enterprises have prospered while others have failed.
If you’ve never played a Monkey Island game or need a refresher, you can view a wonderful scrapbook before setting off on your adventure, which will deftly explain some of the series’ most important moments and provide context for what is going to happen.
Gilbert and Grossman did not enslave and sink to the ocean’s depths the games and narrative that appeared after their departure. Instead, the duo has accepted some of the series’ canon, with references to and appearances of characters from those games.
You will be prompted to select between Casual Mode and Hard Mode when Return to Monkey Island starts off. While Hard Mode is the true Monkey Island experience, Casual Mode enables gamers who choose to experience the story but with easier difficulties.
Gilbert and Grossman haven’t missed a beat in maintaining the high caliber of writing that has always been present in the Monkey Island titles. There are many references to previous games, ridiculous gags that mostly work, and wonderful dialogue because of the superb voice acting. The story’s conclusion might not satisfy everyone, and if I’m being really honest, I’m still not sure how I feel about it.
Given the time between releases, if you were hoping for a revolutionary point-and-click adventure, you’re going to be let down. This adventure game has every characteristic of a Monkey Island title and is as point-and-click as any adventure game can be. However, unlike other contemporary point-and-click adventures, this game has polished elements of the original model that would have seemed out of date by today’s standards.
Guybrush’s movement around the places feels contemporary because of the user interface’s simplicity. The two options accessible to Threepwood, which are essentially investigate and interact, make interacting with the world feel easier. Guybrush has access to an inventory where he can utilise goods he’s obtained on people or objects in the world.
Sincerity be damned, the game’s graphic style, which resembles digital marionettes, fits in nicely with that. Anyone who is offended that the game didn’t employ the original pixel art aesthetic has to simply get over it because it is enjoyable, colourful, and lighthearted, just like the series. The new art style really helps bring out the whimsical nature of the game.
Return to Monkey Island is a great revival of the franchise that respects everything that comes before it and after it. Its incredible art style and charming writing will immediately charm old fans and bring in new ones.