‘Return to Monkey Island’ – TouchArcade

So often we see the things we grew up loving through rose-colored glasses, and by revisiting them later in life, we end up smearing those good memories we once had. This is especially true when it comes to video games. There are games I loved as a kid that I couldn’t wait to launch and relive as an adult, only to have a bucket of cold water thrown in my face when I realized the gameplay just didn’t hold up in today’s gaming world. Video games have seen decades of refinement, and much of what we cherish from the “glory days” of video games of the 80s and 90s simply hasn’t aged well. Sometimes it’s best to leave things as good memories.

One particular genre that I’ve longed to return to over the years, but held back for fear of what I’m describing above, is the classic point-and-click adventure games from LucasArts or Sierra On- Line. I absolutely loved the King’s Quest, space quest, monkey island games and more, but they’re also from a time when I could bang my head against a particularly obtuse puzzle for 8 hours straight without ruining the rest of my week. Now, with my middle-aged status, a full-time job, two young kids, a wife, and a mortgage to worry about, I’m lucky if I have 8 hours a week in total to devote to whatever. what kind of game, not to mention a single puzzle in a single game. No sir, I’m really scared to try and play any of these games again.

There is a silver lining to this though. Sometimes the minds behind those classics you loved as a kid are still making games, and sometimes they create a whole new game in a series you loved that features modern sensibilities and takes into account that you might being an adult with responsibilities and stuff. This is the case of Ron Gilbert, creator of the monkey island series, which played a major role in the original two games but was pretty indifferent to anything that came out in the series since. He had always dreamed of making a direct sequel to 1991 Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revengeand in recent years it has finally come to pass in the form of Back to Monkey Island which hit consoles and PC last year and came to iOS and Android this very week.


What I like Back to Monkey Island is that it’s like playing one of those classic adventure games as you remember them, not as they actually are. There are quality-of-life improvements and features here that you’d expect from a game made today that weren’t common in games over 30 years ago. This includes a well-designed hint system so there can always be an incredibly obtuse or nonsensical puzzle solution, but you won’t have to search for an FAQ.txt or log onto Usenet trying to find any. help to solve it. Help is there if and only if you want it. Another thing that remains is the quirky humor monkey island the games are familiar, thanks to many of the same key players from the first games in the series returning for this sequel. You can find even more information about this game in our review from earlier this week.

While Back to Monkey Island is its own standalone story and doesn’t require you to have played any previous games to enjoy it, there’s definitely a lot of fan service for anyone who has, and it makes me even sadder that we lost the relatively excellent iOS versions of The Secret of Monkey Island And Monkey Island 2 special editions few years ago. Being able to play these enhanced ports of the first two games in the series, and then this decades-long sequel, all on the touchscreen that feels so at home for adventure games, would have been a treat. Alas, a boy can dream, and maybe one day those original games will come back, but for now, I like feeling like a kid again with Back to Monkey Island and if you have fond memories of the series or are completely new to it but love classic-style adventure games with amazing production values, you’ll probably enjoy this one too.

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