Tales of Monkey Island Chapter One Demo Released, Game Officially Launches

By Nick Breckon, Jul 07, 2009 5:07pm PDT Developer Telltale has released the demo for Tales of Monkey Island Chapter One: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal, the first episode of its five-game revival of the classic adventure franchise. Grab it now on FileShack.
Following a period of site downtime, the PC version of the chapter is also now available to purchase from Telltale's official site and Steam. The WiiWare version is set for a later release.

While my impressions of the first chapter were mixed, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what Telltale does with the rest of the series. And hey, the demo's free, so there's no excuse not to give it a shot. It's not every day a Monkey Island game is released.

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  • Quick Impressions

    The graphics and art style are actually very well done. I was worried when seeing the screens, but in motion it looks wonderful, the motion blur and depth of field effects are really well done. Its not often that we get to play games this colourful and it plays very well on my aging rig with a Geforce 6800GT 256MB. The supporting character designs are a bit weak, with two characters on Flotsam being identical except one is black with a moustasche and the other is white without one. Its like they simply used the same model and changed it a bit, dissapointing but nothing that affects the game itself. The character designs for Guybrush, Elaine, LeChuck took no time to get used to, and really look great when compared to Escape. The environments are also very detailed, and while not as detailed as the hand drawn environments of Curse, they come damn close. I didn't mind the controls, the WSAD for movement along with the point and click for picking up items/talking/etc. works very well. The other movement controls using the mouse by dragging the edges of the screen seems idiotic, luckily the WSAD alternative is there or else it would have been a deal breaker. The sound is great, giving me goosebumps hearing those classic Monkey Island tunes again. The original composer is back as well with new tracks which makes me happy. The voice acting is top notch with the original actors back for the main characters.

    The story so far has me intrigued, especially given what happens in the first 10 minutes of gameplay. I won't talk much else about the story to avoid spoilers, but its giving me the same feelings of adventure and intrigue that all those classic Lucasarts games of old provided, even the latest Sam and Max games failed to do that with me, so I am glad that Grossman was able to pull it off again being one of the original writers returning. The dialogue is great, I've laughed and chuckled throughout, its great to have a funny game to play. The puzzles have varied between difficult and easy at a good pace, not making you smack you head over and over.

    Overall, its great to have Monkey island back and the same great things are here, funny characters, great puzzles, oozing atmosphere and an intriguing story. I cannot wait to finish this episode up, and its been a fact that Telltale's work gets better with each episode utilizing community feedback and the like, so I can only expect things to be get better from my $35 purchase. If you played the originals and enjoyed them there's no reason not to pick this up, if you're on the fence just try out the demo.

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