As the video game world careens toward a Fall 2009 chock full of triple A titles including the latest Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and Modern Warfare, one studio, Telltale Games, offers a unique, both creatively and economically, way to spend your hard-earned scratch and thoroughly enjoy your time spent in the virtual world we’ve come to know and love.
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Aug. 20, 2009
“Tales of Monkey Island: The Siege of Spinner Cay” released today and is the second installment in the five part “Monkey Island” series which began in July and will run straight through until November. Does the high-seas, swashbuckling, pirate adventure sequel live up to its predecessor, or walk the plank and drown? Let’s find out.
“Siege of Spinner Cay” picks up, to the second, where “Screaming Narwhal“ left off. You’re immediately thrust back into the boots of main character Guybrush Threepwood and are tasked with evading the swift sword blows of a female assassin who is diligently pursuing the removal of your Pox-stricken hand.
However, once the danger is quelled, albeit with limb lost, the main task of finding your beautiful lass Elaine and the treacherous voodoo pirate LeChuck come front and center ultimately landing you and your ship, the Narwhal onto the shores of the ominous and hilariously named Jerkbait Islands.‚ Once on the main island, Spinner Cay, you’ll quickly discover there is far, far, far, more to what you maybe thought was a simple plot, and tasks, conversations, and head-scratching moments will be aplenty as you trudge through the game’s many puzzles ultimately culminating in yet another head-scratcher of final scene.
Much like Telltale’s Wallace and Gromit four-part series we loved to death, Spinner Cay rehashes everything that was truly wonderful about its predecessor and slowly, but surely, builds upon those digital bounds.
Where the debut title “Launch of the Screaming Narwhal” was simply oriented within a few simply designed locales, “Spinner Cay” branches out from the full-on, multi-level, and downright gorgeous focal point of attraction, the cay itself, to the aptly shaded blue waters of the ocean, to the soft sand beaches, and even to a lush green jungle teeming with mystery.
Telltale also expanded on the basic humor employed in the original by buffing Guybrush and company’s jokes to include multiple counts of pretty clear sexual innuendo to slight anachronisms while keeping the general hilarity amidst danger the series is so well known for, well intact. To solve one of the game’s more hilarious puzzles you must properly insult an evil pirate captain.‚ But this is no easy task. Calling him a “smelly bloke” just won’t cut it. You’ll have to be more creative!
Where “Spinner Cay” soars past “Narwhal” and sets itself apart in the point and click genre, lies in the game’s glorious soundtrack. Moments of tension, grief, relief, and love are charted wondrously, but sadly, if you’re running audio straight from your bundled computer speakers you’ll miss a lot. That said, should you be running a 5.1 surround sound system or better, you’ll fall victim to a case of the wowzers at the hands of the game’s varying, but always solid, sound pieces.
Most importantly is Telltale’s recognition that episodic content should balloon in creative value with each iteration. It is so very clear that “Siege of Spinner Cay” is not simply the second chapter in the five part series. It is so much more than that. “Spinner Cay’s” plot obviously lies in direct accord with the original, but there is enough fresh material, that when combined with the general familiarity earned in the debut episode, you’ll feel right at home but also challenged in unique ways before your epic swashbuckling journey is over.
“Tales of Monkey Island: The Siege of Spinner Cay” is a truly first-rate point and click adventure game that will leave hardened puzzle-solvers reveling in Telltale’s masterful creation. The narrative is compelling, the visuals are stylized and gorgeous, and the title is virtually glitch free. Enjoy!
Tales of Monkey Island: The Siege of Spinner Cay was released today exclusivley on PC. $34.95 gets you all five games spanning from last month’s to November.