Return to Monkey Island - Gilbert + Devolver

It’s PC and Switch only at the moment.

Played this on Casual, with a few hints here and there. Finished in just under 10 hours and enjoyed it as a lightweight nostalgia trip. I think my biggest laugh was when Guybrush forced the Loom-Hype-Guy to do his Loom-Hype. I think I was in the sweet spot to enjoy this, having played the original two games years and years ago but not having played the more recent games, or very many adventures games at all, in recent years.

I do feel there was a bit of a missed opportunity to make more hay of the eggs Guybrush broke on his way to his omelet. Guybrush was pretty obsessed. And yeah the ending was weird but I kinda liked it.

Anyhow, good lightweight fun. Worth the non-A-list price. In 1990 dollars it was only, what, ten bucks? A bargain!

I finished the game today. I only had to look up one (!) hint and honestly, I blame the Switch portable screen - I literally had to take a zoomed-in picture with my phone to see the clue. Other than that I was proud to have gone through it without help.

The second half definitely opens up a lot over the first. Whereas the first half is a retread of MI1, the second part is more MI2-like: exploring different islands and having these multi-level puzzles that require a lot of island hopping to solve. Still not as good as MI2 but it did help me warm up to the game as a whole.

Overall it was worth the price. Fun puzzles and humor. Nice to go back and revisit some old friends. The ending is what you would expect - which is the unexpected. There’s a sweet coda at the end in the storybook. I would look forward to any new games from Ron Gilbert.

The best day of gaming in long time was the announcement of a new Monkey Island game. Even better Gilbert was back. I was so angry with people/bots for giving him such a hard time that he shut down his blog. Having finished the game and said all that I have to ask, how is this game so highly reviewed?

Art style while not as good as 2 or even 3’s was fine. An interesting, bold choice.

Writing and humor were witty but not as laugh out loud as previous entries. Still solid. Enough nods without being fan service. I need to go back and see how much the writer’s “extra banter” setting changes things.

Puzzles felt a little too spot on. Maybe it was the interface. I played MI1 and 2 with my daughter recently and the game seems much easier in the new interface mode vs playing classic.

Story was fun. While not what I wanted , I liked how they answered the age old question of what actually happened at the end of Monkey Island 2. I also liked Threepwood’s Tolkien like obsession with the secret.

Characters were hit and miss. Loved that Dominic, Denny, Wally, and Rob were all back. Some of the other voice work not so great. Seeing characters you loved for nostalgia was great, but the relationships just felt weird and tacked on for puzzles only. Gone were Murray’s random witty threats,curses and complaints. Wally, Wally was… in the game. Elaine was all the positivity and love a wife could be and just felt completely strange and out of place. Especially with what she was doing when she wasn’t with Guybrush. I Would have liked some MI3 characters but I understand why none of those were brought back. And where were the cannibals?
The Ending
Do I want a big show down with LeChuck? You bet I do, but okay you don’t want to do that, fine. But to repeat MI2 just feels like a cop out not highbrow meta. “It is what you want it to be”, come on! We’ve done that and it’s been done better. I get these games (and all point and clicks) have red herrings, but at least wrap up all the other characters you’ve subjected me to. What happened to the 3 new pirate leaders? What was the point of Elaine seeing all the destruction Guybrush left in his wake? What was the point of the of the obsession if the hero doesn’t choose to either give it up or give in to it? To just have it served to you feels lazy. Then you get the Monkey/Melee Island 1 t-shirt gag… again. In a game that expects you to become a great story teller I guess Guybrush does what he does best, just enough to get by. I expect a lot from such talent and this game just didn’t deliver.

FWIW, I always thought of the humor in the MI games—and particularly in the Gilbert opuses (i.e., less so with Curse)—as more droll than hilarious. That’s not a criticism! Gilbert doesn’t write jokes as much as… wry embedded commentary? I haven’t started the new game yet, but that’s what I’m expecting.

I think he tries to write jokes, but he’s just not that funny. It’s more cutesy and makes you smile a little.

BTW the funniest, best written comedy game by FAR is the Telltale Sam & Max series. There’s just no competition.

Really? I only played the first episode but I stopped because it couldn’t hold a candle to Sam & Max Hit The Road.

People really did this game a disservice (specifically the first season). It’s mind-blowingly good, with excellent writing throughout. Hit The Road really isn’t nearly as good humor-wise and plot-wise.

The other thing to remember is that Hit the Road had ridiculous, obtuse puzzles that were really challenging (and not in a particularly good way). These games are easier, and that’s not a bad thing IMO - small inventories mean you can figure out the puzzles faster. You get through the content, and there’s a LOT of content here.

I’ve actually stopped playing somewhere around Act IV. I just don’t think it’s very good.

It isn’t funny, and so far the story has done absolutely nothing for me. The puzzles are so simple they feel like fetch quests, but I would be okay with that if there was some kind of payoff at the end, like a funny scene, or some good dialogue, or some development in the story.

I’m disappointed because I really liked Thimbleweed Park. This is so much less than that.

I haven’t played the new game, but based on MI 1&2 and The Cave (and the little bit of Thimbleweed I played), I don’t think it’s a matter of trying and falling short. I think that’s Gilbert’s style.

I could endorse this as far as adventure games go, although I think Curse of Monkey Island may win out for me. (Outside of strict point-and-clicks, I think we have to acknowledge games like Stanley Parable, Chuchel, and West of Loathing.)

Sam & Max Hit the Road is funny as well, but suffers as an adventure game because the wackiness and incoherence of the world bleeds over into the puzzles, making them unintuitive. Not exactly the game’s fault as much as historical trends. The changes in adventure game interface and expectations that inform the Telltale era mitigates that problem for the later Sam & Maxes, which is why I think generally they’re superior. (Although I still like the HtR voice actors best of all.)

I’m pretty sure I own one of the seasons of Telltale’s Sam & Max on the official Telltale Store - which I guess is nuked now? I remember feeling like it wasn’t whacky enough compared to Hit the Road.

I think that was one of my earliest brushes with anarchy as a kid. Max was my hero. It was also my earliest experience with puzzles that were so convoluted that I couldn’t get anywhere without a walkthrough.

The funniest point and clicks I’ve played have been Ben There, Dan That! (Time Gentlemen, Please! went in an edgier direction and wasn’t better for it) and Paradigm which is aimed at a certain audience. If you like cringe comedy, it’s spectacular.

Seconded. Though I also really liked Time Gentlemen Please!. I’m not sure it was edgy so much as OTT.

I should check these two games out sometime. I really enjoyed the humor in Lair of the Clockwork God, which was by the same developers.