It's common for devoted fans to buy a landmark movie or piece of music over and over and over. For example, I've purchased the original Star Wars trilogy on VHS (twice), laserdisc, bootleg DVD and legit DVD. I've also bought Journey's album Escape on cassette, vinyl, and CD - though never when it was quasi-fashionable, as it is now. And with the sounds of iTunes' virtual cash register, I have now plunked down for The Secret of Monkey Island for the fourth time. The point of this self-indulgent reverie? It's been worth it every time because the game is still hilarious.
If you don't know the drill by now, here it is: You play as Guybrush Threepwood, a lovably aloof clod who really wants nothing more than to be a pirate despite the fact that he's completely untrained for it and about as quick-witted as an eggplant. Yet, thanks to dogged determination, endless enthusiasm and some of the most clever dialogue ever typed into a point-and-click (tap?) adventure, he gets the job done. He also finds the love of his life, butts heads with an undead pirate captain, and meets a fabled three-headed monkey.
Sound ludicrous? You don't know the half of it. This is a game in which a rubber chicken with a pulley in it is a valuable item. But that's what makes it a classic.
True, the interface takes a little getting used to this time around - you can call up a list of possible actions easily enough, but it can be a challenge to hit the exact spot on the screen that triggers the action you want. And we've yet to locate a way to skip through the dialogue more quickly, which can make things drag a bit. But those quibbles can't spoil a great adventure. If you're already a fan, grab this for those giggles on the go. And if you're not? Play this and understand why the old guys are always raving about old-school adventure games.
Above: You know, LucasArts, a LOOM remake would be pretty sweet too. Just sayin'.
Oct 15, 2010