E3 2009 is still under way, and one of the many games on display at the show is Tales of Monkey Island, the all-new episodic adventure game being developed by Telltale Games for publisher LucasArts. Tales of Monkey Island will be an all-new adventure series starring the classic characters from the lighthearted Monkey Island pirate adventure games, including on-again, off-again pirate Guybrush Threepwood, his lady-love Elaine Marley, and the dastardly ghost pirate LeChuck.
Who's Making This Game: Telltale Games, a studio founded by LucasArts adventure developer refugees that has gone on to create episodic adventure games such as Sam & Max and Wallace & Gromit.
What The Game Looks Like: Like Telltale's other games, Tales of Monkey Island has a bright, colorful, cartoonlike look to it. Characters have exaggerated, stylized features.
What There Is To Do: Guybrush has been cursed by LeChuck, causing one of Guybrush's hands to glow strangely and his behavior to become erratic. He has also been bamboozled by LeChuck and washes up on an unfamiliar shore at the start of the game. As Guybrush, you must find your way off the island, remove the curse, and rescue Elaine from LeChuck.
How The Game Is Played: Like in other Telltale games, you can take direct control of your character (Guybrush in this case) to walk around the world, talking to other characters for clues and picking up objects to add to your inventory, though in Tales of Monkey Island, you can also combine items to form composite items that you may need to solve later puzzles. One of the puzzles we saw was at the very beginning of the game as Guybrush washes up on the mysterious island. In order to escape, he must commandeer a ship, so we headed to the port to find the only ship moored there. The ship was presided over by a jolly fellow who didn't seem to mind Guybrush's bold claims that he was going to commandeer the ship. Then Guybrush tried to board. First he walked up the gangplank and slid right back down because the boards were covered in slippery bacon grease. Then he tried to climb the anchor chain, only to have the ship's jovial owner dump hot coals on him.
What They Say: This will be an adventure game unlike any that Telltale has yet put out. While it will be episodic like the others, the episodes will not be stand-alone adventures but will be very closely tied together in terms of story and will be released every month, for five months.
What We Say: It's definitely good to see a new Monkey Island adventure game, and Telltale seems to have the experience and pedigree to make something like this work. The first episode will launch this summer.