Why you shouldn’t let me play free games

Many thanks to SSH and his AGS Blog I downloaded my free copy of ‘Tales of Monkey Island: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal’ on ‘Talk Like a Pirate Day’ and spent the next several hours finishing it.

Unfortunately I wasn’t particularly impressed.

It wasn’t that it was a bad game… it’s just that it felt rushed, amateurish*, the puzzles and plot were all over the place, the interface was clunky, every line of dialogue was scripted (seriously, what’s the point of giving you four options to choose from in a conversation when Guybrush ignores your choice completely EVERY SINGLE TIME**) and it was a Telltale game, not a Monkey Island game***.

Feel free to disagree with me on any or all points, my arguments probably won’t stand up to fearsome interrogation. This post was as much an excuse to draw something with my tablet as a rant anyway.

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*Except the graphics, animation and I guess the acting.

**I have a theory about this – in the classic LucasArts adventure games you could choose your response to a conversation from a number of options. Naturally you choose the one that you found the funniest, which means you’re tailoring the jokes towards your sense of humour. With Tales: Episode 1 Guybrush says the same thing no matter what you choose thus destroying all replayability, denying you control of the character and leaving you with the feeling of a potentially hilarious missed conversation.

***Monkey Island is about grog-drinking, unwashed, unpleasant, skull-digging pirates, hunting treasure and sailing to exotic Caribbean Islands. Pirates playing with dolls, scientific contraptions and frilly pink underwear do not belong here (or at most are only as background jokes ala Largo’s “laundry”, not shoved in your face as puzzles).

One thought on “Why you shouldn’t let me play free games”

  1. Somehow, I agree with your points, but at the same time I thought this was a proper Monkey Island game (unlike MI4) and while full of imperfections I wouldn’t say it felt amateurish.

    The conversation alternatives start to work properly in the other episodes (although they don’t appear so often).

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