|System: PC, Wii (WiiWare)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Telltale Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Telltale Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 7, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Two slightly different control schemes offer some limited variations for moving Guybrush around and manipulating objects. The default method has you moving around with the WASD keys on your keyboard while selecting and interacting with characters and hotspots with your PC mouse. Alternatively, you can use one-handed controls by holding down the mouse button over Guybrush to bring up a circular arrow interface that lets you drag him along in the direction of your choosing. In either case the inventory and menus can be accessed easily. Both setups function well and the ability to switch between the two on a whim is handy.
Many of the puzzles predictably involve combining the right series of items together or using them at the right hotspots, but the often silly nature of the items and the way you use them make the process much more enjoyable than your average adventure game. For example, at one point you'll have to create a fake Dark Ninja Dave with Killer Karate Katana action figure by dunking a pink Porcelain Power Pirate ninja figure in an appropriately hued substance and throwing in a tiny a plastic sword obtained from a mixed drink at the local tavern. Others drop you into action-oriented scenes - like escaping from a locked room while bound and tackling oddball tasks aboard the rocking deck of a seafaring vessel - that require you to interact with your immediate surroundings in a specific way to achieve the desired results needed to progress.
Humor has always been an integral component of past Monkey Island games and chapter one follows suit wonderfully. The game is thoroughly littered with subtle references to technology and pop culture, other Telltale games, and older entries in the series that'll merit a good chuckle now and then. The cliffhanger ending may ruffle the feathers of players who're used to having each episode wrapped up tidily at its conclusion, but it definitely builds anticipation for the next chapter. It's great to see this much-adored series making a comeback. Launch of the Screaming Narwhal offers some of the best adventure gaming we've seen in some time, even topping Telltale's recent quality releases.
CCC Staff Contributor