Monkey Island 1, or “The Secret of Monkey Island”
was originally released for the Amiga, and later for the PC and for its time
(1990) it was rather revolutionary. As one of the first well known computer
adventure games, Monkey Island 1 operates on a simple point and click interface.
The players take control of Guybrush Threepwood, wannabe pirate and swashbuckler.
Throughout the game, players will use the mouse to make Guybrush talk to NPC’s,
pick up and use items, examine points of interest, and the rest of the adventure
game cavalcade of actions. Sword fighting is done in classic pirate style, by
throwing insults back and forth between you and your opponent. Players have
to select the wittiest reply when in a duel, to gain the upper hand over their
The challenge in the game comes less from the dueling and more
from the puzzles that are thrown your way. Some are complicated and involve
humorous solutions that make players think outside the box. For example, one
puzzle involves the use of a rubber chicken and a pulley. Some of these puzzles
will have you scratching your head for a while, however most of them are of
an acceptable difficulty level to keep you interested and not frustrated in
The graphics in Monkey Island were amazing for their time. The
game is totally done in 2d, with sprites and sprited backgrounds ruling the
day much like they did back in the early nineties. The visuals won’t be
turning any heads in today’s market of polygonal CGI, however for their
time they were quite revolutionary. There is an astounding amount of detail
in the spritey appearance, with a lot of effort being given to everything from
the backgrounds to the frilly pirate shirts some characters wear.
The sounds in Monkey Island aren’t the best in the world.
The music and sound was very low res, even for its time of release. Sometimes
the sound can be a bit jumpy, and garbled (most notably when you use an item)
but is generally clear enough to prevent any sort of lasting drawback on gameplay.
The poor sound quality is somewhat made up for by the general catchiness of
the tunes that play throughout the game. The music will stick in your head,
and keep you humming the familiar pirate ditties over and over again through
each subsequent play through.
Monkey Island is a game that will keep you coming back for a
while. Though the game does not change through subsequent plays, the humor,
especially the one liners, catchphrases, and near endless stream of gags will
keep you coming back for more. Fans of puzzle games and adventure games will
love Monkey Island’s mind bending challenges, and as a plus, the game
remains extremely fun even after you know the solution to every puzzle. Overall,
Monkey Island is a thinking gamer’s game, with a bit of artistic pirate
flair thrown in. It is most certainly a game that will make you come back for
more again and again. YAARRRRR!
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