Monkey Island 1
Written by Angelo M. D'Argenio   
Saturday, 05 May 2007
Every so often, a game comes around that is simply so iconic it is remembered in the minds of retro gamers everywhere. If your looking for one of these games that also gives you the unmistakable urge to shout YAARRRRRRRR, then the Monkey Island series is by far the game for you.

Monkey Island Screenshot 1

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 opponent.

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 game.

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!

Monkey Island Screenshot 1 Monkey Island Screenshot 2 Monkey Island Screenshot 3 Monkey Island Screenshot 4
Related: Monkey Island 2 Le Chuck's Revenge, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Loom, Maniac Mansion Deluxe, Sam&Max Hit the Road
Developer: Lucasfilm Games
Related websites: World of Monkey Island
Publisher: Softgold
Year of Release: 1990

386 DX 33 MHz, 1 MB EMS MS-DOS 5.0 or higher
Tested on:

Score 10

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