It’s been a while since the first instalment of The Tales Of Monkey Island landed on shore, and with the Curse Of The Screaming Narwhal setting the scene so well, I eagerly awaited the second part of this new Monkey Island story. Now that the next chapter has arrived, is Guybrush still on top form, or has Le Chuck cursed him with a bad case of sequelitis? If you’ve not yet played The Curse Of The Screaming Narwhal, then be aware there are spoilers ahead, so you may want to play that first before reading on.
The Siege Of Spinner Cay continues from right where we left Guybrush last time – at the end of an unknown assailant’s cutlass, while Elaine was seemingly in the thrall of now human, Dread Pirate Le Chuck. After his sojourn on Flotsam Island, in which he caused the release of the noxious pox curse (managing to get his hand infected in the process) and foiled the plans of the Marquis De Singe, Guybrush is now on a mission to find a giant magical sea sponge. It’s this sponge that can soak up said pox, and cure those afflicted with the curse – which, thanks to Guybrush redirecting the winds of Flotsam Island outwards so he could escape, is now the majority of the population of the immediate surrounding ocean. Nice work!
This instalment picks up with a typically amusing swordfight between Guybrush and his assailant, who, again without spoiling the plot, wants something Guybrush has to hand… After a prolonged duel, Guybrush and his new ship, the Screaming Narwhal arrive at the Jerkbait Islands, home to a race of Mer-people. This aquatic civilisation knows a lot about the sea, and its legends, so who knows, maybe they know how to find Le Sponge Grande? Now there’s a thought.
Once again Telltale Games has done a sterling job of bringing back the charm and humour of the Monkey Island series. As with the previous chapter, The Siege Of Spinner Cay looks great, with a simple but effective, cartoony sense of style. That said, I wasn’t as impressed with the overall look of this instalment. The areas featured weren’t as interesting as Flotsam, and the now quite tiresome jungle maze is starting to become more irritation and obstacle.
Puzzles are also far easier this time around, in my opinion, and there didn’t seem to be as many. Indeed, the playtime of the game was less than the first chapter, but given the genre, this will change depending on your penchant for solving wacky, pirate-based problems, all of which are, once more, well thought out and implemented, with none being too outlandish to consider.
Although it didn’t take long to puzzle through, I still enjoyed this instalment of the series, and there are plenty of chuckle-worthy situations to be experienced. For the next instalment, I’d like to see some more variation in locations and the doing away with cheap mazes, not to mention a longer challenge, but despite some minor shortcomings, Monkey Island still has it where it counts, and I look forward to chapter three.