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The Secret of Monkey Island (DOS)

90
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.2
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  flo h (4)
Written on  :  Jul 28, 2008
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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Summary

The most glorious Buccaneering adventure in the entire Caribbean

The Good

What isn't there to like about tSoMI? When I received this game through the post when I was 12 even the box gave me goosebumps! An exciting pirate adventure was what I had hoped for and this seemed to be exactly what the doctor ordered. Little was I to know that I was starting on the most warped and hilarious pirating adventure ever penned, although that would become crystal clear from the very first conversation in the game.

This brings me to one of the best aspects of the game which would influence countless other adventures. The story telling is done through conversations in which you get to make some very funny comments about the characters or surroundings, the joy of seeing how the people you talk to react relieves a lot of the sense of linearity you get with most of the early graphic adventure games. Because of this the game does not have to rely on insta-deaths to keep the excitement going, there is even a great parody on those which I certainly won't spoil for you. The dialogue is based on pirate lore as you would expect, but never gets too cheesy to withdraw from the whole experience.

Even though the characters and storyline have countless bizarre moments and the conversations are a laugh a minute, the epic drama of this story shouldn't be underestimated. It keeps you clustered to your PC like a great book does, only you get to discover this wonderfully insane pirating paradise just how you would want to, like Guybrush Threepwood!

The music is also worth a special notice. This is the first game to use the iMUSE system which was specially developed for it. It makes the awesome music and the flow of the game blend perfectly as if you are playing a movie.

Speaking of which: if you like the vibe of Pirates of the Caribbean then you will almost certainly like tSoMI, even though it was made 15 years before for computers that had extremely limited capabilities compared to now. This isn't surprising as both are inspired by the Pirates of the Caribbean theme park ride.

I would almost say this is a must-play for everyone who considers themselves to be a serious retro-gaming enthusiast, it is that good. It is the adventure game that inspired all light-hearted graphic adventures after, although Maniac Mansion from the same team was a very good first start. The follow-up may have a slightly less enthralling story but makes up for that with better visuals.

The Bad

There is nothing that I didn't like about this game.

The Bottom Line

Solid 5 stars.