You are once again Guybrush Threepwood, a young pirate. You have managed to escape the fiendish trap that LeChuck last left you in, and start the game on the high seas looking for land. The initial animation re-introduces you to LeChuck, the love of your life Elaine, and puts you right in the thick of things, as is usual for Guybrush.
As is traditional with the Monkey Island games, this is relatively light-weight adventure game with plenty of humour. The game has 6 chapters. The first chapter is a small introductory one, and doesn't take long to solve. Other chapters take much more effort to get through. There are two chapters that do have some fairly difficult puzzles to solve.
The graphics of the game are quite pretty, and I thought the voices for the characters were pretty well done. The music is excellent, just right for interesting background sounds with no real distractions.
The interface is interesting and slightly different than Monkey Island 1. You need to hold the cursor down on an item to bring up a coin. The coin gives you three options for things to do with the item. They tend to be Use, Examine and Talk to for inanimate objects and Push, Examine and Talk to for other characters. The cursor is a white X when you can do nothing, it changes to a red x when you are over an object that you can do something with and it turns to an arrow when you may leave the area.
Be aware, you may be able to combine items in the inventory and there are times when you will need to explore further before you can solve a current puzzle. You have to work hard to find a reservation for a chicken shop, for one. Sometimes silly things help though I think that this game could use a few more pointer to puzzle solutions when you are in normal mode.
A few other familiar elements are included in the game play. Once again, you need to show that your wit is as sharp as your sword. This time, the insults must rhyme, which gets interesting on the final and hardest battle.
The insults occur after a sea battle. You have your choice of easy or hard mode for these battles. I left the game in easy battle mode which was quite enough for me. Each time you win the sea and verbal battles, you may go back to town and improve your weapons. This is not necessary when you are doing the easy battles, until you get to the end one. It is vital when you must challenge best captain of the high seas.
Even this is not sufficient for our hero to win the day. He must still risk the wrath of a volcano god, find true love for a ghostly bride and other things before he will be able to claim Elaine once again.
Like most LucasArts games, there are no hunt-the-pixel puzzles that must be solved though there are a few small items that you'll need to notice. Critical timing for solving puzzles isn't necessary, there is at least one place where timing gets important, but if you miss, you will get another opportunity.
This game has two modes, normal and Mega-monkey mode. The second is supposed to have more puzzles. I started one game on normal, got stuck then started again on Mega-monkey. The differences between the two aren't that great, the important puzzles seem to have remained the same. I didn't finish the normal game mode though, so that may be a false impression on my part.
One of the possible dialogue choices in Monkey Island 1 is "Don't pay more than $20 for a computer game." Well, this game does cost a bit more than that in the stores at the moment, but it is worth having for the entertainment value. Appropriate family entertainment, there is nothing here that you couldn't share with Gran or with the kids.
A much harder but equally funny adventure game is Discworld based on Terry Pratchett's novels. The sequel Diskworld 2 is easier with more clues. Sam and Max Hit the Road may also appeal to you. Also Toonstruck may be a game that you'll find entertaining.
If you want to find older LucasArts games, go to their site and check out the store. They have released a number of older games in various collections. They are one of the few companies who recognise that some people want to play good games, not just bleeding edge games.