App Reviewed on: iPhone 4
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Monkey Island is just one of those names in gaming that will resonate forever. Originally birthed back in 1990, by the brilliant minds over at LucasArts, the franchise seemed all but dead after 1997's Escape From Monkey Island. Then, out of the blue, Telltales Games revived the brand in 2009, with their new Tales of Monkey Island series. All you really need to know is that Guybrush Threepwood is back again and ready to do a little adventuring. It's time to climb aboard, because the seas are getting a little rough.
In case it hasn't be made apparent already, Lair of the Leviathan is a direct port of the episode that was released on the PC back in September of 2009. Let that sink in for a second: a full PC game is now living on the iPhone. Better yet, it is a cleverly written adventure game that will keep players wondering what chuckles lie around the next corner.
As has been the case with the previous episodes that have made their way to the iPhone, the one significant trade off is the lack of the visual luster that could be found on the PC. Granted, there is quite a bit less space to work with on screen, but there are points where the downgrade is very apparent. Fortunately this doesn't influence the way that the game plays in any way, shape or form.
It is also worth noting that it almost seems as if the game assumes that the player has partaken in the prior installments of the series. This would explain the almost complete lack of any formal introduction to the overall game mechanics. That said, the title is straightforward enough that those that are new shouldn't take long to get up to speed. Once the basic controls and concepts are grasped it is a full on blast towards humor and puzzle solving.
Rarely are there games that can successfully manage to tickle the critical thinking and humor quadrants of the brain. Tales of Monkey Island - Episode 3: Lair of the Leviathan does this with ease, while showing players a little taste of old school gaming. This is an quest well worth continuing.