The Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition for iPhone full review

We last played The Secret of Monkey Island in 1990. Now, almost two decades later, the classic game is available on the iPhone. As in the original, the aim is to help protagonist Guybrush Threepwood in his ambition to become a pirate, and later to save his sweetheart. It’s a typical, plot-driven adventure game where you pick up objects, interact with your surroundings and talk to people in order to solve puzzles. It’s when you interact with other characters that you get the best laughs. You choose what Guybrush says from a range of sentences and listen to the resulting conversations – the newly recorded voiceovers are superb.

Like the voices, the interface has been updated. Replacing the old graphics are high-resolution backgrounds and detailed characters. If you feel nostalgic swipe two fingers on your iPhone screen to return to the original game’s graphics.

There are times when you’ll be glad of this ability to return to the old graphics. The new interface includes a circle and pointer for moving around the screen rather than the single crosshair of the original. This new cursor can be frustrating to use, not only because you have to drag it around rather than use your finger to point at where you want to go, but also because it can be fiddly to get it pointing in the right direction. At these moments swiping back to the original interface will stop you from giving up.

We completed the game in a weekend. However, we were ‘cheating’ by shaking the iPhone whenever we wanted a clue on how to solve a puzzle. This built-in hint system is a nice touch, but if you don’t want help it’s too easy to bring up a hint when moving the phone in a normal fashion.

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