Guybrush Threepwood is no stranger to adventure. In the Tales of Monkey Island series he has seen exotic locales such as an island that traps sailing visitors with inward wind, and an island that houses androgynous Mer-folk. In his newest adventure he’ll find himself throat deep in a hungry manatee. No amount of Grog could make you forget an adventure such as this!
This is my favorite episode thus far of Tales of Monkey Island. The story picks up right where episode two left off on a cliffhanger. Guybrush, Winslow, and Morgan Le Flay are swallowed up with the rest of their ship The Screaming Narwhal, by a Giant Manatee. When everyone collects themselves on the inside, the crew begins to look for a way out. Things are never as simple as they seem. Guybrush winds up working his way into an initiation to a society of brothers, aiding a lost lover, and reuniting with an old friend, all inside the manatee.
The puzzles in Lair of the Leviathan were all very creative, and left me feeling satisfied after each solution. While the episode didn’t throw too many puzzles that left me stumped, I wouldn’t say they’re particularly easy to solve either. The balance of story progression and puzzle difficulty made the experience one of the most enjoyable times I’ve had with the series thus far. It’s interesting to see relationships change each episode. Along with the overall story arc taking a more prominent role, the character’s are experiencing quite a few significant changes . There are even some more serious type scenes, which helps accentuate how well written the series is. I found that the secondary characters felt more alive this episode as well. In previous episodes the additional pirates you came across in your adventure didn’t really seem to add much to the overall story being told in the episode, whereas with episode three the new characters all seem to have their own personality, and back story. They existed for more than to throw a puzzle at you, which I hope the series explores more in subsequent episodes.
For those concerned that the setting might get stale, fear not; this episode does some interesting things to ensure that you won’t get bored with a single area. The overall scope of the series seems more grand than any previous Telltale endeavor which only adds to my excitement each time a new episode rolls out. Each new episode has introduced a whole new set of places to explore, instead of expanding the one you’ve explored from the beginning. It fits though, as if you’re going to be a pirate you might as well sail all of the seven seas.
Lair of the Leviathan shivered my timbers more than any previous episode. The bar is raised with each new entry, and I can’t wait to see what happens next time especially after one of the now familiar (but no less suspenseful) cliffhanger endings.
Tales of Monkey Island: Episode 3- Lair of the Leviathan is out now on PC, with a WiiWare release coming soon after. If you’re new to the series you can check out a free demo for the first episode right here. You can grab a season pass (with a nice DVD at the end) or individual episodes at the Telltale Store.