Since the initial “wink, wink” line, we all knew that Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition was bound for the App Store. Launching on July 22nd, we were told that this version of the game would be very similar to its platform counterparts. We weren’t misled.
Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition (iPhone)
The point-and-click adventure genre seems like a natural fit for Apple’s mobile platforms. The interface is conducive to the experience. We click and clack in the Mail App and our Twitter or restaurant-finding clients all day, idly pushing through menus and selecting items with the press of a finger. Most adventure titles work in much the same way and Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition isn’t excused.
The differences are hardware-related. Many of the fine visual details are lost on the smaller screen. For example, I needed to squint to see the sword nestled on the cluttered shelf in the item store or strain to see a mug of Grogg in the SCUMM Bar. It wouldn’t matter if these items were sheer atmosphere, but they’re not. You will need the mug and the sword to solve a riddle or two. The multi-touch zoom option helps to pinpoint this stuff, but you need to know what you’re looking for.
This isn’t much of an issue. The same UI from its counterparts has come across the platform divide. The menu buttons are large enough to pick without issue, although the related problem from the other version rears its head: it’s hard to combine items fast. But I had little problem delivering the Grog, which is something I can’t say about the XBLA version.
Score: 8 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)
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