Return to Monkey Island

Developer: Terrible Toybox | Released: 2022 | Genre: Adventure, Point & Click

Ron Gilbert, the creator of the two first Monkey Island adventure games, was back with his own take on a continuation of the bizarre ending of the second game. I had played the original games in the 90’s and then the two sequels in 2000 and 2001. So it was a Return to Monkey Island after more than 20 years.

At first, the game felt a little light on puzzles and the dialog didn’t seem quite up to par in the beginning, but it felt like both the puzzles and the dialog got better as the game went on. Or maybe I just warmed up to it. After the full five parts of the game, I must say that the story ideas and the dialog is right up there with the original games. Lots of twists and many chuckles to be had. Ron Gilbert certainly still got it.

I had my worries about the stylized 2D graphics and even didn’t like them in the images I saw in reviews before playing the game. But when I actually played the game, I immediately accepted it. There’s something to be said about how the animation worked together with the art style. That being said, it’s very much an acquired taste. All I’m saying is you should see it move before you decide.

Spoiler: Observations

I needed tips from the hint book for two puzzles. The first was that I had to ring the bell on LeChuck’s ship twice to summon him. My mistake – I really should have thought about that.

The other thing was for solving the heartiness contest. I did get that I had to get fish from a shop on the original island, but I needed a hint to know that I had to get the pepper from the kitchen on LeChuck’s ship and put it in there for the original queen to choke on it.

Unfortunately, I put the pepper on the fish while it was in my inventory. This turned out to be a mistake that the hint book wouldn’t even tell me about. See, Guybrush had to sneak out a fish from his inventory instead of grabbing one from the contest bucket. But because I had already used the pepper on the fish in my inventory, I still failed the contest. I had to go get another batch of fish from the shop and then wait with the pepper until the fish was in the bucket. That left the fish in my inventory uncontaminated.

If I had been in the development team there, I would have suggested that Guybrush prevented the player from using the pepper on the fish while it was still in the inventory. Something like, “Maybe I should wait with that until the fish has been prepared.”

I really found those three contests for becoming the queen a bit too convoluted. Getting a good joke for the seriousness contests required me to get the joke book back from Bob on LeChuck’s ship, but that in itself was not easy either. The intelligence contest required me to make use of a water drop falling into a bucket for the original queen to be distracted. It took a while before I noticed how to time that properly.

But to be fair, the original games had even more complicated puzzles. I have probably just become a little bit too used to how “domesticated” the adventure games of today are these days.

I actually liked the ending!

It was a wonderfully silly twist that felt like a throwback to the ending of the second game. However, it also smelled like the development team had run out of time and wanted to cut it short.


  • If you accept the stylized art style, it’s neat, colorful and very well animated.
  • Guybrush walks fast, and with left double-clicks he sprints like a race car.
  • The original voice actor for Guybrush is back, in fact all voice acting is exquisite.
  • Excellent music with all the good old Monkey Island themes.
  • You can collect trivia cards here and there for testing your memory.
  • You are prevented from combining items that won’t work, which saves a lot of time.
  • A TODO list with check boxes makes it very clear what you need to do.


  • Some might find the puzzles a bit easier than they used to be.
  • The story recap is very superficial, it should have had a few more details.
  • The hotkey for skipping dialog should have been replaced with left or right mouse clicks.
  • You are prevented from combining items that won’t work, which skips out on funny comments.
  • Only nine save game slots so you have to overwrite them regularly.
  • The ending is quite the twist and there’s a chance you might not like it.


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