Return to Monkey Island sails to release in September

Return to Monkey Island Header

A lovely new trailer for Return to Monkey Island dropped during Gamescom Opening Night Live, revealing that the game will be out for Nintendo Switch and PC on 19th September 2022.


That’s quite surprisingly soon, isn’t it? The whole trailer is narrated by marketing expert Stan S. Stanman – a great name if you ask me – revealing that game pre-orders come with free horse armour DLC. Of course they do!

Return to Monkey Island sees series creator Ron Gilbert and co-writer Dave Grossman returning to classic point & click adventure series decades after they left it behind. The game is a grand collaboration between Gilbert’s Terrible Toybox studio, Lucasfilm and Devolver Digital.

Continuing on from the end of LeChuck’s Revenge, the second game in the series and the last one that Gilbert and Grossman worked on back in the 90s, Return to Monkey Island will half ignore all of the events from later games, though some (such as Murray the Demonic Talking Skull) will be included.

A gameplay reveal trailer back in June showed the game on Nintendo Switch, while also revealing the return of many fan favourite characters, like Elaine Marley and Carla the swordmaster. Of particular note, Elaine looks to be a playable character, which is something that is a first for the series.

Return to Monkey Island Screenshot

However, it’s not been all sunshine and roses for those making the game, and the art style found within the game has been a bone of contention for some fans of the series who would live and die by the pixel art sword, because that’s the game they remember playing back in the early 90s. Back in May Gilbert defended the new direction by saying “Return to Monkey Island may not be the art style you wanted or were expecting but it’s the art style I wanted.”

The new art direction has come by way of Rex Crowle, and it’s clear to see the lineage back to his previous games, Tearaway and Knights and Bikes. The game’s crisp and it’s hand-drawn with a layered look and feel. Of Crowle’s work, Gilbert said, “Rex is an amazing creative force and we have a team of incredible artists, animators, sound designers, programmers, and testers all pouring their souls into this game and it’s beautiful to see, play, and listen to.”

I rather like it, personally. Gilbert previously leant on the retro pixel art aesthetic for Thimbleweed Park, but that game was a deliberate homage to the classic point & click era. Switching things up for this game is indicative of how they don’t just want to retread old ground, but take this popular franchise forward once more.

Source: YouTube

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