Chapter 1 of Telltale's revival of the Monkey Island series hit its mark. Compared to the Wallace and Gromit series, which was full of missteps, Monkey Island's introduction was nearly without fault. With comedy out the wazoo and wonderful puzzles, Telltale was able to reignite the flame without any trouble at all. Where we left last Guybrush Threepwood (mighty pirate), he was watching Elaine's ship from a distance when a handsome, human LeChuck handed her a flower. Before Guybrush had a chance to flip out in a jealous rage, he found himself at the end of a mysterious blade, pinned down against steering wheel of his ship.
This episode starts up with the revelation that the blade belongs to a pirate hunter, sent to take Guybrush in for his old friend, Marquis de Singe. After a brief sword duel, the hunter is able to slice off Guybrush's cursed hand, and decides that Marquis will simply have to settle for that. Worried about Elaine, who he still considers to be in great danger around LeChuck, Guybrush leaves his hand and continues his quest to find her, arriving in Spinner Cay.
It doesn't take long for him to run in to Elaine, who assures him that LeChuck is of no threat to the world or their marriage. Instead, she, too, is attempting to find La Esponja Grande continuing the quest to prevent the Pox of LeChuck from spreading further than it already has. While he'd absolutely prefer to simply run off with his wife and ignore the issue that he had no small part in creating, Elaine is able to, eventually, persuade him to help take initiative and team up with her and LeChuck to save the Caribbean. Yes, team up with LeChuck.
This takes Guybrush to a number of new locations including Spinner Cay, a merperson town, and a number of other nearby islands. Continuing Telltale's efforts to have the episodic gameplay work differently than it has in games past, there's no central hub in the series. Each new location brings with it new characters, new puzzles, and plenty of hilarity, without reusing a bunch of assets from previous episodes. It helps the narrative, and makes the second chapter feel signifigantly different than the first.
Just as was the case with the episode before it, Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 2: The Siege of Spinner Cay's puzzles represent excellence on Telltale's part. Not only are they consistently intuitive and well developed, but are generally accompanied with hilarious dialogue that should make any fan of Monkey Island chuckle from beginning to end. There's also a fair amount of throwbacks to earlier games in the series, with references to insult sword fighting and other series staples.
It should come as no surprise at all that I heartily recommend Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 2: The Siege of Spinner Cay and, if you haven't already, download the first episode and play through that, too. So far, the story is great, the puzzles are wonderful, and the script represents some of the best writing in the industry. If Telltale's previous record of improving as time goes on with their season holds firm, it means that there's no reason not to jump on the bandwagon as soon as possible.