Ask yourself: What can be said about a game that has become a legend? You either know about The Secret of Monkey Island, and chances are that if you are reading these lines you do so by heart. Or you spent your life in a bubble far away from computer games of the pre-Internet era and do not care about them anyway. The game must have been analyzed to death by now, each and every detail investigated and explained. It would come at no surprise if the there even have been scientific papers written about it. Top it of with a plethora of personal stories connected to the game and it must have outgrown its humble beginnings by far.
Is it not fascinating that it was this game in particular to gain the fame of being the point-and-click adventure? Could it have been any other game or was this the pinnacle of adventure gaming? In hindsight it is really hard to say because you cannot escape the hype, the reputation the game has gained by now. If you really could play it without any prior knowledge you most likely would be put off by dated graphics, lack of content and limited controls, because Guybrush has aged quite a bit. You could only compare it to contemporary titles, but nowadays it is really hard to tell who copied from whom and how much of this game is really original.
Yet on the other hand: Is not the mere fact that there are video games – like this one – that have become part of popular culture even more astounding? Maybe there are other games that would have deserved it more (or on the other hand less), at the end of the day it was Monkey Island which could be a prime example for computer games becoming art. A bold statement for sure, but to some degree this is the Mona Lisa of gaming – at least as far as adventure games are concerned.
Like with that most famous of all paintings opinions might differ, because tastes differ after all. E.g. while I have to admit that it is a great game, it still is not my favourite. There is a bit too much anachronistic silliness to my liking, the last act falls a bit short and speaking of endings: In my opinion the sequel almost ruined the series (that stupid twist!). Also, I will never forgive Monkey Island to make death in adventure games so unpopular, at times even unthinkable. But then again I do have some really fond memories of the game and still get quite a bit of entertainment out of replaying it once in a while.
Overall it is still a prime example of good game design (just three words: insult sword fighting) and it is cool to play a game that has become a bit more than a couple of bits and bytes, more than a fleeting impression. From time to time it is nice to revel in the glory, relive those days of old and rekindle the spark, exchange some thoughts with other people or to put it shortly: (Re)join the Monkey Island experience.
So, what is keeping you from sailing deep into the Caribbean and sharing a traveling report?