Writing a truly humorous game which really, really manages to make its players laugh, is so much harder than making it serious. The reason being that unfunny humor comes across as lame quite quickly, whereas mediocre attempts at a serious tone are still much more acceptable. It is not without irony that nevertheless, there are so many more games which try to be funny as opposed to serious ones. Even those set in "grim, futuristic scenarios", such as Innocent Until Caught.
For a long time I thought of Grim Fandango as the ‘LucasArts game with the skeletons’, whose appeal was a total mystery to me. Maybe it was because back then, when the game was released, I had been somewhat over-saturated (like many others) by countless adventure games. Also they started copying each other more and more and most of the time provided some awfully boring ideas. Still a game, in which you slip into the role of a bony man, seemed just too silly. In the meantime adventure games are returning again and LucasArts finally closed its gates. So after fifteen years I decided to fill a gap in my knowledge.
Who is Guybrush Threepwood? It is at this point we are at a crossroad. The ignorant casual player just shakes his head over the nerd, who immediately has an anecdote about his past gaming sessions with the forefather of adventure games on his lips. Because he feels bored by the praise of a pirate who cannot get close to Jack Sparrow anyway. Only exactly this hero caliber arouses the interest of the demanding casual player in the first place. The nerd is already satisfied with the unknown greats of the genre, as long as the game itself lives up to its standards. This leads to the exciting question: Does this title have what it takes to bridge the gap between playing the theme and playing the medium? In general terms: Should hobby detectives increasingly leave the book and the film DVD on the shelf and rather play a round? Or should the pale nerd put the mouse out of his hand in return and consume the performances of the "real heroes" in media of secondary importance to him?