Retro Game Alert: Monkey Island on the iPhone

Another great classic game debuts on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Will it be the start of a graphic adventure resurgence?

Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
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  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Scott Stein
2 min read

The start of point-and-click adventure games to go? LucasArts

As a gaming system, the iPhone has had its share of praises and attacks, but it's hard to challenge the appeal of retro titles on the system. With a perfect version of Myst under its belt, the iPhone's gone one better with a release of The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition that launched last night on iTunes.

For those who don't remember, The Secret of Monkey Island is perhaps one of the most celebrated graphic adventures in the once-popular genre. Originally released in 1990, there were three other sequels released, the last in 2000. LucasArts once had that genre all locked up with titles like Full Throttle, The Dig, and Sam & Max Hit The Road. In graphic adventures, generally, the main character wanders around a series of landscapes, interacting with the environment and picking up items as the story unfolds. The various rooms and spaces of the game are displayed like giant panoramas, static but full of areas to explore. Being point-and-click based instead of control pad-focused, it's probably the perfect genre to make a new splash on the iPhone and iPod Touch formats. First off, the original graphics resolutions match what the iPhone can output. Secondly, there's a ton of good, cheap content just waiting to be rereleased. Monkey Island is $7.99 on the iTunes store, several dollars cheaper than the recent Xbox Live Arcade release.

By swiping fingers, you get a revamped graphics mode or the original, more pixelated but authentic version. The music and gameplay are all retained.

We hope other former classics get released in short order. Space Quest, the Gabriel Knight series, Maniac Mansion, or our personal favorite blast from the past, Tass Times in Tonetown.

Any others you'd like to see?