|System: PC, Wii (WiiWare)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Telltale Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Telltale Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sep. 29, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Little has changed with the series' gameplay and controls. You'll spend a lot of time creatively piecing together found objects and trying them out in unusual combinations on various people and hotspots. As in past episodes, there are some branching dialogue trees that play into the game's puzzles, like when you'll sneakily dupe Morgan into going on a date with a nerdy pirate by directing her to engage in specific "secret mission" tasks or toward then end when you'll have to untangle the intricate language of manatee love. The resulting conversations are often funny, and these encounters round out the more straightforward puzzle fare. That said, the straightforward puzzle fare in Chapter Three is far from ordinary.
Many tasks you'll undertake are gross, bizarre, or some combination of the two, and it makes the game a heck of a lot more entertaining. Milking a pus sack for a tankard of brew and using stinky slime slugs as a means of reviving consciousness are among the nastier things you'll do in the episode, though they're not necessarily the worst. While the series has featured some interesting and compelling challenges overall, the varied tasks you'll face in Lair of the Leviathan are spectacularly amusing at times. Many are so off-the-wall that even the cleverness found in earlier chapters is overshadowed. Some puzzles will take a lot of thought to figure out, while the answers to others come much easier. The adjustable hint system lends a hand, if needed, keeping the frustration level to a minimum.
Lair of the Leviathan doesn't wind down on quite the same cliffhanger ending we've seen in the last two chapters, but the continuity in the story throughout the three episodes released so far is coming together very impressively. The tale delivered in Tales of Monkey Island is an interesting one, even though it's delivered bit-by-bit. This mainly boosts anticipation for upcoming chapters, since the multiple plot currents all seem to be pointing to some interesting developments down the road. We can't wait to see what happens in the next installment, and the increased fun and oddness found in Lair of the Leviathan is hopefully a harbinger of great things to come.
CCC Staff Contributor