Always getting stuck on point-and-click adventure games? Return to Monkey Island has a solution.
During an interview with Ars Technica, creator Ron Gilbert confirmed that the game will have an easy mode, as well as a hint system.
“[One thing] that people really want in games today are built-in hint systems,” he explained. “If [players] don't have a built-in hint system, they're just going to jump over to the web and read a walkthrough.” Encouraging players not to do that, Return to Monkey Island will use a hint system that has been designed to make sense in-game.
It will be “more than just a walkthrough,” he added.
Of course, getting stuck is part of the fun of point-and-click adventures.
Back when The Secret of Monkey Island was released in 1990, I spent hours upon hours clicking around looking for ways to solve puzzles and growing increasingly frustrated when I couldn’t solve them.
But what you always remember is the satisfaction when it finally clicks.
"[There was] a lot of stuff that we did back then and didn't think much about—a lot of very obscure puzzles,” said Gilbert. “Hiding a piece of information somewhere with no clues about where to find it—that kind of thing just wouldn't fly today… Having hint systems means that if you make the puzzle just completely weird and obscure, people just go to the hint system.”
Of course, everyone knew what to do with a rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle. Right?
Thankfully, there’s also a new easy mode – borrowed from Gilbert’s recent Thimbleweed Park.
This new feature, called “casual mode” in Return to Monkey Island, is designed for “people [for whom] this is their first adventure game, or they haven't played adventure games in a long time, or maybe they have lives and kids now,” explained Gilbert. “They can play the casual mode, which is just a lot of simplification of the puzzles. That is our main way to get people into playing a point-and-click game if they haven't done it before.”
Return to Monkey Island sees Gilbert return to the legendary point-and-click series and is expected to be released later this year.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.