Developed by: Telltale games
ESRB Rating: pending
Available on: PC, Wii
Single Player
pros: funny adventure, likable characters
cons: short game play, crude humor

System Requirements:
Operating system: Windows XP / Vista
Processor: 2.0 GHz + (3 GHz Pentium 4 or equivalent rec.)
Memory: 512MB (1GB rec.)
Sound: DirectX 8.1 sound device
Video: 64MB DirectX 8.1-compliant video card (128MB rec.)
DirectX®: Version 9.0c or better

Thanks to Tell Tale Games for giving us this game to review!

Tales of Monkey Island: Lair of the Leviathan is the third installment of the five chapter series. It features the same characters and witty humor as all the Monkey Island games before it. Murray the demon possessed skull makes an appearance in this chapter. The price tag for the complete series is a reasonable $35. As of this review, only the first three chapters are available, with a new chapter being released every month.

I highly recommend playing the second chapter in this series before playing this game since the story builds from chapter two, The Siege of Spinner Cay. This game picks up with Guybrush, Mr. Winslow, and Morgan LeFlay in the belly of a giant manatee. Apparently LaCava and his crew have been in the belly of the manatee for a couple of years. The cure for the pox, \'La Esponja Grande\', is at the manatee mating grounds but the manatee is missing his cochlea; therefore, his sense of direction is gone. Guybrush must find the missing cochlea and find a way out of the manatee to get the cure for the pox and cure himself, his friends, and his wife Elaine.

This is an adventure style game where you have to examine your surroundings, grab and manipulate objects, talk to people, and solve some tricky puzzles. To move around you use your standard WASD keys and the mouse is used for everything else. There\'s not much to see in this chapter. You\'ll either be in the manatee\'s mouth or stomach, and later you\'ll be anchored at the Lair of the Leviathan.

There\'s a lot of character development in this installment. Guybrush intends to prove to Morgan that the cochlea can be found by talking to people instead of hurting them. La Cava\'s crew has formed a democratic brotherhood that Guybrush needs to join to learn the location of the missing cochlea. Since it\'s a democratic brotherhood, he needs to gain their votes by winning a funny face content, helping a shy guy get a date and by getting a skeleton to talk. Once they arrive at the mating grounds, Guybrush has to learn manatee to help the manatee win over the killer female manatee using a traveler manatee communicator with built in phrases like "where is the bathroom".

This game\'s colorful world and cartoon like feel is very charming and get\'s my kids attention if they catch me playing it. There\'s a lot of detail and you can usually spot which objects you can take or manipulate in some fashion. The user interface is pretty easy to navigate and the inventory management system is easy to use. The funny face generator is pretty easy and fun to use.

Some of the puzzles are easy to solve and there are some tricky ones too. Fortunately there are walkthroughs available online that got me out of a couple of stumpers. This chapter was pretty short but longer than chapter two in my opinion.

The voice acting is top notch and the background music is fitting too. The sound effects are pretty good as well. Overall though this game is well polished and will not disappoint.

From an appropriateness standpoint there is some violence but Guybrush tries to avoid it as much as possible. Guybrush does apologize to Morgan and calls himself a monkey\'s behind except phrased differently.

For adventure gamers that love funny adventure games be sure to check out this series. It looks pretty promising and you\'ll get a few laughs for sure. The humor may be a bit off key at times, so please take that into consideration. This adventure is available on the PC and Nintendo Wii.

Game Play: 15/20
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 8/10
Stability: 5/5
Controls/Interface: 4/5

Game Play Score: 40/50
Appropriateness Score: 39.5/50

-2 non deadly violence
-3 for crude language
-3 voodoo references
-2.5 gross humor

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Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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