Classic adventure game series Monkey Island is set to make the jump from PC and console to handheld devices for the first time since 2015, with the latest instalment, Return to Monkey Island, receiving an iOS and Android version in July 2023.
The Monkey Island series is a franchise of point & click adventure games, with the first title being published in 1990. Originally developed by LucasArts, primarily by developers Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman, it consisted of four instalments beginning with the original Secret of Monkey Island. The series shifted hands in 2009 to the original incarnation of TellTale Games, who produced Tales of Monkey Island.
Eventually the rights to the franchise were leased from holder Disney back to original team member Ron Gilbert’s new studio Terrible Toybox. Return to Monkey Island would be released for Xbox, PS5, Steam, GoG and Nintendo Switch in 2022. Now however, the franchise will make its first jump to mobile devices on July 27, published by Devolver Digital who will once more tackle publishing for the platform. The publisher has also been making increasing moves into mobile themselves.
The secret of Mobile Island
The move to bring Return to Monkey Island onto mobile devices seems, in hindsight, an obvious one. Games such as the Monkey Island series, in the classic adventure game format, are often less graphics and processor-intensive and instead concentrate on intriguing, slow-paced screen-searching, hidden object-style gameplay. The natural comparison between touch controls and the solely mouse-focused interface makes it an equally appealing adaptation on handheld devices.
More So than that, this will be the first time the franchise comes to mobile since it first debuted back for iPad before being removed in 2015, and only a year after it returned to console and PC for the first time in over a decade. It demonstrates that mobile is now, more than ever, an appealing alternative for developers to bring their titles to even immediately after launching on major consoles and desktop. The return also indicates iPad ports were less a trendy choice and perhaps more a trial run for the console and PC-quality versions we see on mobile today.
Pre-registration is now open for Return to Monkey Island on the Google Play Store, although it’s not yet been revealed how the game will be priced.