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Speaking to Ars Technica in an interview published today (April 25), Gilbert revised statements he made in a 2013 blog post about a potential Monkey Island sequel including “pansy-assed puzzles” and “modernising”.
Gilbert made it clear that whilst he believed at the time that hints would spoil the game, the prevalence of the internet and how it offers game guides and solutions has shifted his perspective. “[One thing] that people really want in games today are built-in hint systems,” said Gilbert.
“If [players] don’t have a built-in hint system, they’re just going to jump over to the web and… read a walkthrough,” he explained. So Gilbert and the team are working on something that will be “more than just a walkthrough” built into the game itself, which will also fit “in the fantasy” of the narrative.
“[There was] a lot of stuff that we did back then and didn’t think much about—a lot of very obscure puzzles. Hiding a piece of information somewhere with no clues about where to find it—that kind of thing just wouldn’t fly today…” Gilbert added. “Having hint systems means that if you make the puzzle just completely weird and obscure, people just go to the hint system.”
Return To Monkey Island will also include an easy mode for first-time adventure game players. Almost everything about the new game will remain the same, except all the puzzles and their solutions will be simpler. “That is our main way to get people into playing a point-and-click game if they haven’t done it before,” added Gilbert.
The new Monkey Island game is set to release this year after it was announced earlier in the month. It’s also been confirmed that Return To Monkey Island will pick up exactly where the second game left off, following up on an ending still confusing players all these years later.