Donkey Island

Adventure 1994 Dos Dosbox Pterodon Software Third Person Puzzle based

A pun-filled mess

What is it about certain software developers that makes them think, 'let's ripoff a classic title, add in a few puns to an already pun-filled game, copy the graphics and then call it a day.' Oh yes, it's money, that's the root of it all. It can't be that the developers are such great fans of the original that they think they are actually creating some sort of loving tribute. Anyway, in case you hadn't guessed, The Secret of Donkey Island (to give it it's full title) is a blatant copy of the much loved Monkey Island series of LucasArts graphic adventures, only this time created by a Czech developer. The game pretty much takes everything that made the Monkey Island games great, such as clever and inventive puzzles and a delightfully bonkers, but equally clever, sense of humour, and removes it so that what you're left with is an incomprehensible mess. As would-be pirate Gaybush Nosehair (oh, the humour!) you must seek out the legendary Donkey Island, find a treasure and do battle with your nemesis, the ghost pirate LeDuck (so witty). To be slightly fair, in the game's favour, the interface and graphics are pretty decent, although given that they basically copy the original's splendid setup, this is unsurprising. The level of detail in the environments and characters is pretty decent and everything is very atmospheric but simply imitating the work of other, better artists is nothing to be overly proud of. It's in the gameplay that things really come apart and Donkey Island shamelessly mimics everything about the original that made it so great but without the style or wit, so unless you like seeing your favourite games mercilessly hacked apart, then steer well clear of this.

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