Difficulty settings have become commonplace in almost all forms of video games nowadays. Usually, in most action games or FPS games, enemies will hit harder, or your health will be lower when playing on harder difficulties.
While there are plenty of guides for Return to Monkey Island's various challenges, you might find yourself wondering how exactly a puzzle game manages difficulty settings.
When first booting up Return to Monkey Island, players will be prompted to select from two difficulty settings - Hard or Casual.
It should be noted that this difficulty setting cannot be changed later, so it is important to know the key differences before starting out any new play-through.
So, we've compiled the main distinctions between these two game modes in order to give you the most information when choosing your preferred difficulty setting.
What Is The Difference Between Hard & Casual In Return To Monkey Island?
Let's first take a look at the in-game definitions of each game mode:
"All the story and all the fun but with casual puzzles for the busy on-the-go player."
"More puzzles! Harder puzzles! The full monkey! For the pro-adventure gamer who wants it all."
At first glance, this doesn't really clue players in regarding what they can expect from each game mode.
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In reality, the casual mode will often remove several steps from some of the larger-scale puzzles while also being much more lenient regarding player precision.
For example, in certain quests where players have to craft detailed letters in hard mode, the detail requirements for the letter are far less demanding in casual mode.
Additionally, a lot more on-screen text, prompts, hints, and tips will appear at the start of the game in casual mode in order to help newer players more easily adjust to the controls and gameplay.
Considering that Return to Monkey Island may be a lot of people's first venture into the series as a whole, playing on casual is the best bet for new players unfamiliar with the franchise's conventions.
However, if you are a Monkey Island veteran, your preferred difficulty level will likely be hard mode, as it allows you to bypass a lot of the early-game tutorial content.
What Is The Same In Hard & Casual Mode?
While these two modes have plenty of differences, the general storyline is shared. Players do not have to worry about missing out on crucial moments for playing on an easier difficulty.
Furthermore, the game's hint book (which provides small tips to aid you in solving especially taxing puzzles) is still acquired in both game modes.
The hint book is invaluable for both newcomers and veterans alike and will definitely come in handy in hard mode, where more steps are often required to complete a certain puzzle.
Should You Play Hard Or Casual Mode?
At the end of the day, your preferred difficulty setting will come down to your familiarity with the Monkey Island franchise and puzzle games as a whole.
If you consider yourself to be a master investigator, hard mode is the choice for you. Similarly, if you have played a Monkey Island game in the past, Return To Monkey Island is a lot easier than previous entries in the franchise, so hard mode should be your go-to.
For newcomers to Monkey Island or those just wanting to experience the story without taxing their brains too hard, casual mode is still just as fun an experience. Speaking of which, make sure to check out the official Return To Monkey Island Website for an overview of what the game has in store.
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Featured image courtesy of Devolver Digital.