It may come as no surprise to anyone that's played the original release, but Day of the Tentacle still holds up as a stellar example of its genre 23 years on. Point-and-click titles of its time are often regarded for their zany humour, inspired visuals, and inventive puzzle-solving – and this little gem is no different. Sporting a loveable cast of characters and a graphical style pulled straight from a cult '90s cartoon, this outing practically oozes charisma from the get-go.
Unfortunately, the title's own wackiness sometimes oversteps its boundaries and bleeds into the gameplay where it shouldn't. Indeed, you're more than likely to find yourself at a dead end at some stage in your travels, stumped by whatever brain-teaser has been flung your way – only to end up solving it through some random action that, realistically, you'd have to be a mad scientist to make any sense of. Thankfully, this isn't a problem that comes up too often, as the game presents you with multiple paths to pursue at any given time. Moreover, your objective is always made very clear ahead of time, so even when you feel like you're beating your head against a wall looking for a solution, you'll at least be aware of what it is that that you're actually trying to accomplish.
With that aside, the puzzles on a whole are artfully crafted and blend in seamlessly with the provided narrative. You're tasked with controlling three college students, each one with their own unique personality and talents: Bernard, a socially awkward geek whose trousers are pulled up high enough for his outfit to be considered a self-served wedgie; Hoagie, a mellowed-out roadie reminiscent of an overweight Wayne Campbell, and; Laverne, an oddball blonde with a questionable affinity for microwaving hamsters.
Scattered throughout three different historical periods following a hop gone wrong, the trio must overcome their separation and work together across time itself to thwart the Purple Tentacle's plans for world domination. This wonderfully ludicrous set-up makes for some superb puzzling, as performing certain actions with Hoagie in the past, for example, can result in altering elements of Laverne's future. This back-and-forth style of design is refreshingly creative in an age of painfully linear point-and-clicks, and you'll be hard pressed to find a title that makes better use of its potential in this regard.
Perhaps the most alluring thing about Day of the Tentacle Remastered, however, is developer Double Fine's admirable commitment to delivering it as a complete package. The game hasn't just been given a quick facelift, rushed out onto store shelves to make a quick buck – no, a whole new array of tweaks, reworks, and goodies have been added to guarantee that this iteration is the definitive one.
If you're the sort that likes to play remasters with a pair of nostalgia-tinted goggles on, there's good news: almost every feature of the game is revertible to its 1993 counterpart – right down to the aspect ratio – so whether it's those grimy tunes, pixelated visuals, or even the original LucasArts interface that you crave, Double Fine has got you covered.
If you're looking for a more up-to-date experience, though, you'll be relieved to find that an equal amount of effort has been put into giving the release a fresh lick of paint. The classic HUD has been streamlined into a radial menu, speeding things up significantly while still presenting you with enough freedom of choice to keep you on your toes. Also included is a ton of behind-the-scenes concept art and developer commentary, which is never a bad thing – especially for returning fans who are eager to peer into the title's rich development process.
Last but not least, we feel obliged to point out that you're technically getting two brilliant games for the price of one, here – the entirety of Day of the Tentacle's predecessor, Maniac Mansion, is playable in-game for no more than the cost of your own discovering it. Now that's doubly fine.
A sterling example of the point-and-click genre, this revitalised classic continues to exceed expectations more than twenty years after its initial release. A must-have for fans of the original and a great point of entry for anyone new to the formula, Day of the Tentacle Remastered harbours a fantastic charm that can scarcely be found elsewhere.
Well, didn't expect a 9, but nice nonetheless.
Absolutely great game.
This makes me feel bad that I can't STAND the point-and-click genre... Seems like some goofy fun...
@Azikira I've got a few issues with the genre.
Pixel-hunting. It's so frustrating when you're trying to click on the blow dryer to dry your pants since Silly McGooferton spilled hot chocolate on them, and the game just doesn't respond because you actually have to click just slightly above the tip of the cursor's arrow, not at the tip itself.
Pacing. You click to the right side of the screen to get your character to walk there, and it takes an hour. You can comfortably take a crap while waiting.
Puzzles that don't make sense. Some puzzles require a guide, or you're not going to get it without a heck of a lot of trial and error and luck. Combining the fishing rod with the donut to open a door wouldn't have been my first choice.
These are made up examples but you get the idea. I want to like the genre, and there have been a few games in it that I have enjoyed (anything by Amanita for example). Overall, I'm very hesitant to drop cash on titles like this without being able to try them first.
@glassmusic Watch your language, please
I just finished Grim Fandango another LucasArts game, this score does not surprise as that game was brilliant also. I'll have to keep this on my radar.
@glassmusic But the crazy solutions are not in every point and click game. Same thing with the cursor. If you fancy a crack yourself go and download the free adventure game maker. Its boss. As is day of the tentacle. http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk its completely free.
never was a fan of this outlandish adventure games I preferred the grounded ones... I would like to see Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis be remastered
Might pick this up when it's on sale. Enjoyed Grim Fandango. Even if quite a few of the puzzles were stupidly difficult.
Wait just a darn minute...I can somehow play Maniac Mansion as well?!?!?! I'm officially 973% happier that I bought this! How the heck do I get that to happen????
@Hordak Tip n° 1: What do you need to play Maniac Mansion in real life?
Played the originalany uears ago. Definitelymy favourite adventure ever
@andreoni79 The origional (or very close to the original NES version with "better graphics") is included ::slight spolier:: when you can get up to the 3rd floor use the computer in the room that the hamster is in and you can play it.
I played this game back in the day and I remember chuckling a fair bit I used to sit around with a couple of friends and nut-out the puzzles together. This time around I really struggled with the humour and the sometimes long stretches of dialogue that were a tad painful. Point and click mapped to a controller, no I don't think it works. I shouldn't complain; I downloaded the game while it was "free" on PS+ but for me, this is one example of nostalgia being best left in the past.
Tap here to load 13 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...