Day of the Tentacle – The Return of a Classic

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When I saw that Day of the Tentacle was going to be Double Fine’s next point and click remaster project, I was excited and intrigued. Their last remaster, Grim Fandango, ended up being my all-time favorite game. Naturally, I had high hopes for the game. While it hasn’t taken the top spot on my list of favorite games, it certainly brought back some great point and click nostalgia.

Similar to my experience with Grim Fandango, I had never played Day of the Tentacle before. I knew it had something to do with a purple tentacle and a scientist, but that was about the extent of my knowledge with the game. I was right about the tentacle and scientist, but the game also includes three very different main characters and time travel. You’ll spend your time in the game playing across three different time periods (the past, present, and future) with three different characters (Bernard, Hoagie, and Laverne). As with most of these games, the story is wonderful. While I didn’t laugh out loud often, I definitely played most of the game with a big stupid grin on my face. If you have any nostalgia or love for old point and click adventure games, this will certainly bring back great memories for you.

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Never let your tentacles get around industrial waste.

Because I had never played Day of the Tentacle before, I had no point of reference for comparison when the first images came out for the remaster. It looked great, but I had no idea where it was coming from. Once I got the game, and was able to switch between the two versions (original and remastered), I was blown away. The art in the game looks fantastic and the work they’ve done to enhance the audio is phenomenal. The game looks and sounds great, which is of course one of the biggest reasons for doing a remaster in the first place. The real question is whether or not it plays well.

The short answer is that yes, the game plays very well. There are; however, some caveats with this. This game comes from the verb-heavy era of point and click adventure games. For those that may not know, a lot of the early point and click adventure games had you choosing a verb (pull, talk to, give, etc.) and then choosing an object or person to enact that verb on. It’s an interesting mechanic that leads to more complex puzzles and discovery. The downside of it, is that it can also lead to some frustration when trying to figure out puzzles. With so many different verb and object combinations, things can get a little infuriating and confusing at times.

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Three characters across three time periods leads to some interesting puzzles.

Add on top of this the element of playing three different character across three different time periods and you have the recipe for a fairly tough game. I had to look up a walkthrough a few times in order to progress the game at all. For the most part though, having three different characters felt like it always gave me something to do. If I got stuck with one character, I’d move on to another and see what I could do with them. As long as you’re not opposed to looking up some help when you get stuck, the game shouldn’t give you too much trouble.

I had high hopes for Day of the Tentacle and it ultimately met them. Some of the puzzles gave me some trouble and the game was shorter than I would have liked it to be, but the overall experience was just what I was hoping for. I’ve gotten extremely lucky with these remasters from Double Fine in that I’ve had the chance to experience excellent games from my favorite time period and genre for the first time. There aren’t many of the old point and click games that I haven’t played, but I’m happy that I got the chance to experience this one for the first time as an adult. If you’ve never had a chance to play it, or if you want to check out the remastered version of the game, I definitely recommend trying it out. It’s a great version of the game, and I can’t wait to see what Double Fine does next in regards to bringing these old games back.

You can follow me on Twitter @jakecrump.

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