Day of the Tentacle

Publisher: LucasArts

Release Year: 1993

Available From:

Day of the Tentacle

I must admit I am not the biggest fan of point and click. I like the humour and the stories, in particular the fact that they’re probably the best form of story telling of games that are out there – particularly in the retro style, however I find the “click everything with everything” gameplay that exists in it a bit tricky to get my head around. Before playing Day of the Tentacle, I only played two in my life. Two lauded versions of the game – first being The Secret of Monkey Island (read my review of The Secret of Monkey Island on this here site), and the second many moons later being Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. Both of them had me reaching for the guide. Thank god the remake of SOMI had a hint system. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed both, but at times things seemed illogical. Particularly with Indy.

So, Day of the Tentacle. Probably the pinnacle of point and click genre. Taking the main principles of Lucasarts games (it must be logical, and players can’t die), Dave Grossman and Tim Schafer created an absolute masterpiece.

 

The game takes place after the events of Maniac Mansion, and a mad scientist – Dr. Fred Edison – accidentally creates a purple tentacle with a thirst for world domination. Purple (the name given to the purple tentacle) is unstoppable, our three heroes (nerdy Bernard, student Laverne and a roadie Hoagie) are sent back in time one day to stop his creation. Of course things go wrong, and the three heroes are sent to different time periods – Hoagie sent to the formation of the United States, Laverne thrown into the future where humans are now the pets of tentacles, and Bernard? Well…he stayed exactly the same location. The only method of communication is to send objects down the Chron-o-John. Which is an inter-dimensional toilet.

As stated before, the difficulty I have with point and clicks is the logic. Sometimes the logic is flawed. However with this game the logic makes sense. Need an object in the future? Why not change the constitution of the United States in the past. Placing objects in the past to be used in the future, or causing consequences in the future, is all part of the game. In fact, the only real complaint from the logic side is once in the mindset, you are prone to overthinking. One such puzzle I did get a bit stuck on saw me having to remove a character from a room. I tried everything, but nothing worked. The solution? Push them out of the room.

One thing I did appreciate is that the game isn’t linear. Once Laverne is available you have three courses of actions, and there are different ways to approach the game. As somebody who is not the biggest fan of these games, you’re rarely stuck for things to do. I think one puzzle is illogical – but even then you do get a clue.

Even if the gameplay wasn’t great, sometimes the story can carry you through. Thankfully Day of the Tentacle has this in spades. You don’t need to play Maniac Mansion and can just jump straight in with this game. The writing is excellent and is a rarity for a video game – a cracking sense of humour with laugh out loud moments. Mixing this with a graphic style that is akin to a 1960’s Looney Tunes, and a solid soundtrack (and the game is fully voice acted as well), and presentation wise this game is on point.

It took me ages to play Day of the Tentacle, but I’d argue it’s the finest example of it’s genre. Even if you are not a fan of point and click, I’d recommend checking them out, as even the remaster is readily available.

Buy Day of the Tentacle

Relevant Day of the Tentacle Auctions from eBay

Day Of The Tentacle Big Box PC Rare Original

£56.00  (17 bids)
End Date: Friday Jul-08-2022 20:18:15 BST

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Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle (Enhanced Edition) PC CD ROM

£10.00  
End Date: Tuesday Jul-05-2022 18:18:28 BST
Buy It Now for only: £10.00
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