Day of the Tentacle Remastered (PC) - ReviewEvan Norris , posted on 07 April 2016 / 5,157 Views
The LucasArts point-and-click adventure game canon has experienced something of a renaissance lately. HD remakes of The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2 arrived in 2009 and 2010, respectively. And just last year a remastered version of 1998's Grim Fandango launched on PC, PS4, and PSV. Now, in 2016, LucasArts fans can relive Day of the Tentacle Remastered, a lovingly retouched version of what's arguably one of the best point-and-click adventure games ever made.
Created by a rockstar team of developers, including Tim Schafer, Ron Gilbert, and Dave Grossman, the original Day of the Tentacle was a modest commercial success but a critical darling. Critics at the time lauded its graphics, voice work, humor, and challenging but solvable puzzles. Well, the more things change the more they stay the same. I'm happy to report that Day of the Tentacle Remastered is as funny, as challenging, and as creative as ever. Only this time it comes with more bells and whistles.
Day of the Tentacle is the sequel to Maniac Mansion. It concerns an evil tentacle who dreams of world domination and three time-traveling teenagers who try to foil his plans. It's the time-traveling aspect of Tentacle that really makes the game shine. Players will control all three kids at different times, exchanging items through malfunctioning time machines and altering each other's time lines. A time capsule buried in 1789, for example, might pop up with a much-needed item far in the future.
One of the most difficult parts of designing an adventure game is locating a balance between clever puzzles and "impossible" puzzles. Day of the Tentacle strikes that balance beautifully. Individual puzzles are challenging and sometimes frustrating, but never deliberately unfair. Paying close attention to each environment and listening carefully to dialogue will open up many doors.
So what about those bells and whistles? Well, the most obvious is the new coat of paint. Schafer's studio Double Fine did a fine job redrawing the artwork of the game. Interestingly, Double Fine opted to maintain the original's art style. The new visuals are smoother and much more detailed, but the original style remains intact. And if you're one of the people who, like me, enjoy toggling back and forth between the modern and old-school graphics, you can do that with a simple press of F1.
Double Fine also included a new, user-friendly wheel interface, although players can opt for the old-school verbs at the bottom of the screen. Then there are the extras, which include unlockable original concept art, achievements, and an insightful commentary track recorded by much of the original design team.
Faithfully restored and rich in nostalgic goodness, Day of the Tentacle Remastered is easy to recommend, both to LucasArts fanatics and adventure game newcomers. The base game is as clever and enjoyable as ever, and the bonus features are welcome additions. Heck, Tentacle even boasts the entire emulated Maniac Mansion on a computer inside one of the mansion's rooms. So, travel through time, solve some wacky puzzles, and see if you can spot everyone's least favorite Gungan, Jar Jar Binks.
This review is based on a digital copy of Day of the Tentacle Remastered for the PC, provided by the publisher.