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Day of the Tentacle

Developer / Publisher: LucasArts Entertainment Company
25 June 1993
Day of the Tentacle - cover art
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443 Ratings / 5 Reviews
#448 All-time
#8 for 1993
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1993 LucasArts  
CD-ROM
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Day of the Tentacle Remastered
2016 Double Fine  
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Day of the Tentacle Remastered
2016 Double Fine LucasArts  
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Day of the Tentacle Remastered
2016 LucasArts Double Fine  
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Day of the Tentacle Remastered
2020 LucasArts Double Fine  
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Title
Slackers in Time
As a player who bumbled around aimlessly in point-and-click adventures when I was young but has found more enjoyment in them now that I’m (much) older, I was really looking forward to this one. A game from the creators of Psychonauts and The Secret of Monkey Island? Sign me up! Yet in games, as in life, not all great expectations are fulfilled, and unfortunately that proved to be the case here.

But hey, let’s start with the positives. The visual design in the remaster is absolutely top notch. I vehemently disagree with the complaints that it looks like a cheap Flash game. The new art is thoroughly modern while remaining faithful to the original, and this is true of both the characters and the backgrounds, all of which meld together in an organic way. Considering I’ve seen other remasters that look like they were slapped together from spare parts, I feel this game’s clean and coherent art design is a major win.

I’m also a big fan of the time travel concept. The puzzles that have you manipulate an object in one time so that you can pick up a modified version in another time are generally well-considered and clever.

It wasn’t all blue water and clear skies, however – the sludge and rain soon became hard to ignore. The biggest letdown for me was the writing, which boils down to “90s Slacker Comedy: The Game.” The farts, burps, and weird characters didn’t hold much appeal to me, though I must admit that I enjoyed my interactions with George Washington and Co. Who knew the Founding Fathers had a suggestion box for the Constitution? The ups and downs in the comedy make me wonder if each part of the game had a different writer.

The story is also notably weak, even by LucasArts standards. After the opening in the mansion, the three characters split up, and the plot stagnates until the end of the game when they reunite. Can a point-and-click adventure get away with a weak story? Well, The Secret of Monkey Island isn’t going to win any accolades for its plot, but at least it has a feeling of forward progression. I would’ve appreciated more of that feeling here.

The dearth of story beats is a side effect of the non-linear puzzle progression. (Or am I confusing cause for effect?) In any case, the fact that you can do many puzzles in any order is both a blessing and a curse. In the early game it feels inviting to have so much to explore and so many puzzles to grind away at. But the converse of this is that when you get stuck, the number of potential solutions to a given puzzle is extremely vast. Making matters worse is that passing objects between eras is cumbersome and can only be done in one specific location (with a few exceptions). These factors result in puzzles that can take hours to crack if you try to brute force them, and I must admit that I turned to the game’s guide on The Universal Hint System towards the end because my patience was growing thin.

[Edit: I later learned that you can move objects between characters by clicking and dragging within the UI. Knowing this would've lessened my frustrations, I'm sure. Maybe next life!]

As the product of two first-time directors in Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman, Day of the Tentacle is competent. But it matches neither the Ron Gilbert-led games that came before it, nor the later games of its own creators. Is it still worth a play today? Most definitely! Just be sure to approach it with tempered expectations.
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toadhjo 2023-02-01T11:29:51Z
2023-02-01T11:29:51Z
3.5
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This game is fun and challenging. You must immerse yourself in this time-travel adventure and change American history slightly. Some of the things you have to do are silly and crazy but will stay with you as you forget the game and play the remake 25 years later.
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sshd 2022-11-17T16:51:08Z
2022-11-17T16:51:08Z
5.0
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Day of the Tentacle is a sequel to Maniac Mansion which is included in this game if you use a certain in-game computer to play it. You don't need to play the first game since it doesn't seem like there's many elements that connect them (well, the location and a couple of returning characters, but no reliance on story).

The art style has a cartoon look with exaggerated, skewed lines. The original game was pixel art, but the remaster has a nice hand-drawn look. You can switch between the new and old graphics by pressing F1 which is a cool feature. "Directors commentary" can be triggered in certain screens although I don't think they really provide much insight. The old interface was a list of verbs, but the remaster's default option is to right-click to bring up an action wheel. The verb menu can be brought back in the options menu if you wish.

There are two sentient tentacles, simply known as "Green Tentacle" and "Purple Tentacle". Green is friendly, but Purple has more aggressive tendencies. He drinks radioactive waste which emphasises these traits, and has plans for world domination.

There's 3 college students as the game's protagonists: Laverne, an unhinged girl, Hoagie is a metal-music roadie, then Bernard the scientist. They try and go back in time to stop Purple Tentacle using the professor's time travelling toilets "Chron-o-john", but Hoagie ends up 200 years in the past (colonial America), Laverne 200 years in the future (where the Tentacles are now in charge and use humans for pets), and the main character Bernard stays in the present. You need to progress to a certain part in the story before you can switch characters. You are in the same house but over 3 time periods. Completing certain objectives can change the future.

Part of your objectives with each character is powering the Chron-o-john so they can return to the present day. Weirdly, you can use the Chron-o-john to transport objects despite having no power source. You don't actually have to return to the Chron-o-john to transfer items, you can perform this action in the inventory by clicking on the character portraits.

Compared to other point-and-click adventures, I thought it didn't flow as well because it was way more open-ended. You could view this as a plus though. I think you can often solve puzzles in a completely different order to another player. I thought you had access to many rooms without clear objectives which resulted in me picking up loads of objects and talking to many characters without knowing what I was actually doing. Since there's a lot to see, I think it's worth making notes of what items you have seen or what items you have currently picked up but haven't found a use for. This definitely helped me piece several puzzles together. Despite the design, I didn't get stuck as much as I thought I would, and you can complete the game in around 6 hours.
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CaptainClam 2022-10-11T21:08:01Z
2022-10-11T21:08:01Z
3.5
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Loose “Maniac Mansion” sequel. It features the same kind of humor but in a whole different atmosphere, somehow closer to a vintage cartoon than a video game. The gameplay dynamics are essentially the same, with the exception that one character is in the past, one in the present, and one in the future. Our actions can change little details in the other timelines and therefore make new items and puzzles available. Absurd puzzles are a trademark of LucasArt graphic adventures, but it felt like they went a little too far with this one. You will need to try all items on anything to find your way through the game, and the multiple timelines are making the operation even more complex, as items can also travel back and forth in time.
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manicure 2022-09-27T15:02:38Z
2022-09-27T15:02:38Z
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100% complete campaign
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O mais engraçado dentre os adventures da LucasArts que eu joguei até agora. Um humor relativamente bobo, mas muito eficiente.

Tudo é muito divertido: a música, os protagonistas, os cenários, as situações envolvendo a Constituição americana e os Founding Fathers, o cavalo sassy, o concurso de humanos...

Até os puzzles não incomodam tanto, já que há poucos com soluções mirabolantes demais.
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gabrielctps 2022-02-23T21:26:08Z
2022-02-23T21:26:08Z
4.5
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Day of the Tentacle is the third game Tim Schafer worked on, following the first two Monkey Island titles, and his first as co-director with LucasArts legend Dave Grossman. Coming off of the heels of those meta, comedy swashbuckling successes, this sequel-by-name to Maniac Mansion had lofty goals, both stylistically and in gameplay design, and its end product is in my opinion a couple steps above its predecessors.

In an attempt to return a single day into the past to stop a maniacal Tentacle creature from gaining malicious superintelligence and conquering the world, the diamond powering your time machine explodes, sending our protagonists Hoagie, Laverne, and Bernard 200 years in the past, 200 years in the future, and back to the present day, respectively. While they can communicate with each other through the time machines, they do not have any power sources to return to the present, making it your main goal to help Hoagie and Laverne return to the present so they can try the experiment again and save humanity. Hoagie is sent to colonial America, at the Constitutional Convention, while Laverne appears in a world where the Tentacles already rule the Earth and have domesticated humans as pets.

In terms of aesthetic direction this game is just top notch. It takes a lot of inspiration from the scratchy, off-kilter, warped-perspective Saturday morning cartoons of the early 90s, complete with standard youth stereotypes of the time as main characters, really just complete sociopaths everywhere, and genuinely disturbing concepts washed over in absurdist comedy. The peak of this is Laverne's experiences in a world where humans are domesticated as Tentacle pets, as she encounters both humans who are completely docile and love their owners and those too dejected to even want to escape to freedom. It's creepy stuff. But then you hear John Hancock talking like SpongeBob with SUDS and the next minute you're laughing. Schafer and Grossman also make genuine mystery out of the mundane, like a visit from the IRS arriving and keeping Dr. Fred hostage while dressed like the Men in Black, or . The tone is really consistent despite all of these concepts sort of existing in opposition to one another, and it makes the world more interesting than a completely disturbing game (a la I Have No Mouth...) or a completely humorous one (a la Monkey Island). It's got depth to it, and that gives this game staying power well into today's era of gaming.

Most gameplay in Day of the Tentacle is standard PNC affair, you collect items and use them in situations that give you new items, so on and so forth until you accomplish your goals, with the twist of sending some items through time to another character so they can make use of it. The most interesting puzzles for me were the ones where you needed to get an object in one timeline to a different one without the time machine, because of its size, sentience or perhaps because you need it to age into something. These "plumbing" problems really tested your knowledge of the different environments and what each timeline had in common with one another, making them a little more cerebral than simply swapping items among the characters.

However, there were a handful of puzzles that used literal joke logic (though nothing as egregiously bad as Monkey Island 2's monkey wrench), and a couple that would only be easily apparent depending on the type of person you are: namely if you understand what vinegar is and can come from or if you're okay with harming old ladies unprompted. All in all, though, I was less frustrated with this puzzle set than most all of LucasArts' predecessors.

Outside of a relatively tame ending, I was enthralled with the setting and characters throughout the entire 6/7-hour experience, and I really enjoyed learning how to tackle three sets of time-bending environmental puzzles at once. Highly recommended, even for people like me who have limited experience with the genre.
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the_lockpick 2017-12-31T07:02:15Z
2017-12-31T07:02:15Z
4.0
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Catalog

Boon_ Day of the Tentacle 2024-04-24T02:20:04Z
2024-04-24T02:20:04Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Gabrielecantoni Day of the Tentacle 2024-04-20T14:35:35Z
2024-04-20T14:35:35Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
FirstMate Day of the Tentacle 2024-04-19T17:31:43Z
2024-04-19T17:31:43Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Canymany Day of the Tentacle 2024-04-16T18:47:07Z
2024-04-16T18:47:07Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Bobek Day of the Tentacle 2024-04-16T15:51:41Z
2024-04-16T15:51:41Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
guadalupedeath Day of the Tentacle 2024-04-07T10:17:39Z
2024-04-07T10:17:39Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
nbatman Day of the Tentacle 2024-03-28T03:14:44Z
2024-03-28T03:14:44Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
plan to play
Ali5ia Day of the Tentacle 2024-03-25T05:09:08Z
Windows / Mac
2024-03-25T05:09:08Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
System_of_a_David Day of the Tentacle 2024-03-20T22:38:05Z
2024-03-20T22:38:05Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MartiniEldritch Day of the Tentacle 2024-03-17T23:38:40Z
2024-03-17T23:38:40Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
eliottstaten Day of the Tentacle 2024-03-16T22:05:58Z
2024-03-16T22:05:58Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
willoverdoseonmusic Day of the Tentacle 2024-03-16T02:38:11Z
2024-03-16T02:38:11Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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Single-player
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1x CD-ROM
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  • Maniac Mansion II: Day of the Tentacle
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  • Previous comments (1) Loading...
  • ThePsuedo 2018-12-05 22:26:56.122351+00
    The Alien on the cover looks like Patrick Star
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  • darklink20001 2020-02-10 15:31:58.304564+00
    not overrated... in fact this game is epic
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  • to_noid_or_not_to_noid 2021-06-28 17:21:27.962452+00
    Easy to get flustered and quit if you don’t know about the core “overlapping timelines” mechanic going in.
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  • ... 2021-08-20 22:33:31.065238+00
    underrated on this actually this deserves a 4.00 average
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  • Sunset_Culture 2022-04-23 23:19:36.200119+00
    incredible puzzle design. i know, because i can manage to beat it without a guide. which i cant say about like, most other adventure games
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  • Convalescence 2022-10-05 23:44:42.817816+00
    do you need to play maniac mansion before this?
    reply
    • CaptainClam 2022-10-11 20:47:02.608231+00
      No, I beleive there's only a few references and a few returning characters. Maniac Mansion can be played within the game if you do want to play it.
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  • bumfriend 2023-10-10 03:10:26.429388+00
    incredibly kino
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