With the limitations of graphical power back in the day, a great story delivered deep gaming experiences. And if it was funny, twisted and weird – even better. Leave it up to Double Fine Productions to take us back to revisit an old, odd gaming friend – Day of the Tentacle. Double Fine Productions treats gamers this week to a revisiting of the 1993 release with Day of the Tentacle Remastered. The Double Fine/LucasArts classic is a follow-up to one of the fondest gaming memories back in the day, kicked off by Maniac Mansion. If you missed out on it, no worries. There is a built in playable version of Maniac Mansion should you seek it. And if you played it (or like me, have foggy memories with age), there are sweet upgrades to be found in Day of the Tentacle Remastered. Day of the Tentacle Remastered remains true to its core, crazy self while offering bonuses and fun to make it worth the trip in time.
Day of the Tentacle centers around a cast of quirky characters out to save the world from the devious plans of a rouge Purple Tentacle. Purple Tentacle sets off for world domination following a new found awareness after drinking toxic material. The player takes on the roles of Bernard, Hoagie and Laverne with the aid of Dr. Fred Edison. Each character is cast off in a different period of time, following a freak time traveling accident with Dr. Fred’s “Chron-o-Johns”. To reunite the gang, and foil Purple Tentacle, the player must solve riddles across the different periods of time. And so ensues a colorful comic adventure with crazy logic. It’s very Back To The Future-esque, where changes in one time period affect another. Being a LucasArts game (RIP!), there are some fun Star Wars references you will find, along with other references to Double Fine Productions graphic adventure games. Undoubtedly fun little nods throughout (and you may get a little bit of historic schooling from The Revolutionary era!).
Players have the option of using the old school SCUMM interface (pick up, pull, give, etc.) or using the icon based wheel menu. Being that this was originally developed for computer platforms, the environment interaction was mouse-controlled point and click. On the PS4, interaction works with a crosshair controlled by thumbsticks. It worked better than I had anticipated, although it was hard to let go of the more obvious old school way of clicking on verbs.
Day of the Tentacle Remastered takes you on an instant gaming time-warp. On the PS4, with a press of the TouchPad, the graphics and audio dynamically change back to the 1993 pixel version of Day of The Tentacle. It’s fun to see how the original pixel art graphics compare to the smooth, cartoony version of the remaster as well as how the music changes (yes, there was a time where we had to deal with SoundBlaster audio card upgrades).
As for bonus features, Day of the Tentacle Remastered is packed with behind-the-scenes goodies. There is an optional audio developer commentary (warranting at least a second play through!) and tons of unlockable concept art. For the PlayStation release of Day of the Tentacle Remastered, it is a Cross-Buy game so you can enjoy the crispy, color tentacles on the PS4 and PS Vita.
Day of the Tentacle Remastered still stands out on its own for its twisted characters, quirky humor, challenging puzzles and unique art style. It is a change of pace from many of the games out there today and definitely worth revisiting in this new release. Whether you are too young, or too old, to remember, Double Fine Productions delivers a beautiful remake that even Purple Tentacle would want to get its newfound mitts on. Recommended retro-remake fun! Take the trip.