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Game Info:

Day of the Tentacle Remastered
Developed by: Double Fine Productions
Published by: Double Fine Productions
Released: March 21, 2016
Available on: iOS, Linux, macOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows
Genre: Adventure
ESRB rating: T (Fantasy violence, suggestive themes, use of tobacco)
Number of players: 1
Price: $4.99 (iOS); $14.99 (Humble Store Link))

In 1993, LucasArts released a sequel to the popular adventure game “Maniac Mansion.” With bizarre graphics and a storyline by Ron Gilbert and Tim Schaefer – now popular veterans in the video game industry – Day of the Tentacle worked its way into the hearts of gamers everywhere. This classic has now undergone the “remastered” treatment, with an updated graphics and interface, to delight and confuse gamers of a new generation.

Day of the Tentacle features a short purple tentacle who, after drinking some toxic sludge, develops arms and a desire to take over the world. Three teenagers set out to prevent the purple tentacle from succeeding, and they have to use time-traveling port-a-potties to travel back in time one day to turn off the sludge maker. However, an accident forces each kid into three different eras, and they have to use their skills in order to accomplish their goals.

The game has a keen sense of humor and never takes itself too seriously. The main characters themselves are wacky – lovable nerd Bernard, neurotic med-student Laverne and obese rocker Hoagie are the stars of the game and wonderfully animated and voice acted. The supporting cast also contains bizarre people, including the Edison family, and historical figures like George Washington. Adventure games have to be driven by a good story, and Day of the Tentacle continues to demonstrate how adventure games should be done, with a solid plot and memorable characters.

Day of the Tentacle Remastered
Highlights:

Strong Points: Amusing dialogue and puzzles; colorful graphics; great story
Weak Points: Repetitious music; no lip syncing
Moral Warnings: Cartoon violence; alcohol and tobacco reference; language; lying and deception (including changing history) required to proceed through the game

The graphics are reminiscent of Looney Tunes cartoons, with bizarre architecture and skewed lines. The remastered game features hand-drawn scenes and matches the theme of the game delightfully. The voice acting, which was already great in the original, is still fantastic. The background music sets the mood well, but is hardly memorable. One of the songs is repetitious, though, but needs to be played in order to unlock one of the many achievements in the Steam version of the game.

The achievements – another of the new features of the game – can be tricky to discover without a guide. Some of them can be only accomplished by combining items in an illogical fashion, and in the game sometimes only brings a generic “I don't want to do that” response. That being said, it does award people for experimenting in the fashion that made these games popular in the first place – you'll need out-of-the-box thinking and experimentation in order to solve the puzzles, and some of the most bizarre answers turn out to be the correct ones in order to proceed through the game. For instance, one of the early puzzles has Laverne hanging by her underwear from a kumquat tree 200 years in the future. She can't do anything while there, so you have to figure out a way to get rid of the kumquat tree. The same tree exists 200 years in the past. Hoagie can try to convince George Washington to chop down the tree, but the Founding Father insists that he only chops down cherry trees. A bucket of red paint will solve that problem!

Day of the Tentacle offers a variety of options to play the game as well. You can switch the graphics to a low-resolution, pixellated style reminiscent of the 1993 original. You also can change the user interface to resemble the original as well. And just like the original, Maniac Mansion is hidden within the game and also is fully playable. It is the inclusion of this game that leads to some of the moral issues, as Maniac Mansion does contain some blood, girls in skimpy outfits, and some nude sculptures - albeit at such low resolution nothing can really be seen. These don't appear in Day of the Tentacle, though, so those can be easily avoided except for those trying to get all of the achievements.

Day of the Tentacle Remastered
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 84%
Gameplay - 16/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 76%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 7/10
Sexual Content - 7/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 6/10

Day of the Tentacle does have its own share of moral issues, however. There is cartoony, slapstick violence, but that's a minor issue. The Lord's name is taken in vain throughout the game, and a variety of other swear words appear as well. “B***chin'” is a word that Hoagie frequently uses to describe things he likes that he looks at, but that's as harsh as it gets. The three teenagers often have to rely on deception and lies, as well as conduct other immoral behavior, in order to save the world. As Bernard says at one point, “to save the world, you have to push a few old ladies down the stairs.” The game also requires the use of a bottle of wine – although no one drinks it – and tobacco use in the form of exploding cigars.

Being a game that was originally developed by LucasArts, there are lots of references to Star Wars and other LucasArts games, including “Sam and Max Save the World.” For those that have played the original, none of the puzzles or content have changed – the same solutions that worked in 1993 will solve the puzzles here. But this nostalgic trip is worth the price. Those who haven't played the original also will enjoy the game. Although the game can be completed in about eight hours, it can be worth playing again to see what was missed previously.

Day of the Tentacle is considered to be one of the best adventure games ever created, and it holds up to the test of time well. Just like reading an old, classic novel, it is worth playing again, and for those who haven't played it before, they are in for a real treat with the remastered edition. Don't forget to charge your Chron-O-John before you take a trip through time!

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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