Day of the Tentacle Remastered (iOS) Review

By Renan Fontes 31.03.2017 6

Review for Day of the Tentacle Remastered on iOS

If there's one genre that LucasArts constantly excels at, it's the point-and-click adventure. From Monkey Island, to Sam & Max, and Grim Fandango, LucasArts' track record should not be glossed over. Originally released in 1993, Day of the Tentacle told a whimsical tale of time travel in the vein of a Chuck Jones cartoon. Sadly, the point-and-click was lost to time until quite recently. Rereleased and remastered for the first time in decades, does Day of the Tentacle Remastered stand the test of time? After its original home, as well as both the PS4 and PS Vita, Tim Schafer's masterpiece finds its way to iOS.

Time travel is a tricky concept, especially for video games. It can be done like in Ocarina of Time where actions in the present can alter the future without compromising the story, or it can simply be used as an unchangeable story element like in EarthBound or the original Final Fantasy. Day of the Tentacle takes the concept one step further, by blending story and gameplay together. Time travel is far from just a thematic prop here, it's a mechanic.

The plot centres around three main characters: Bernard, Hoagie, and Laverne. The opening sees the three investigating a Doctor Fred's lab, and getting coerced into being sent back in time to stop a nefarious purple tentacle from drinking toxic that will inevitably lead him to succeeding in world domination. Like all good stories, however, something goes wrong and the time machine malfunctions.

Bernard remains in the present, Hoagie is sent back to colonial America, and Laverne is sent into a future where Purple Tentacle has accomplished his goals of domination. What follows is point-and-click adventure that combines humour with engaging puzzles so masterfully that it's hard to believe it took 23 years for Day of the Tentacle to be rereleased. Tim Schafer of Grim Fandango and Psychonauts is in his prime here, his signature style shining through in the dialogue, and while the amateur voice-acting can be a bit hard to swallow, it actually adds another layer to the absurdity present.

Screenshot for Day of the Tentacle Remastered on iOS

LucasArts shows off the creativity of their game design most with how the different eras interact with one another. Hoagie can influence Bernard's timeline and Bernard Laverne's. Character switching is a necessity for solving puzzles and progressing in the story, but it never feels like a chore. All three protagonists have their defined personalities and quirks that play off their eras impeccably well. There's something charming about seeing a deadpan man named after a sandwich interact with Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.

On the remaster side of things, the visuals have been touched up to give the whole adventure a cel-shaded feel without compromising the artistic integrity of the original. In fact, the original is actually fully present and playable for fans looking for a more 1993-esque oriented experience.

What makes Day of the Tentacle Remastered work so well is its insistence to be as faithful to the already hilarious and clever original without trying to fix what's not broken. This does mean there are design choices that feel outdated, but it also allows for a very clear look at what Day of the Tentacle was like in the context of its time. And in a point-and-click about time travel, that certainly means something.

Screenshot for Day of the Tentacle Remastered on iOS

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Despite the '90s production values, Day of the Tentacle Remastered manages to hold up incredibly well over two decades later. Tim Schafer's signature writing is very much present, and any issues with the production are completely overshadowed by just how incredibly clever the story and direction are. Throw in some memorable puzzles and a plot that is equal parts hilarious and ridiculous, and there is little reason to ignore one of LucasArts' best point-and-click adventures.

Developer

Double Fine

Publisher

Double Fine

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Ah, but does it have Manic Mansion on the computer?

http://www.fanficmaker.com <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
Last update; Mice,Plumbers,Animatronics and Airbenders. We also have the socials; Facebook & G+

Yeah, it is a core part of the game - it was even included in the original DotT on PC, I think.

Someone should do a review of that, as well... ^^

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Random factoid; There was a Manic Mansion tv show. Had little to do with the game though, beyond a mad scientist theme.

Never got far in the game myself, always had the wrong characters.  Seemed a rather unfair gameplay manic that.

http://www.fanficmaker.com <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
Last update; Mice,Plumbers,Animatronics and Airbenders. We also have the socials; Facebook & G+

Yeah, I've heard about the Maniac Mansion show...but not seen it.

I didn't bother playing much of the MM hidden in DotT, either. I'm really not a fan of the old "verb command" system, to be honest. I'm just writing a review of Thimbleweed Park and I know people are giving glowing reviews, but I feel they're doing it just because it's "Ron Gilbert of Maniac Mansion fame!" It has that old mechanic shoe-horned in, and also has multiple characters without there really being a need for multiple characters Smilie

( Edited 01.04.2017 12:51 by Adam Riley )

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

The argument in favor of the verb system is "you cant just spam combinations till you get the answer", which is true, but still seems a pretty bad solution if you want to stop that problem.
Its just poor interface design these days.
You could, for example, at least have the relevant options appear next to the cursor when you click on something. So you get more then a generic "use" without it taking up 1/3rd the screen and making you move the mouse loads.

Or go the other way and make it all keyboard based. Starship Titantic was decades ago, we should be able to have games now where you type out what you want the character to do.
"chuck brick at ghost"
"stick cellphone to cat"

etc

http://www.fanficmaker.com <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
Last update; Mice,Plumbers,Animatronics and Airbenders. We also have the socials; Facebook & G+

Well, you can read more about my dislike of the verb system here:

http://www.cubed3.com/review/3740/1/thimbleweed-park-pc.html Smilie

Good game overall, but let down in certain ways.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
K-Pop Korner - The Best of Korean Music
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Adam Riley, Azuardo, devidise, The Strat Man

There are 4 members online at the moment.