A week of reviews: Day of the Tentacle Remastered

With my Christmas break and a Steam sale full of games to sift through, it’s safe to say I’ve bought a lot of new gaming material. So, before I have to endure work once again in exactly a week’s time, I thought I’d get back into my slightly-neglected blog again and do a review a day on titles I’ve picked up in the last few days… So, without further ado, we’ll start with Day 1.

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Today’s Steam review is for Day of the Tentacle Remastered. I was just a child when the original version was knocking about, watching my dad play and worrying only about the colours and cute characters. Then, years later, it suddenly appears on Steam store, and then it comes on sale too – this was my chance, my big opportunity to relive the magic and take on this infuriating puzzle for myself. It follows three friends who get separated throughout time (past, present and future), working together to stop an evil ‘tentacle’ from enslaving the human race and taking over the world.

With this in mind, it’s safe to say Day of the Tentacle is a completely ridiculous concept, and yet it’s also ingenious at the same time, chocked full of fun jokes and bizarre interactions. Let’s torture a poor, defenseless hamster, or get hold of an ill-fashioned tentacle costume and magically blend in with the real tentacles. Let’s squirt invisible ink at people for no reason, or try to steal a set of dentures from a talking horse. It’s the wackiness that makes this game so intuitive – but at the same time so obscure and challenging to figure out.

Mechanically, it can be pretty tiresome with all the repetition and the many screens you move through to reach your next location with each character. But having said that, the feature of transferring items you pick up through time from each of the three comrades to help the others solve a puzzle is a unique quirk. Need something different in the future? Just change the past – simple, right? Visually, the remastered version shows significant improvement. For its day, the old game was brilliant, but with smoother edges and animations, it’s now more beautiful than ever.

Day of the Tentacle can be difficult to get started with, but when you do something that makes a change somewhere else, no matter how small, the sense of achievement is spellbinding. What seems random at the time begins to make sense as all three timelines become more closely entwined. If you’ve played Day of the Tentacle before, this is the perfect nostalgia trip. If you haven’t, you’re definitely missing out on a crazy journey that provides hours of entertainment. In short, I honestly can’t really fault this game in the slightest, and would most certainly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a completely charming and engaging story, and one who can think outside of the box.

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