All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One


Day of the Tentacle Remastered

Score: 85%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Double Fine Studios
Developer: Double Fine Studios
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure/ Classic/Retro

Graphics & Sound:

Day of the Tentacle Remastered brings one of my all-time favorite games to modern computers, and with it a lot of nostalgia. In many ways, Day of the Tentacle was what all non-serious adventure games should be. If you wanted comedy and challenging puzzles in the same game, then DotT was where you needed to go. Obviously the looks of the game are pretty dated today, but there really isn't anything about the game's content or dialogue that makes it feel old.

These days, when a classic adventure game gets a Remastered release, that typically means an upgrade in the visual department, and that surely is the case here. What is great is that even though the visuals are smoothed out and upgraded, the unique look that is Day of the Tentacle is fully preserved. The visual style of the game is all about off-kilter, exaggerated set pieces with odd perspectives and hard, distinct shadings between different colors. From what I understand, a lot of this was done in order to make the transition from the actual artwork to the computer-generated scenes smoother and easier to handle. If the scenes were filled with a lot of fine detail, much of that would be lost given the lack of resolution computers at the time could display. As a result, it's not surprising at all to see the HD version of this game look like a smoothed out, but just as exaggerated and quirky version of the original. I don't know if the original artwork was rescanned, or if artists for the Remastered edition simply cleaned up what was already in the game, but either way the game Day of the Tentacle looks both completely new, and exactly what I remember; for some reason I forgot just how jagged the original art was.

The game's U.I. was also altered. Like other recent Remastered releases, the verb-box and perpetually-present inventory section has been hidden. Now, interacting with objects and people is connected to the cursor and the inventory pops up from the bottom when you want. This, of course, gives plenty of screen real-estate to the bigger visuals that are present since before, this part of the U.I. would take up about a quarter of the screen.

Of course, a big part of replaying a classic like this is the nostalgia factor, so as you might have guessed, the original look and feel of the game is just a key-press away, so feel free to stick to one look or the other ... or even flip-flop between them as your heart desires.

Day of the Tentacle was also a great game when it comes to sound. The original release, on floppy discs, didn't even have voice-overs for all of the dialogue. It was a later release for the CD-ROM that added that feature. Well, all of those voices and the game's unique music are all a part of the Remastered edition.


While Day of the Tentacle Remastered takes place several years after Maniac Mansion, and while there are several callbacks to the older game's story, none of that story is necessary in order to play through this adventure.

When one of Dr. Fred Edison's mutant tentacles drinks toxic sludge and not only sprouts arms, but turns evil, word is sent to Bernard (the nerdy character from Maniac Mansion) to have him return to the freakish house and somehow stop Purple Tentacle before his plans for world domination can come to fruition.

Bernard isn't alone though. He takes along his two roommates, a twisted med-school student named Laverne and a roadie named Hoagie, which is convenient since events quickly conspire to separate the three playable characters and put them in rather unique situations. Dr. Edison's plan isn't just to stop Purple Tentacle now, but to actually go back in time and keep the mutant from drinking the sludge to begin with. Unfortunately, Fred's cheapness causes problems and the three characters are flung to different points in time.

Hoagie is flung 200 years in the past where the American founding fathers are at the Edison mansion working on the constitution. Laverne goes the opposite direction and ends up 200 years in the future. Unfortunately for her, Purple Tentacle has been in power for a long time and the tentacles are ruling the Earth. To make matters worse, humans are seen as pets, so it will be very hard to move freely without being caught and put in a kennel. Meanwhile, Bernard lands right back where he left off.

In order to continue with the original plans, the three characters will have to work together across time in order to not only fix the time machine in the present, but also power the other two Chron-o-Johns (yes, time-traveling porta-potties). Thankfully, the three characters aren't completely disconnected from each other. Any small, inanimate object can be flushed and show up in the other two Chron-o-Johns for the other characters to pick up and use.

From a gameplay perspective, there are very few differences between the Remastered and original Day of the Tentacle releases. The puzzles are all the same and, with the exception of the U.I. changes mentioned earlier, the point-and-click nature of the game is untouched. That being said, the Remastered releases adds concept sketches that can be unlocked as you progress and a Developer's Commentary option.

One item of note though, you do not want the Developer Commentary playing if it's your first time through the game. The commentary tracks overpower any other dialogue going on, so you could miss vital clues. Also, there are some times when the commentary actually talks about puzzles that need to be solved, so if you don't want to be given an unintentional solution, hold off on this aspect until your second playthrough.


It's hard for me to judge Day of the Tentacle Remastered's difficulty at this point. Back when I first got the game in the 90's, I played it ... a lot. As a result, many of the solutions to the puzzles came back to me loud and clear once I sat down at the keyboard. That being said, there are a few puzzles that take some odd sideways thinking to get through, but at least a game like this always has the fallback of "try everything with everything," and heck, using that approach will get some amusing reactions from the characters. Of course, that old trick does have one level of complexity when it comes to Day of the Tentacle, since there are three different characters that you will want to try those inventory items out with.

Game Mechanics:

One of the reasons Day of the Tentacle is still on the top of my favorite games list is because of the clever time-traveling based puzzles that permeate the game. Sure, it has the standard mix of dialogue and basic inventory puzzles; this is a 90's adventure game after all, but the fact that the game spans 400 years and has the ability to pass most objects between the three time periods really adds some interesting solutions to the mix.

It's hard to go into detail about some of these intriguing puzzles without also giving away their solutions, but imagine, if you will, times when you need a version of an inventory item that is aged to perfection. You just need to leave it somewhere that you can find it in a later time period, then just send it back to the person who needs it. Or maybe the solution to a character's problem involves changing some key element of the past. Just get one of the earlier characters to muck with the timeline a little, and presto, you change the future. The ability, and need, to send items through time really does add an interesting dimension to the game's puzzles, and I just haven't seen another game pull it off quite so well.

Day of the Tentacle Remastered is a game that will not only bring back tons of nostalgia for anyone who played the game back in the day, but it still holds up well enough to be entertaining to newer adventure gamers who didn't have a chance to play the original versions of this title.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 7, 1.7 GHz Dual Core Processor, 2 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260, ATI Radeon 4870 HD, Intel HD 3000, or equivalent card with at least 512 MB VRAM Graphics Card, DirectX Version 9.0, 2500 MB Available Hard Drive Space, DirectX Compatible Sound Card, Must Have OpenGL 3 with GLSL Version 1.3

Test System:

Windows 10 64-bit, AMD A4-500 APU with Radeon HD Graphics, 4 GB RAM, DirectX 10

Related Links:

Windows The Last Door: Season 1 Windows The Last Door: Season 2 - Collector's Edition

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated