Leaping labrats, the greatest adventure game is back!
If the oddball trio Bernard, Laverne and Hoagie mean nothing to you, here’s your chance to get acquainted in high resolution. Day of the Tentacle Remastered has just been released on Steam, bringing with it an upgrade in the right spots
1993 was a good year for games. Maybe one of the best. The SNES was going from strength to strength and pulling magic out of its ass thanks to a certain chip; in the arcades we were starting our engines and boom shaka laking. And PC gaming would never be the same again, thanks to releases like Doom and 7th Guest. We also saw the birth of the X-Files, death of Andre the Giant, and a few fashion choices we’d rather forget. But here it’s time for Day of the Tentacle to shine as it’s the latest and greatest game to get a remastered re-release.
Day of the Tentacle came out when point and click adventure games were as common as the FPS iss now. A sequel to Maniac Mansion, you controlled one of three characters bound by fate to save the world from tentacle domination. It was the craziest of characters, jumping through time, and it was impeccable. Also deviating from their earlier efforts, DotT was far more forgiving in that you couldn’t die or trap yourself out of completing the game, something I found more enjoyable than the precarious nature of Mansion.
So the big question: what’s different? Double Fine have gone and included new hand-drawn, high res artwork, remastered the sound and cleaned up the UI. It’s like having your favourite VHS finally make it to DVD. And just like any good collector’s edition disk, there’s also added commentary from the original creators and a concept art gallery. Naturally, there are some people who don’t like their precious VGA memories being tampered with, so Tim Schafer et al. had the foresight to include the option to switch between classic and remastered modes.
What’s the same? Everything that had you fall in love with the original; bickering founding fathers, sleep walking scientists and complacent nerds – in other words, classic LucasArts.
While the venerable adventure game has made a comeback in recent times, the first time round its popularity waned heavily after about the mid 90’s. One reason may have been the mechanic itself, never really growing out of its predecessors’ shoes. Agency was nothing more than predetermined matching (Chemtrails may have also played a part, watch this space for my big exposé). Where the FPS stood on the shoulders of giants, the adventure game hung in a relative catatonic state. Games like Blade Runner and Grim Fandango helped give a push in the right direction, but it did take quite a while for the mainstream to once again click in acceptance.
But, like any puritan who stubbornly refuses to acknowledge just how good gaming is right now, I still find myself drawn to an earlier period, where great games stole us away from those all too often lackadaisical afternoons.
DOTT Remastered | Grab it here!
Also: check out the making of DotT Remastered.