|Title: Day of the Tentacle
Rom Player: PC
Synopsis: Day of the Tentacle is one of LucasArtsí typically hilarious cartoon adventures, of which I just canít get enough. Itís also the sequel to the highly popular game Maniac Mansion. However, the game has retained very little of the style of its predecessor, and in my opinion that turned out to be a good thing.
Aside from the actual inhabitants of the Maniac Mansion, such as Dr. Fred and Green Tentacle, only one character has been carried into the sequel, and heís also the Ďheroí. Leave it to LucasArts to pick Bernard, the nerdy, cowardly kid from Maniac Mansion to be this character. Life is turning to normal, and the good Dr. Fred and his family are slowly recovering from their psychotic dementia caused by the meteor that hit their garden all those years ago. Problems arise when one of Dr. Fredís freaky mutant tentacles, Purple Tentacle, boldly drinks from a chemical waste pipe. As a result, he grows a pair of arms. WellÖ more like fins, actually. Regardless, he is immediately overwhelmed with confidence and decides to take over the world.
A little later, Bernard is visited in his dorm room by cousin Edís hamster. The hamster carries a message from Green Tentacle pleading Bernard to come save him. Bernard realizes he has to go backÖ BACK TO THE MANSION. His two roommates, the pug-ugly sociopathic girl LaVerne and the chubby metalhead Hoagie, decide to join him. Back in the Mansion, Bernard will free the two tentacles tied up in Dr. Fredís basementÖ not realizing that Fred tied them up to stop Purple Tentacle from taking over the world. Before long, Bernard and his companions are shot through time to stop Purple Tentacle from ever growing arms, and accidentally all end up in different time periods: Hoagie in the past (at the start of the War of Independence), Bernard still in the present, and LaVerne in the future (in a world ruled by Tentacles).
The game interface is typical LucasArts style. Thereís the Pick Up, Look At, Push, Pull, Open, Close and so on commands to manipulate your environment. Whatís unique about this game is that, once youíve re-established contact with Hoagie and LaVerne through the time machine, you can switch to play as them in their respective time period. You can even exchange objects between characters, which leads to some very interesting results. For instance, in the present, Bernard may find a letter that should already have been mailed. He can give it to Hoagie, who is in the past, who then posts it so itís on timeÖ a few centuries early, to be more precise. This allows for a lot of creative thinking from the player.
This game does not have spoken text yet, and unfortunately I was unable to check out sound effects or music Ė you know how it is with old games. If theyíre any bit sophisticated, they require all sorts of bizarre memory settings to work properly. Still, that didnít bother me. The text is often hilarious, and so are the characters. Because of the different time periods, you will recognize descendants and ancestors of characters you meet.
Thereís some good brainteasers to the game, but itís not too difficult. If you havenít played Maniac Mansion yet, donít bother getting it first, because it actually comes with this game (see cheats)! Any fan of adventures needs to check this game out.
Best Cheats: In cousin Edís room, there is a computer you can use. This allows you to play the original Maniac Mansion. If youíve made cousin Ed mad, you will first need to soothe his anger before you can stay in the room long enough to play Maniac Mansion.
Game Play: 8
Overall Rating: 8
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