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Remembering Day of the Tentacle

That video above is a 20 minute speed run of one of the most boggling adventure games I’ve played.

The main reason Day of the Tentacle sets itself apart so greatly despite sharing a handful of elements with its predecessor is the fact that it draws from completely different inspirations. With Maniac Mansion, Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick sought to tribute the horror/scifi B-movie genre. With Day of the Tentacle, that influence was replaced by the work of Chuck Jones. If Maniac Mansion is like playing through a cheesy horror movie, Day of the Tentacle is like playing through a Saturday morning cartoon, and everything from the brand of humor to the puzzle design reflects this. Knowledge of the previous game is not assumed, and there’s definitely a “reboot” feel to the whole project – this game is in a completely different spirit than the original, sporting a new style and tone. Not that this change was an unwelcome one. In fact, that Day of the Tentacle is very much Maniac Mansion’s equal in terms of quality is probably the mildest praise one will see bestowed on the game, which tends to be considered among the best ever produced.

If you’re old enough to remember Laverne, Hoagy and Bernard from Maniac Mansion 2 or Day of the Tentacle, you’ll really appreciate this 20 minute speed run. I was banging my head just trying to figure this game out back in 1993. These were the days when nobody heard of game FAQS. I remember wasting hours on the phone with friends as we cracked our heads to figure Day of the Tentacle 2 out. In retrospect, here is a great article that talked about one of the best adventure / puzzle games ever made.