The Greatest Video Games of All Time: Day of the Tentacle

“But now I know I must go… back to the mansion”

There’s no question about it, Day of the Tentacle is simply the best graphic adventure ever created and probably one of the best video games of all time. Why? Mainly because it included one of the best bonus features to ever appear on a video game, its prequel can be played as an Easter egg on one of the rooms of the mansion. This started a trend that many other developers decided to include on their games. Furthermore, the “Talkie” version of the adventure is quite original as it’s remarkably good. The game’s puzzles require lateral thinking, the jokes are incredibly and universally funny, the gameplay is awesome, the cartoony graphics look really well even by today’s standards, the animations are magnificent, the musical score is suiting and great… do I need to go on? Everything in the game is unforgettable, the ridiculous plot, the inventive storyline and mainly the charming characters. This is a masterpiece.

If a tentacle grew arms, he could also take over the world.

Day of the Tentacle has a really cheeky sense of humor. The script is brilliantly written and even when it shares some similarities to previous LucasArst games like Sam & Max or Monkey Island, there nothing quite like it. Additionally, puzzle design is unique and the inclusion of time travel as a way to tell the story is superb. Usually, when a concept like this one is introduced in a game or a movie is full of minor inconsistencies and flaws that make the plot incoherent, but here its inclusion is one of the strongest points of the story.

The introduction shows Bernard Bernoulli, a stereotypical nerd that was previously featured on Maniac Mansion, as he receives a message (via hamster) from his old friend Green Tentacle, asking for help. Green needs to deal with Purple Tentacle, who after drinking radioactive sludge acquires a thirst for world domination. Once the story moves on, you realize that the three main characters are stranded in different eras as they try to stop Purple Tentacle. Hoagie travels 200 years into the past where he meets cartoony versions of the founding fathers, Laverne is 200 year into the future where an army of purple tentacles rule the world, and finally Bernard is in the present trying to assist his friends. Some of the puzzles are incredible as they require you to interact with the different characters along with the diverse parallel eras. After completing some specific puzzles you can freely switch between characters, interacting with the separate time periods. Certain inventory items can be shared by placing (or should I say flushing) them in the “Chron-o-Johns”, which happen to be modified portable toilets. Other items though, can be simply left in a past time period to be picked up later by a character in the future, so changes in the past directly affect it. The puzzles included are extremely challenging but never frustrating and they always involve crazy new ideas to manipulate time travel to be solved. The cast of characters is both charming and bizarre and it helps the game become even more memorable. Also, the voice acting is mind blowing as it captures the funny essence of each character.

BACK TO THE MANSION!

After so many years of its release this is probably the only game that I personally consider truly funny, even after playing it many, many times. Day of the Tentacle is the only game I know it features laugh-out-loud moments that are amusing to watch. There’s always something unique and nostalgic about replaying it, as there’s an indescribable feeling proper of old graphic adventure games contained in Day of the Tentacle. What’s surprising about it is that even after so many years Day of the Tentacle remains being not only one of the most significant adventures in history, but also one of the greatest video games ever created.