The Canon: Day of the Tentacle

Day of the Tentacle is a deep cut from my childhood. Adventure games were a staple of my childhood, and Day of the Tentacle was always my favorite. I thought it appropriate that on the day of its remastered release on PC, Mac, and PSN, I should wax poetic about the kookiest game I played as a kid.Day_of_the_tentacle_cover

What made it great then?  DOTT is a point and click adventure.  Click your way through puzzles and deliver the correct objects to the right places at the right time to advance the story. What set it apart for me was just how ridiculously fun that story was. Tentacles trying to take over the world, time travel to prevent their nefarious plot, 3 college students who stop the madness, it was wonderful. Controlling three different characters in different eras was fun and puzzling. Additionally, the animation, while it was 20+ years, was  fun and friendly for all ages.

What makes it great now? The nice thing about adventure games is that they never really get that out of date. Since they are story and puzzle driven there is no need for certain modern amenities for it to be fun. I haven’t revisited the whole story since I was a child, I plan on playing it remastered, but it comes from one of the more well known studios for widespread humor and memorable characters, Double Fine. I think this game will still be great 20 years from now, even if certain references are passé and the animations aren’t modern.

Why should it be remembered? I think DOTT falls in a sweet spot of adventure games. While contemporaries like Myst may be too subtle for modern and future audiences despite its beauty, DOTT has a cartoon style and humor that makes it appealing to many folks. It wasn’t too early that it is entirely text based or hard to look at, yet it is wonderfully retro and of a another time.

-Peter

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