Day of the Tentacle

The first adventure game I've played (it's a year of gaming firsts for me). This one was cute but it did make me feel stupid a lot of the time. Some of the time it made me feel clever. And some of the time I felt frustrated because adventure game logic is not real-world logic and certain things that should solve puzzles just don't because the creators didn't think of them that way. My experience was of a lot of dead ends and bewilderment when I looked up the solutions. The logical leap required to get the horse's dentures for example is just wild – like, how were you supposed to get that??

Day of the Tentacle's innovation is to use time travel as a puzzle mechanic. You control three characters that are transported to three different eras within the same building, and getting them back together requires collaboration across the past, present and future. The most fun you can have in the game is changing history for your own trivial reasons – from having the US constitution mandate that every basement should have a vaccum cleaner to turning the American flag to a windsock. Some of the puzzles that involve depositing items in the past so they can be dug up and used in the future are also particularly satisfying.

The game is very funny, in a wacky Cartoon Network sort of way. There aren't very many pure dialogue puzzles in the game – conversations are an avenue for humour and your dialogue options are usually just a choice between different jokes you can make. The animation is beautiful and the voice-acting is pitch-perfect. It's a very charming game – and the remaster (which I played on my phone) is a labour of love. Although I had a hard time playing it, it feels like a great entryway into the genre. The genre just might not be for me.

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