Maniac Mansion 2: Day of the Tentacle

1993 LucasArts Entertainment
Designed by David Grossman, Tim Schafer
Reviewed 1995 December 10

Rating +5 Linearity narrow
Reasonability reasonable Connectivity high
Difficulty challenging Relevance strong
Interface 3rd paned menu Real-time none

You play three characters: a science nerd, a sleep-deprived med student, and a rock roadie. The purple tentacle, a creature created by an almost-mad scientist, has drunk industrial sludge and mutated. He now has arms, and can implement plans to take over the world. You three must somehow prevent the sludge from having come out in the first place by travelling back to yesterday in the scientist's time machine.

Day of the Tentacle is a fun, hilarious game. Don't let that fool you: it is also a very rational, uncontrived, challenging puzzle. It's not always a logical game, but doing reasonable things with the objects at hand leads to the required results. The puzzle is large and intricate. However, it is divided into three parts, so you're not forced to tediously run back and forth over the same landscape.

The artwork is well done. It's not gorgeous, but rather it matches the humour of the story. It is also clear, e.g., you don't have to worry whether those two odd pixels are supposed to be something important. The voice acting is also top rate. The sound and pictures may not contribute much to the play of the game, but they keep things fun while you struggle to save the world.

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