Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle

Tagged: Game

Videogame (1993). LucasArts. Designed by Tim Schafer, David Grossman. Platforms: DOS (1993); Mac (1996).

Day of the Tentacle is a graphical Adventure game, a loose sequel to Maniac Mansion (1987). Widely considered to be one of the best of LucasArts' Adventures, it focuses on Purple Tentacle, an intelligent ambulatory member created by Dr Edison's dubious experiments in the first game. After exposing itself to toxic waste, the tentacle grows arms and develops a demented plan to become ruler of the world. The player adopts the role of Bernard Bernoulli, a cowardly geek who was one of the playable characters in Maniac Mansion. With two friends, he returns to the mansion, but all three soon find themselves trapped in different time periods after an unfortunate encounter with Dr Edison's malfunctioning Time Machine. The remainder of the linear plot (see Interactive Narrative) alternates between the three characters, who must find a way of defeating Purple Tentacle and reuniting in the present. The puzzle designs play ingeniously with the concept of Time Travel. At one point, a character in the eighteenth century can insert a flyer advertising vacuum cleaners into a suggestions box of the American Constitution, leading to the addition of a clause that requires every home to contain such a device as soon as they have been invented. As a result, the future is changed to make a vacuum cleaner available when it is needed in the present (see Time Paradoxes). The surreal art style, entertaining parodies of historical figures and consistently witty dialogue combine to make Day of the Tentacle one of the most amusing graphical Adventures ever designed. [NT]

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