73 - Day of the Tentacle (PC)

In the early 90s Lucasarts were on a roll, and their adventure game division was in the middle of an unbroken run of classic games. Perhaps only Origin at the time had the same level of adoration and fan loyalty. The original SCUMM interface had been refined over several games, and it reached its zenith with DOTT before being completely overhauled for the next game - Sam and Max Hit the Road. This was also one of the first SCUMM games to feature full voice acting on the CD version, and it goes without saying that the quality of characterization across the board was top-notch.

The plot is a mishmash of 50s B-movie staples, geek humour and pop culture satire, bursting with sight gags, puns and irreverent scenes (handing out exploding cigars to the founding fathers!). A genius bit of design came with the idea of the three kids working separately in three different time zones, but occupying the same space (Dr. Ed's mansion). This required some pretty inventive thinking and some fiendish puzzles. The great thing was, with so much going on if you found yourself stumped with one character you could switch to another and continue their part for a while instead of just banging your head.

Visually the game is very bold, with a super-exaggerated design in both the characters and environments. A love letter from the heyday of 256-colour VGA... PC games never looked better in my opinion.

No comments: