The classic point and click adventure game is probably my favourite genre of video game. It’s one part story to one part puzzler, usually with a good dose of humour thrown in. There were two companies that really defined this genre – Lucasarts and Sierra. Lucasarts, originally Lucasfilm Games, is my favourite of these, creating classic titles like Monkey Island, Full Throttle, The Dig, Sam and Max Hit the Road and Grim Fandango. Among the earliest of their adventure games was Maniac Mansion and, later, the sequel, Day of the Tentacle.
Originally released in 1993, Day of the Tentacle actually still looks pretty decent – mainly as a result of the stylised, cartoony graphics. Games that strive for realism tend to age all the faster. That said, it’s still great to see Double Fine putting out a remastered edition of the game, due out later this month.
The new edition promises many improvements. These are listed by the publisher as:
- 100% new hand painted, high resolution artwork
- Switch on the ﬂy between classic mode and remastered mode
- Remastered high quality voices, sound effects and music, with emulated “iMuse” style dynamic music
- Choose between two remastered music modes: modernized, re-voiced music, or classic music which sounds just like it did in the 90s
- Concept Art Browser
- Highly customizable user interface and experience, with mix and match options for old and new play styles – play with the verb bar in remastered mode, or the new verb dial in classic mode
- Commentary track with original creators: Tim Schafer, Dave Grossman, Larry Ahern, Peter Chan, Peter McConnell and Clint Bajakian.
- Game within a game: Includes full playable version of Maniac Mansion!
The ability to switch between the classic and remastered graphics is one that we saw in the new edition of Monkey Island that was released a few years ago. It’s not a major feature, but it was pretty cool, letting you compare and contrast as you go along. Similarly, the commentary track is not a huge feature for new players, but is a cool feature for people playing through it multiple times. It’s nice to see they also kept the ability to play the entire original Maniac Mansion game on a computer within Day of the Tentacle. It’s a unique feature that was really ahead of its time when it first appeared, and it’s great to see they have kept it in.
Here’s a side by side comparison of the old and new graphics. It will help if you click to embiggen them:
The game is available for pre-order over at GoG and will set you back about a tenner. It’s due to be released on the 22nd of March. Cannae wait! I am really looking forward to playing back through this classic.