Traditional Point and Click, Adventure games can largely be placed into one of two camps; clever games which make the user feel clever, or stupid games that piss the user off. Which camp a given title falls into depends to what extent its puzzles make any logical sense. Fortunately, Day of the Tentacle, is rightly regarded as one of the greater games of its genre, and has been lovingly remastered for the Playstation 4.
A hand-painted, Looney Tunes, aesthetic of the highest quality encompasses the game's visuals from start to finish, with facial expressions being a particular highlight. The barmy look meshes well with the audio, which is full of Hanna-Barbera like goofy sound effects and voice acting which manages to never venture into the realms of irritating despite its wacky nature. The pixelated look of the original is still available at the push of a button alongside the older tunes, and they're perfectly serviceable, but the modernised clean sounds and looks of the remaster are likely how most will choose to play the game. That the old things are there is nice, though, and even the predecessor to Day of the Tentacle is available within the game alongside a developer's commentary full of trivia for anyone interested in the creative process behind a point and click.
Much like a Looney Tunes episode, Day of the Tentacle keeps the comedy coming thick and fast via a light-hearted plot and several dashings of slap-stick. From the offset, a purple tentacle is covered in a toxic waste which grants it small arms and an evil plan to take over the world. Events conspire such that 3 kids become the worlds only hope, as each is trapped across time - The Framing of the Constitution - The Tentacle Future - and the 90s present, but all within the same mansion. This quickly becomes a key mechanic, one character stuffing a hamster in a freezer, for example, leads to another in the future finding the frozen hamster, defrosting it, and using the hamster to engineer their escape. The danger of the mechanic is that it becomes esoteric, and players don't realise the solution to a puzzle lies in manipulating a different timezone. Happily, the game prompts users to change timezones occasionally by briefly cutting to an alternate character, and other clues exist within the environments. Players who thrive in these types of game shouldn't have too many difficulties, but point and click novices may well feel compelled to check a guide on occasion nonetheless.
Each of the three settings has a great sense of character, but it's the past and future settings which really feel like a treat to explore. The bickering Founding Fathers with their writer's blot, chills, and silly time capsule are great fun to interact with, and there are occasional opportunities to make cheeky changes to the past. On the other hand playing through a future stage where humans are treated as pets by tentacle overlords is also good fun, outsmarting the tentacles through silly means such as dressing up in a wind-sock shaped flag in order to deceive the overlords into thinking you're one of them is good silly fun.
There are plenty of nice control touches that make the game a lot easier to play. One of the great problems point and clickers have, well designed or not, is that many players will misread a certain object as being non-interactive: players will simply miss an inconspicuous object which is actually important. By holding the down button, all interactive objects are highlighted, which really helps guide players towards picking up all the items that they will need to finish the game.
Overall, Day of the Tentacle is a good point and click game, and one that is easy to recommend to those who follow the genre. Fans of the original should also pick it up, since there are enough bonus features thrown into the mix alongside some impressive audio and visual upgrades. Those who tend to struggle with the genre will find this something that they might actually get along with. There will still be occasional moments where confusion takes over, and a guide feels like the only escape, but even then the warmth of the game's character is enough to make it worth continuing with once the difficulty spike is surpassed.