Return of the Tentacle Prologue – a free, fan made unofficial sequel!

And you thought you were a tentacle fan?

So talking about games that you play for years, today is a similar topic.  Not a game that you can play for years and it changes with you, but a game that you just go back and play again and again.

I have a few of these.  Services like GoG have allowed me to go back and revisit some great old classics.  Gold Box SSI D&D Games like the Forgotten Realms series or the Eye of the Beholder trilogy.  Games that by today’s standards are ugly, clunky and simplistic – but I still love them.  If you can see past the graphical limitations of the day, there are true storytelling gems from the old days.

And the remaster craze as well lets me play some of those games with new polish and shine.  Lucasarts games especially have come good with this, with games like Full Throttle and Grim Fandango getting a new life not only on PC but consoles as well.

One of these games I love is Day of the Tentacle.  If you release Day of the Tentacle for a platform I own, it’s pretty much a guaranteed buy.  So when the remaster came out, I bought it on both PC and PlayStation 4.

According to my PSNProfiles, I spent a massive 4 hours getting the platinum on that one.  As the very first trophy I got was ringing the bell 100 times (if you played it, you know what I mean), I am guessing I had a trophy list read.  I have played it so much that I don’t need a walkthrough, I just enjoy an afternoon.

And an Easter Egg of sorts in both the original and remastered version is the inclusion of the original game – Maniac Mansion.  One game lets you play some gaming history right there!

If you don't know Maniac Mansion, the intro doesn't make sense. But back then, we were much more 'go with it' than today

Personally, I prefer the original graphics style, even on my 4K TV.  But that is one of those preference choices you can flip between, and I never had the CD version with all the voice acting, so that was a great bonus for me with the remaster.

With the dissolution of the Lucasarts gaming team that made such games years and years ago, fans knew we were never getting the third game.

Well – officially we knew.  Over on, a team known as ‘Catmic’ have taken things into their own hands and created Return of the Tentacle – Prologue.

Windows, Mac or Linux the free game is a 1GB download.  I am going to play it.  This is going to be fun!

You jump straight in with no installation necessary (well, on Windows anyway).  The music and setup are very reminiscent of Day of the Tentacle and instantly put me in the mood to play.

Firing up the Return of the Tentacle for a cheeky look on my Surface Pro 3, the game runs smoothly.  The are style is very close to the remastered version of Day of the Tentacle, with no option for ‘classic’ mode.  This isn’t a dealbreaker for me, it was just something I instantly looked for.

The intro and setup is very close to Day of the Tentacle, which bought an instant smile to my face

But the style is there.  The humour for the opening minutes that I had a look at feels right.  Even the voice acting is fitting.  It’s not perfect (this is a fan made game after all) but Bernard’s voice is fitting, and just off enough to fit the feel the game but not be annoying.

The contols are different, but again not enough to pull you out of the feel of the series

The instant huge change is the control system though.  It looks slick, but it’s definitely not the SCUMM engine.  If the name doesn’t sound familiar to you, SCUMM stands for ‘Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion’, and became almost the default control system for Lucasarts point and clicks.

Having a very quick look around the lounge room, the controls seem intuitive and clear.  The only time I really worry about the controls changing is when they change for the worse, and that doesn’t seem to be happening here.

But even just watching the intro and exploring the room, when you look at the lounge of Return of the Tentacle compared to the lounge from Day of the Tentacle above, it’s obvious the time and care that has gone into the creation of the game.

The only thing I am a little worried about with Return of the Tentacle is Lucasarts is now owned by Disney.  Disney loves the lawyer up tactic, and I am really hoping this game isn’t targeted by them.  Since going live a couple of days ago, there have already been two updates.  The team is obviously committed to this project, and I hope it continues.

I am really looking forward to playing Return of the Tentacle, maybe over the weekend, but probably next weekend.

Why so far away?  Well, for the site basically.  I am thinking of recording the gameplay.  Not just for Return of the Tentacle, but for a lot of those older games I mentioned previously.  I don’t really have time to sit and play a lot of the newer games at a time that makes the viewing new and cool, but I have a collection of games older than most streamers these days 🙂

What do you think?  Does the idea of watching me (or a couple of us) play old school games appeal?  Let me know!

In the meantime, head over to the page and grab a copy of Return of the Tentacle for yourself!  If you want to see where it all started, then on PC grab a copy of Day of the Tentacle Remastered from GoG or Steam (wait for the sales this holiday for the best deals!)

Until next time,

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