Review: Maniac Mansion 2: Day of the Tentacle
Any fan of DOS-based point-and-click adventures are going to love this game. It’s seriously not serious. The game is meant to tickle your funny bone, which is does very well at doing. You don’t really need to have a certain type of 90’s humor to like the game. The way the game is written is entirely hilarious and well delivered. Those unaware of the series, this is the second game in the Maniac Mansion series.
This game takes off after the first adventures of Maniac Mansion. Dr. Fred has been working on his mad science experiments in his basement, which is also polluting the city’s river. In turn, Purple Tentacle (conveniently named) takes a drink from the river and grows a pair of arms. Somehow, this manages to give him the idea that he’s able to take over the world. Ultimately, he does just that. The characters you’ll play as are three entirely different types of characters. There’s Bernard, the nerdy pocket protector kid; Hoagie, the fat 1990’s metal kid; and then Laverne, who is a dope head chick with a few screws loose. Your characters get involved in the story, thanks to a hamster who tells them about Dr. Fred’s experiments and Purple Tentacle’s plot. Upon arriving at the Edison’s mansion, you’ll find yourself getting involved in a time traveling port-a-potty.
The overall feel for the game is a history altering adventure. Bernard is left to stay in the present, Hoagie goes to the 18th century, and Laverne is sent to the future. The way the game plays out is to solve clues for the future, you need to change things in the past from happening or to happen. For instance, having George Washington cut down a cherry tree helps release Laverne in the future from being stuck in the tree. Sending schematics of a tentacle helps inspire the first American flag. Things like that.
The game is very colorful, cartoony, and brilliant. The graphics are not that bad, even for a game based on 256 colors. The astonishing feature of the game is the voice acting. It’s really good. I consider this to be more of a really fun puzzle solving movie just because of the voice acting. It’s fun to just sit back and listen to the hilarious dialog between a ’90’s metal thug and Benjamin Franklin. The gameplay is simple. It’s a typical point-and-click adventure. You highlight your cursor over an object and pick if you’d like to use or pick up the item.
There’s really no errors in the game. It’s a DOS game, so some users may want to load up a DOS emulation program such as DOSBox to play the game. Overall, if you don’t mind playing older games, you’ll end up finding a new game to add in your list of “best game evar!”.
TL;DR: This is what LucasArts should be doing again. Comical graphic adventures.
Reviewed on the DOS.