Top: Ghost Pirate LeChuck; Bottom: the Purple Tentacle
A certain percentage of gamers will likely get excited when they see these two names on our list, for it will call up fond memories of the heyday of the graphic point-and-click adventure. And by far the best company at making these light-hearted, puzzle-driven affairs was LucasArts. Sorry, fans of King’s Quest, The 7th Guest, and, the most inexplicably popular one, Myst, but the LucasArts franchises, particularly The Secret of Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion and its sequel, Day of the Tentacle were entertaining, smart, and engrossing in a way that few other games were. It’s sad to note that the company has no plans of reviving these, even though the DS would be the perfect system to do so on.
The Secret of MonkeyIsland was a game more than a decade ahead of its time. You play a simpleton who wants to be a pirate, and you get your big chance to prove yourself when the Ghost Pirate LeChuck absconds to mystical Monkey Island with your new girlfriend, Governor Marley – not unlike the plot of Pirates of the Caribbean. You run into castaways, cannibals, important-looking pirates, sarcastic swordfighters, disembodied heads, slick used-ship salesmen, and countless other colorful characters along the way. But the battle with LeChuck is spectacularly presented, and the solution is amusingly inventive.
In Day of the Tentacle, you control three different characters trapped in three different historical periods. You do things like alter the constitution to help yourself solve puzzles. But the real kicker is that the reason you’re stuck is because some purple tentacle, grown in a lab, came into contact with toxic waste, became sentient, grew arms, and developed a taste for world domination. Brilliantly ludicrous, and the kind of thing they just don’t do anymore.
- Ryan Stewart