The Day Of The Tentacle is the sequel to Manic Mansion, although you don't need to play the prequel to enjoy this game at all.
Purple Tentacle, one of crazy Dr. Fred's creations, drinks contaminated sludge dumped into a river by one of Dr. Freds machines. He mutates into an insane genius who plots to take over the world and enslave humanity. In an effort to stop him, Dr. Fred sends his three insane friends, Bernard (the nerd), Hoggie (the rocker) and Laverne (the dizzy geek girl) back in time to prevent the sludge from spilling into the river. The cheap doctor uses a fake diamond over a real one in his time machine, which blows up sending Hoggie 200 years into the past and Lavern 200 years into the future. You need to get everyone back to the proper time and prevent Purple Tentacle from enslaving humanity.
I'm going to discuss the game's main strengths: animation, originality and playability.
Also, poorly written games can have puzzles which are unreasonably difficult or don't have many clues on how to solve them. Here again, Tentacle is brilliant. The puzzles all have logical answers. The game is solvable without a trips to the cheat sites. And there are plenty of clues everywhere. Pay attention to what people say and descriptions of rooms. Just about everything is peppered with a clue; sometimes it's obvious, and sometimes it's subtle. But it's all there.
Playing Under LinuxThis is a DOS game, and there's no port to Linux. However, this game was written using Lucas Arts's scumm adventure scripting language. Many games written under this language (including Tentacle) are playable using scummvm, a scumm emulator under Linux which is available from scummvm.sourceforge.net. To play, take the files tentacle.000, tentacle.001 and monster.sou from the CD, put it into a directory with the scummvm executable and type ./scummvm tentacle. scummvm has a number of useful options, so make sure to read the readme file. Definitely use -f which starts the game in fullscreen mode. You may need timidity for the music, which is all midi. Emulation was perfect, and the game suffered no speed, sound or graphic artifacts, although YMMV.
ConclusionThis is a light hearted game, suitable for people of all ages. It's a parody of itself and B-movies everywhere. I suspect that adults will enjoy this game as much as, if not more, than the kid audience it was intended for. If you are an adventuring fan, this is an example of a game which reaches its full potential. It is a top-notch graphical adventure which you're bound to fall in love with. It's worth the $20 that Lucas Arts charges for it (average price on ebay is about $12); you won't be disappointed.