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Playstation Plus subscribers get to kick off 2017 with two free polar opposite games. First up is the adventure game Day of the Tentacle Remastered, by the always delightful Double Fine. It’s a cartoony classic adventure game from the 90s about a tentacle trying to take over the world. Pretty silly, right? It also happens to be the perfect game to balance this month’s second offering, This War is Mine: The Little Ones. This game is about wartime survival, and sugarcoats absolutely nothing. Difficult choices will be made, and the consequences will be very real.
Developer: LucasArts/Double Fine Productions
Publisher: Double Fine Productions
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Following the success of Grim Fandango Remastered, Double Fine decided to go ahead and remaster another LucasArts adventure game: Day of the Tentacle. It’s a hilarious 2D point-and-click adventure game originally released in 1993. You play as three friends as they jump back and forth through time to stop Dr. Fred’s tentacle from taking over the world. Just by looking at the game’s lovingly hand-drawn artwork, you can tell you’re in for a zany ride with this one.
Bernard, Hoagie, and Laverne are the three protagonists tasked to stop Dr. Fred. You use all three characters in to solve puzzles in past, present, and future. If you change something in the past with Hoagie, then it will open doors for Laverne in the future. As you can probably imagine, solving the puzzles in this game can get pretty tricky. Unfortunately the remaster didn’t add a hint system. For those of you unaccustomed to these classic adventure games, you might be looking up hints online at times. However, none of the puzzles feel unintuitive once you figure out their logic. If you’ve played Double Fine’s most recent adventure game Broken Age, I highly recommend checking out Day of the Tentacle Remastered. It’s entirely different in tone (good writing and design never ages though!), but the switching character puzzles are similar. Also, this game is true classic, so if anything, you’re missing out by not playing this one.
Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publisher: Deep Silver
Release Date: January 29, 2016
On the flip side, we get This War is Mine: The Little Ones. This game is based off the Siege of Sarajevo during the Bosnian War. That alone should tell you this is not a happy game. You play as survivors trying to do what survivors try to do best: survive. The Little Ones, originally a DLC but with included in the full game on PS4, throws children into the mix as well. However, in order to survive will you love thy neighbor, steal from thy neighbor, or kill thy neighbor? Or maybe you’ll love some and kill the others. The game gives you options, and it’s up to you which options to choose.
You start This War is Mine with 2-4 out of the 12 possible survivors. Each survivor has their advantages and disadvantages… Some might be better cooks, others might be better scavengers, and some might be good fighters but need a steady supply of cigarettes. During the game survivors will want to join you, and you can either welcome them or turn them away. If you welcome them, they might prove more useful than someone you already have. (Remember, supplies are limited and you can only support so many people…) You will also have to manage the emotional health of your survivors. Doing bad deeds lowers emotional health, leading to illness and higher risk of raids on your base. This War is Mine: The Little Ones is a game of resource management, yet so much more. And if it gets too depressing, luckily you’ve got another free game to cheer you up.