#392 – Maniac Mansion

It’s gonna be a long night.
This speaks for itself.
Uh oh…



DEVELOPER: Lucasfilms

GENRE: Adventure

RELEASE DATE: September 1990                                                  

I’m all for blowing up hamsters, but could you kids turn down that damn radio?! Maniac Mansion has always stood out from other point-and-click adventure games because of its weirdness (it is actually possible to blow up a hamster), but it succeeds because of its humor and the variety of things to do. Dave’s cheerleader girlfriend Sandy has been kidnapped by the evil Dr. Fred, and only Dave and his hipster friends can bring Fred and his family of freaks to Funkytown a.k.a. Justice. While the story is disposable, the atmosphere/dialogue gleefully combines 80s horror movie teenage stereotypes, with 50s-era demented scientists. Each character – there are six, in addition to Dave – has a unique skill set, and since you can only bring two additional characters along with you, the replay value is off the charts; ten different endings, depending on who your supporting characters are and who does or doesn’t die within the game. I grew up playing Maniac Mansion on an Apple computer, so it was a little hard for me to transition to using the D-pad for a cursor, as opposed to a mouse. There are certainly enough options within the game (Push, Pull, Use, Get, Turn On, Turn Off, it goes on) that dragging the cursor with the D-pad can be a burden at times, but the game is fun enough that most people won’t mind it. Get down with the sickness ooo-waa-aaa-aaa (mind the corpse in the bathtub) and play this demented adventure game.


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6 replies on “#392 – Maniac Mansion”

I have struggled to really enjoy this game. No doubt the humor is amazing, but even when you play on the computer (which gets rid of the slow point ‘n click issue), you still have to deal with the fact that there are multiple dead ends depending on which character you choose (which takes forever to figure out), and some walking dead situations as well. Also, I remember having to backtrack through the mansion multiple times to solve extensive puzzles, which is exhausting.

Its sequel, Day of the Tentacle, is every bit as funny, if not more. Plus it fixes all of the problems with this one.

After quite a few posts on games I didn’t play in the past, you’re back up to one I recall rather fondly. I do recall that it was quite changed/censored compared to the PC version. I rented this over a weekend and really enjoyed it and beat it while a friend was over. Fun, zany stuff.

The censorship on the NES version is kind of weak, but the music is AWESOME. Play the PC version to see the game as intended, but I still say the NES port, with its soundtrack and endearing sprites, holds a special place in my heart

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