Maniac Mansion

[Retro] - Review: A classic game from the past. Not played it? You should be ashamed of yourself!
The Details
  • Title: Maniac Mansion
  • Web: None
  • Developer: Lucas Arts
  • Publisher: Lucas Arts
  • Released: 5 October, 1987
  • Platforms: Other
  • Reviewed On: Other

Platform: Commodore, Amiga, NES, Atari

A fun and eerie adventure.  This is how I would describe this classic game from LucasArts.  You choose a gang of kids to join the main character Dave in sneaking around the spooky mansion to try to find Dave’s missing girlfriend, Sandy.

It all starts here…

It’s a point and click adventure, and was my favourite game for the NES.  You use an arrow to basically click different areas on the screen, with the commands being across the bottom.  The cursor did often feel slow, but it never used to take the enjoyment away.  The game consisted of lots of hidden objects and clues to find whilst you progressed through the mansion in search of Sandy.

The characters that lived inside the mansion were creepy looking, but often rather hilarious.  Cut scenes would happen during various events throughout the game, and some of the dialogue was very funny to read.  Nurse Edna stands out in my mind the most.  I remember her catching my character raiding the fridge in the kitchen and I ran to the exit as fast as I could.  Luckily, she didn’t follow me out.  That scene always had me in a panic.  You had to time going into the kitchen just right so that Edna didn’t catch you.  If any of your characters were caught by the weirdos living in the mansion, they would lock them away in the dungeon – or even worse, kill them.

The blue guy is evil…

The different kids you choose each have different abilities.  You can complete the game with any of them, but you will be able to complete the game differently each time as each kid is able to perform a skill the other isn’t able to do.  For instance, one of the kids is really good at music, whereas, another kid is good at electrical stuff.  It doesn’t matter what combination you go with, but you will find that you will have a favourite.  So yes, you can complete the game in many different ways, which gives it lots of replay value seeing as it reportedly has five different endings.

Some fans did a remake: Maniac Mansion Deluxe

I would love to see this game remade for the Nintendo DS.  I think the whole point and click aspect would work really well with the stylus, and with the graphics improved, I think it would look very neat.  I used to play this game all of the time as a youngster, and I seem to remember having a crush on the surfer dude (lame).

The graphics are superb and the gameplay feels no different

If you are a fan of LucasArts games, then this one needs to be high up on your list of ones to play.  It doesn’t disappoint, and if you have a good sense of humour, you will be laughing your legs off at some of the dialogue during the cut scenes.  It’s a game that stands out for me when I look back at my catalogue of NES games, and one I heavily recommend.

  • An absolute classic that came before so many of the well known legends.
  • It's still interesting and fun to play.
  • It's old. Is that even a bad thing?
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In my spare time I like to play games (obviously) and read. I'm a fan of DC Comics and manga.
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