Review by Skarr
"B&E at the Maniac Mansion!"
Welcome to Maniac Mansion, probably the most downright-insane, ridiculous and creepy adventures ever thought up, and probably my top favorite game of all time, right next to Zac McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders.
Here, it appears that a meteor has crash landed just outside the residence of the Edison family, inhabited by Dr. Fred, his sick-minded wife Nurse Edna, the commando son Weird Ed, and other family members, involving a dead, mummified Cousin ''Ted'' who resides in a bath tub, and two wiggling tentacles (yes, you heard me right!). Well, sadly, Dr. Fred has been brainwashed by the evil meteor into kidnapping teenagers and sucking their brains out, via his secret toy, the ''Zom-B-Matic''. Well, ol' Fred has decided to kidnap the girlfriend of Dave Miller, Sandy, and suck out her pretty brains. Well, Dave doesn't believe in calling the police, so he rounds up a few friends and decides to storm the mansion to rescue our hapless damsel in distress!
Just like Zac McKracken, this game revolves around its' Lucasarts-founded Script Creating Utilities for Maniac Mansion (SCUMM) system. Involving the point-and-click tradition with a list of commands below the action for text-creating abilities (Use hamster in microwave, Give package to Weird Ed, Turn on lamp, etc.). You are also in control of 3 kids, giving you the opportunity of switching back and forth between the kids, who all are equipped with their own special talents, making it like a SWAT team raid of dorky outcast teens of the 80's. Therefore, the gamer won't have to spend all day getting controls mastered, since it all relies on a cursor. Good stuff.
Although I played the enhanced PC version, it seems ANY version of Maniac Mansion is formiddable in the visuals department. Great-looking characters blend in perfectly with the colorful, wacky and sometimes creepy atmosphere of the mansion, and everything seems to be very well detailed as well, from Edsels to chainsaws, to uber-stereo systems and even cans of Pepsi. It's all done in creative genius, all down to the last tentacle, making this nearly as good as its' cartoonish sequel, Day of the Tentacle.
Most people complain that the beeps and blurps are a bit too low-key, but they go well with the madness, and most of the sound effects are in their rightful places, for example, light switches clicking, doors opening/closing, water running, doorbells ringing, hamsters exploding, etc. Very good for a game as early as this, if you ask me. No character music like in the NES version, but still dandy.
HUMOR FACTOR: 10/10
Just like the Lucasarts' tradition, this nuthouse is loaded with adult humor, not to mention good old cheesy b-movie humor, all over the mansion, and this game also features unique ''cut-scenes'', where your commands disappear and you get to see a clip of an event happening elsewhere in the mansion between two or more other characters, which is always a blast, especially when Weird Ed complains to Nurse Edna about how strange his father is acting nowadays. You'll also find yourself destroying hamsters in microwaves, nearly starting nuclear meltdowns, writing books, forming bands, or whatever path you may choose to go down in this.
REPLAY FACTOR: 10/10
This game has so many paths you can take to the end, and in so many different orders, it shouldn't be true. But it is, and that's what makes this one of the best ever. I can't even count how many different ways to end the adventure there are, let alone how many different ways to get to each of these endings. Plus, the game is so much darned fun, no matter how many times you have played it, you'll still cherish this gold mine.
OVERALL: The epitome of 10's.
Maybe I'm just a longstanding obsessor of this game, but if you ask me, this is the best thing ever programmed. I used to go as far as to round up some buddies, as a youngster, and play a real-life rendition of MM, running from whoever was Edna, Ed, etc. But if you ask me, this is the epitome of innovative games, and one of the most interesting things on the face of the Earth. Get Maniac Mansion, and don't be a tuna head.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/11/02, Updated 08/11/02
Got Your Own Opinion?
You can submit your own review for this game using our Review Submission Form.