Monday, June 13, 2011

Maniac Mansion Deluxe

Maniac Mansion was a game that fascinated me as a child. It seemed cool, but for all its hamster-microwaving glory, there was a major problem: controlling it was a pain in the ass, which is to say nothing about my short attention span. The game was obviously developed with a mouse in mind, but who the hell had a computer you could play games on in the 8-bit era?


Fast forward over twenty years later (yes, it really has been that long) and you'll find a German fan created a remake that works like a dream, even on 64-bit operating systems. There's a fine line to walk when remaking a classic: do you update the graphics for the young gamers, but at the risk of alienating the people old enough to have played the original? Or do you give in to nostalgia and release your game looking rather dated when compared to the stuff that's out today? Thankfully, the remaker opted for a combination of the two and the game has never looked better.


One thing which blew me away at the start was the music. It's the same music, only better. It totally whisks you away into flashback mode.


As usual, I forget the first person who enters the kitchen is going to get locked up in the dungeon. That person, in my case, is Dave. So I'm roaming the house with the two ladies when I come across the talking tentacle upstairs. The tentacle doesn't attack you, it just stands there like an immovable slob. In order to progress, you've got to give him food.

Naturally, the Tentacle Chow seems like it'd be the perfect food for a tentacle. But the tentacle complains that he's still hungry after you feed him that, so you've got to go get the wax fruit from the room with the unfinished painting. Yes, tentacles think wax fruit is delicious. But then the lazy bastard still doesn't move because he wants something to drink. Pepsi? Nope. Soda makes him burp.

So, like most adventure games of the era, it's a maddening exercise in really, really stretched logic, but hey, it's a lot more fun than the latest Duke Nukem game, that's for fucking sure.

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