ROG: Retro-Maniac Mansion Pointing You in the Direction of Greatness
By Jonathan Balofsky On 11 Nov, 2017 At 07:31 PM | Categorized As Featured, NINTENDO, Old School Otaku, PC Games, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Maniac Mansion, a name that adventure game fans know very well. This game was the first point and click adventure game from LucasArts ( then called LucasFilm Games), and was unlike any other adventure game at the time. It made full use of the mouse as a full point and click game, rather than make use of typing like other adventure games. The game, made by Ron Gilbert, used the SCUMM engine (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion), which became the engine for several LucasArts adventure games including Ron Gilbert’s masterpiece, The Secret of Monkey Island.

Taking the plot of having teens enter a mansion to rescue a cheerleader, the game was a hilarious sendup of clichés and became a sleeper hit the world over, and a pop culture phenomenon in Canada. In fact, the game was such a hit in Canada that a TV show was made by several alumni of SCTV and aired on YTV and the Family Channel in the US. It was ported to several systems including the NES, where despite heavy censorship, the game still retained much of its charm ( and managed to sneak a lot past the radar) and had an amazing soundtrack as well.

It is difficult to stress just how much of an impact Maniac Mansion had on gaming. From the iconic puzzles to the surreal humor, MM innovated on how stories were told in gaming. It was for this game that the term Cutscene was coined, and thus is a pioneer in storytelling. The different characters that were playable all had unique features to them and their own personality, which again was miles ahead of anything else at the time. It managed to mix some intentionally uncomfortable moments with later moments that just were hilarious and wore its surreal nature proudly.

As I stated earlier, Ron Gilbert later went on to create the Monkey Island series where he refined everything he did in Maniac Mansion and raised the bar higher. Maniac Mansion was THE turning point in adventure gaming and it changed things for the better. Everything we love about Telltale Games, for example, comes from the work done on Maniac Mansion. The game also spawned a direct sequel to the equally renowned, Day of the Tentacle, which was recently remade. I encourage any who have not played either game to check them out. These are adventure gaming done right, and you will be amazed how well the games play still!

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