Sandy, a skimpily-dressed American girly, has been kidnapped by the evil Dr Fred and his sidekick Nurse Edna and locked away deep inside the Maniac Mansion. After selecting a group of three dumb teenagers (one of which has to be Sandy's bloke. Dave) your task, should you choose to accept it (and you'd have to be pretty stupid not to as you've shelled out money for the game), is to nip inside the creaky house and save the captive from Dr Fred's nasty experiments.
Yes, we're in familiar territory but Maniac Mansion has an air of excitement about it which makes solving the game easy only if you're wearing nappies. Because the trio are often in separate locations you have to keep an eye out for the fiendish characters who are intent on capturing the teenagers. Cutaway scenes are used to great effect here - if a short animation appears showing Dr Fred deciding that he could do with a nosh-up, you know you need to get whoever's in the kitchen as far away from food as possible.
Maniac Mansion was originally written during Lucasfilm's big-head cartoony days. This graphical style may have looked comical back in 1987 but when compared to the lush releases seen today it just looks a little tacky. That's something that can't really be said about the game as a whole, though, as it has managed to retain its charm and humour a good six years on from its first release.
For a game of its age the interface isn't as primitive as you'd imagine, and far more intelligent than the one seen in Future Wars (another recent Kixx XL release). The only thing that's missing is the automatic highlighting of any objects that can be moved or manipulated, although this can be overcome by the 'What is?' command.
Of course, Maniac Mansion isn't as sophisticated as the adventures we've become used to but then again, you can't pick them up for a bargain price (yet) so if you fancy a cheap edge-of-the-seat challenge then you couldn't really do much better.
A big hit from Lucasfilm games released on C64! We can call it the first episode of the "Day of the Tentacle". You can control 3 people, and have to puzzle out the mystery about that certain mansion... The game is nearly the same as the C64 version.
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