Days of tentacles…
If you have been following this blog over the last six years you will know that I have been a gamer since its inception when pong ‘consoles’ came into peoples homes in the 70s. Most of my tastes in games were developed in the late 80s when my Commodore 64 was my game portal of choice. The game that was probably the most influential and still sticks with me to this day was Lucasfilm Games first self-published title, the action, comedy, horror, classic adventure, Maniac Mansion!
Maniac Mansion is on my mind this weekend as I watched a very informative classic game post-mortem from this past Game Developers Conference (GDC). It featured one of the game creators, and industry luminary, Ron Gilbert, discussing the creation of Maniac Mansion, its spin-off adventures, and its influence beyond the game. The post-mortem van be viewed in it entirety here.
Why did I like it so much? Several reasons. I loved the spooky old mansion aesthetic, the comedy, the mild horror, the puzzles, inside jokes, and the fact that I did not need lightning-quick reflexes to succeed. What saddens me is that I have never been able to easily acquire a newer version of the game. I still have my original C64 version, but load times and accessibility to the hardware (i.e. setting a bunch of stuff up) makes it a difficult proposition to revisit.
With Gilbert’s other games such as The Secret of Monkey Island having seen rerelease, I am hoping Maniac Mansion will receive the same treatment. An adventure game classic with scads of replay value, Maniac Mansion may be the best game you never played. Don’t even get me started on Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders!