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Title: Maniac Mansion
Author:Jaleco and Lucas Arts
Rom Player: NESticle, and Gleam for Dreamcast Users
Reviewer: Pyrex Steel

Synopsis: Of all the games I rented from the grocery store in my childhood Nintendo years, none even comes close to being rented as many times as Maniac Mansion, and all of this for one main reason....I HAVE NEVER SEEN THE NES VERSION FOR SALE!!!!

This is one of the absolute best games for the NES, and by far one of the best "point and click" RPGs out there. This game was made by Lucas Arts (Lucas Film later sprung a bad, nothing like the game TV series on Family Channel) and published for the NES by Jaleco (who also published HOOPS, a pretty good basketball game for NES).

The plot is very bizzare but simple, 20 years ago a meteor crash landed at the estate of Dr. Fred and his none-too-normal family and no one has seen much of them since. In the present day you assume the role of Dave, and two other selected high school kids, (shot straight from the 80's) who each have their own specials skills, and theme music. Your objective is to sneak into the mansion and save Dave's girlfriend from the evil clutches of Dr. Fred.

Using a general point and click system you guide the teen though the strange house doing various tasks and sneaking around like you are Solid Snake. If you should happen to get caught by one of the family members, you get thrown into the dungeon and it is up to you and your friends to get you out, which is no easy task.

Back in the day that this game came out it was sooooo incredibly advanced; it used an NES battery backup, and didn't require you to hold in the reset button to make sure you don't lose your save. It ran in real time, you have till midnight to beat the game, and the clock dosen't stop ticking, even when the cut scenes from the rest of the Edmon family kick in. And it has multiple endings, 8 or 9 in all I think, at least that is all I got. The graphics were also a major step up from the PC port and from most NES games at the time, and the music and sound were a big thumbs up. The main problem was the controls, without a mouse making the precise clicks in the short amounts of time you got was quite a task, and the only solution to that was with the Max Pad which helped a little but not all that much. There were also some glitches and bugs, but you will never see a good game without them in the US game market.

This is definitely something to try if you love point and click games, but try to avoid the sucky sequel. It is definitely the best point and click game though other than Sam and Max: Hit the Road (also by Lucas Arts).

Best Cheats: There are no cheats but here are some hints:

To get out of the dungeon have someone push the loose brick on the wall, switch to a character in from of the door and run though before it closes. Then have someone upstairs push the gargoyle head on the staircase, switch back and run like a madman.

When you turn off the pool water to get the glowing key get it and turn the water back on in 2 minutes or it is game over.

The lab entry code is almost always 0000.

Putting the hamster in the microwave dosen't do anything good, but it is awefully funny. Could this be the first console game with blood??? Probably.

Game Play: 5
Graphics: 8
Music/Sound: 9
Originality: 10
Overall Rating: 8

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