[Mac]  [PC]  

Title: Manhole, The
Rom Player: PC
Reviewer: Emma Tomiak

Synopsis: Ahh, The Manhole. Just the mention of this game makes me smile. The Manhole, created by Cyan, was created in 1988 by Cyan - a remake was made in 1994 with color, but that is not the one I'm talking about; give me old school B&W any day. One could say that this game is a Myst for kids (since is was made by the creators of Myst and Riven). Of course, at the time I played, it didn't seem like a kid's game, but rather an extremely bizarre world of freakishness. Ahh, such wonderful childhood memories.
The setup is very similar to Myst. In this game, the player explores surroundings, solves puzzles and examines things by clicking on them. The game begins with the player seeing a manhole cover and a fire hydrant. You can go over to the manhole cover, and a huge beanstalk grows out of it. You can go into the manhole, where you can, from a rabbit's living room, explore some really freaky worlds. You get to these worlds by clicking on certain objects. I can't begin to remember EVERY little thing you can do, but here are a few things that I do remember vividly:
Clicking on the chest of drawers-You find a pic of a dragon that says "Do not touch"- this takes you to the dragon, where he burns your toast.
Clicking the bookshelf brings you to a row of books-you can actually enter the books and explore!
Clicking the painting of the ship, you can enter a sunken ship and explore that world.
Inside each world you explore, you meet a host of strange characters: the rabbit (of course), the walrus, the penguin, the turtle, the dragon, and more.
There are a couple of scenes that I cannot exactly remember how to get to, but I do know that they scared the crap out of me when I was younger. One was rowing a gondola around a sewer, and the other was going through a straw into some tea (I think) with crazy swirly sounding music playing.
This game has to be my all time favorite PC game. I would pay a lot to own it again, but I don't know if my machine would support a game that old. The bizarre images and the amazing exploration capabilities and story definitely make this game a classic.

Best Cheats: There are no cheats that I know of, since this is an adventure/explore game. Just click on stuff and see what happens.

Game Play: 9
Graphics: 6
Music/Sound: 6
Originality: 10
Overall Rating: 9


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