My brother and have just started working our way through the point-and-click adventure genre, which is one I’ve always been fond of as an old man, and one he has an interest in but hasn’t dipped much into. We’ve just recently finished Maniac Mansion. I hadn’t played this one myself, having only touched it as part of Day of the Tentacle, but it was really fun going through the whole thing now.
The mechanics of point-and-click being what they are, it’s not aged particularly badly, it controls slickly enough, and the art style (we were playing the enhanced version) is a bit dated but still charming, with its bobble head characters and chunky pixel art. The story feels a bit lightweight, but interesting, with sporadic cut scenes and the ghoulish Edison family moving around giving the antagonists a sense of autonomy that was surprising considering the age of the game. The theme is weird, it’s kind of a kooky horror, not to be taken too seriously, but not as out there wacky as Day of the Tentacle.
Puzzle wise, it played clearly enough. There were a couple of parts where you can inadvertently find yourself in an unwinnable situation, which was a bit annoying as it’s hard to know unless you just look it up (which we ended up doing), so you could end up flailing around forever not knowing you’re in that situation. In general though, the solutions made enough sense to figure them out, and the game is pretty short. It makes up for that brevity by having a bunch of different characters to choose to play as, which have slightly different abilities and therefore different puzzles that felt like they could impact the ending fairly significantly, so it feels like there’s a fair amount of replayability to be found.
Overall it was an enjoyable experience, with some minor frustrations, but nothing like compared to it’s Sierra counterparts of the time.
For anyone interested, our playthrough can be found here on my extremely amateur YouTube channel.