Maniac Mansion was considered a huge breakthrough among adventure games because it was the first game to have introduced a point and click interface and scrolling screens. Unlike most single-ending adventure games, Maniac Mansion had several different endings for each character selected.
You control Dave, the hero and two of his six buddies to rescue Dave’s girlfriend Sandy from the clutches of Dr. Fred Edison. In his quest to control the world, the mad doctor tries a ‘brain drain’ experiment on Sandy and you have to rescue her and foil the evil doctor’s plans before he succeeds in his mission. In your attempt to save Sandy, you will confront many colorful Tentacles, Dr. Fred’s sister Nurse Edna, a weird teenager and other oddities. You will also have many puzzles to solve and only then can you rescue Sandy.
The game’s character selection screen allows you to select two other friends of Dave. Each character has different talents and abilities. The game’s puzzles and outcome depends mainly on the characters you choose.
Maniac Mansion is a point and click adventure game which heavily relies on inventory based puzzles. The inventories and commands are all listed at the bottom of the screen. Puzzles are usually very logical. The puzzles consists using item A with item B to unlock Item C and such, but can be quite confusing for the novice gamer. The game’s non-linearity also makes it very difficult to solve, since you are not given any clues on what to do next. The mansion has many rooms and sometimes, you may stumble on the same room twice in the game.
The game was released in a Floppy Disk version in 1987. There’s also a CD ROM version available on e-stores like Amazon and eBay. The CD ROM features improved graphics and an opening theme different from the original version. You can also download the free maniac mansion for PC and play in Windows PC.