Dear LucasArts: Please release a DS version of Maniac Mansion

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Maniac Mansion for the NES box artDear LucasArts,

I’m writing to you as a fan of your classic adventure games. I feel your recent games are getting a bit repetitive. How many Star Wars games does one need to own?

Which brings me to my point: There should, nay, there must be a re-release of Maniac Mansion.

Maniac Mansion was a brilliant adventure game that was released first on computers, and then for the NES, in 1987 and later 1990. It stars a group of teenagers who happen to be the only ones who can stop an alien invasion.

It was filled with a lot of revolutionary ideas for the time. There were seven playable characters, multiple endings and pretty open gameplay. In the beginning you were able to choose which two characters would join the main character Dave in saving his kidnapped girlfriend Sandy and preventing the alien invasion.

After seeing the wonder that is The World Ends with You and enjoying Runaway: Dream of the Turtle on the DS, a thought hit me. A thought which some may wish to call brilliant. (I personally am too humble to say so, but others might.)

There should be a DS rerelease, or port, of Maniac Mansion.
A screen from the NES version
Think about it – it was successful enough originally to warrant releases on the Commodore 64, Apple II, Amiga, Atari ST, PC and NES. There was even a sequel, Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle, released for Macs and PCs. People loved the original campiness and cleverness of the game, and I’m pretty sure it would be loved by audiences today.

So why the DS? Because the touch screen would suit Maniac Mansion. It could have an optional, stylus-based, point-and-click control scheme. Plus it was one of the best and most memorable Nintendo titles, so it stands to reason that a remake should be released on a Nintendo console.

And while you’re at it, why not make it a two-for? Put in Day of the Tentacle as well. Or not. It was okay, but it couldn’t top the glory that was Maniac Mansion. So if you have the free time, go ahead and include it. If not, no biggie.

If you decide to do the whole remake, consider some bonus content. Perhaps a new character or two, or maybe an extra ending. I’ll still buy it either way, and I’m sure countless others will too, but a little something new would be spiffy.

But if all that is too much for you, perhaps we can reach a compromise. Release the original Maniac Mansion on the Virtual Console. I’ve been looking for a reason to buy a Wii anyways.


P.S. Don’t forget the chainsaw fuel.

Read [io9] Site [The Maniac Mansion Fan Site]

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  • scummvm

    In two words: use ScummVM

  • Jenni Lada

    True, but I like owning actual, official cartridges. Plus if LucasArts decided to rerelease it as a DS game, and saw it did well, it may inspire them to create more games like that.

  • scummvm

    Well, you can own the original games. Sadly they don't fit into the DS slot 😀

    Seriously I pray for them not release an adventure game now, as they don't have nothing to do in creative power. Most of their staff related to adventure games is on other companies like Telltale Games, Hothead Games and Double Fine Productions. They are losing development power and converting it into a IP creator, using external development companies for manufacturing their franchises.

    I think the only true "Lucas Arts" in the classic way could be a merge of those three companies into one, but that's very difficult to happen. I hope the adventure game market will grow thanks to the wider audience in games (we are full of crap in short time but it will make a lot more genres to appear, as it's now happening with Nintendo DS that even the Japanese guys are discovering the adventure genre and mixing it with their "visual novel" or "digital comic" style).

    I suggest you to motivate and promote in your blog those good independent adventure game developers buying their best games and suggesting them to release them to Nintendo platforms. I think this is the best way instead beating a dead horse like Lucas Arts, that can't have attention on stuff unrelated to Star Wars.

    Sorry for my anonymous way of doing this. I'm paranoid. I'm not part of ScummVM Team, just an enthusiast :)

  • Jenni Lada

    I actually do own the original Maniac Mansion, but I'm just too lazy to hook up my NES. (I probably should though, I could go for some Maniac Mansion and Princess Tomato.)

    You make some really great points about LucasArts, Telltale Games, Hothead Games and Double Fine Productions,

    No need to apologize for the anonymity. The internet was made for that. 😛 You provided an awesome viewpoint and some great opinions, which really act as a good supplement for this post.

  • Alan

    The problems there: 1) Wasn't Maniac Mansion a licensed property? Good luck on getting them to release licensed property games again unless it's as a transparent attempt to piggyback on a more well-known property [as in how Bee Movie comes out, then DS 'suddenly' decides the world needs a game based on Maya the Bee…]

  • Jenni Lada

    Well Alan, its still worth hoping for. Am I right? 😀