Maniac Mansion is a 1987 graphic adventure game developed and published by Lucasfilm Games. Initially released for the Commodore 64 and Apple II, it was Lucasfilm's foray into video game publishing. The game follows teenager Dave Miller as he ventures into a mansion and attempts to rescue his girlfriend from an evil mad scientist, whose family has been controlled by a sentient meteor that crashed near the mansion 20 years earlier. The player uses a point-and-click interface to guide Dave and two of his friends through the mansion while avoiding its dangerous inhabitants and solving puzzles.
The game was conceived in 1985 by Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick. They based the story on horror film and B movie clichés with humorous elements, and they based the game's characters on people they knew and characters from movies, comics, and horror magazines. The developers based the mansion's design on the Main House at Skywalker Ranch, outlining the map and pathways prior to programming. The interface came from the designers' desire to improve on contemporary text parser-based graphical adventure games seen in earlier adventure titles. To reduce the effort required for creating the game, Gilbert implemented a game engine called SCUMM, which would be re-used for many other LucasArts titles. The game was ported to several other platforms; the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) version had to be considerably modified to follow Nintendo of America's content policies, which barred material deemed inappropriate for children.
Regarded as a seminal adventure title, Maniac Mansion was critically acclaimed; reviewers lauded its graphics, cutscenes, animation, and humor. Reviewers and other developers have considered its point-and-click interface revolutionary; the system has led competitors to adopt similar interfaces. The game influenced numerous other titles, has been placed in several "hall of fame" lists, and has led fans to create remakes with enhanced visuals. A TV series, written by Eugene Levy and starring Joe Flaherty, was created in 1990 and lasted for three seasons, filming 66 episodes. Lucasfilm Games released the sequel Day of the Tentacle in 1993, which also received critical acclaim.