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Maniac Mansion is an adventure game for multiple platforms, including the Nintendo Entertainment System and the PC. You use a pointer controlled with the D-Pad and the A button to move your character and pick options from a menu at the bottom of the screen. You play as three teenage characters that you can choose out of about ten. You switch control between them during the game. Depending on what characters you pick, you can complete the game differently.
You complete the game by breaking and entering into the house of Dr. Frank Edison, a mad scientist who lives with his strange family. By collecting everything that isn't nailed down into your inventory, and using various verbs to interact with your environment in a point-and-click approximation of the commands used in text adventure games, you open up different parts of the house and collect new items which allow you new possible actions and hopefully get you closer to completing the game. Maniac Mansion was the first of many games to use the SCUMM (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion) system, used in such other games as Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders (1988), The Secret of Monkey Island (1990), Sam and Max: Freelance Police, The Dig, and the sequel to Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle (1993).
Maniac Mansion is most famous for a part of the game where you can obtain a hamster item and put it in a microwave, which will make the hamster explode.