Martian Time Slip
One of the earliest games to use the S.C.U.M.M. interface, Zak McKraken & The Alien Mindbenders, complements Maniac Mansion quite well. This is however a mostly forgotten game, and that really is a shame.
You are Zak McKraken, a reporter for a National Enquirer type paper. Zak however, has dreams of one day being a novelist. Meanwhile, aliens are planning a coup on Earth. The plan to take over the minds of the inhabitants of Earth. As several college co-eds head off to Mars and make a shocking discovery.
Eventually Zak, will meet the girls, and they will have to save the world from the nefarious machinations of the alien mind benders! Like Maniac Mansion, in Zak, you have a group of characters to control. The girls, take a while to join you, and there are less in playable peeps in Zak.
Your adventure begins in San Francisco, and will take you to Seattle, Europe, and the red planet itself! Zak plays much like other S.C.U.M.M. games. You collect items and use them to solve problems, and as we have come to expect from a Lucas Arts adventure, it is a laugh out loud funny game.
It is a longer and often more difficult game than Maniac Mansion. But well worth the time and effort.
The Graphics are solid for a C64 game. And good in general. The sprites are large and well detailed. And the backgrounds are colorful, and often full of goofy things. All of which add to the games charm.
Sound takes a backseat here. Yet what there is does the job well.
There is no save feature here. Which means you have to play the game in one sitting.
Unless you have the ROM on a C64 emulator…muhahahahaha!
Why has this great game been virtually forgotten?
The Bottom Line
If you have not played this game, you simply must try to. Hopefully Lucas Fan Games will do a remake like they did for Maniac Mansion.