Tag Archives: Gary Winnick

Thimbleweed Park, PC

Thimbleweed Park is a point-and-click adventure, released in 2017 by Terrible Toybox, and co-created by ex-LucasArts employees Gary Winnick and Ron Gilbert.

In case you didn’t know: both Gilbert and Winnick have been involved in the making of some of the best games of all time, including (but not limited to) titles such as: Ballblazer, Maniac Mansion, The Secret of Monkey Island, and Day of the Tentacle.

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Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, Commodore 64

Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders is the 1988 successor to Maniac Mansion. Successor in the sense that it uses the same game engine and gameplay style, but does not exist in the same universe.

Continue reading Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, Commodore 64

Maniac Mansion, Commodore 64

Released in 1987 for the Commodore 64 and Apple II, Maniac Mansion was the birth of SCUMM (Story Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion), the game engine that defined LucasArts point-and-click adventures for a decade. Actually, back then they were called Lucasfilm Games, and they were breaking new ground in a number of different places.

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Labyrinth, Commodore 64

The actual, full title of this 1986 adventure game from Lucasfilm Games is Labyrinth: The Computer Game, but I’ll refer to it from now on as Labyrinth.

Labyrinth was the very first Lucasfilm Games adventure game and is based on the fantasy film of the same name – the one written by Terry Jones, directed by Jim Henson, and starring David Bowie in a big white wig.

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Rescue On Fractalus, Atari 800

The Atari 800 version of Rescue On Fractalus was released in 1984 and was the first version available. It was a critical success and drew quite a lot of attention to Atari 8-bit home computers (jealous Commodore 64 owners had to wait almost a year before they got a conversion).

Rescue On Fractalus is a cockpit shooter set in a fractal-generated environment (the surface of an alien planet, with whom you are at war). The aim is to find stranded human pilots and to rescue them, as well as blasting as many of the enemy as possible. The only catch is: sometimes the alien enemy will send one of their infiltrators to pretend to be a human pilot, and if you let one of those in by mistake, it will mean curtains for you. So you have to be careful and try to recognise friend or foe during missions. When you’ve filled your quota of rescued pilots you can then boost back to the mother ship for bonus points and repair.

For a game over thirty years old, it is still fun to play Rescue On Fractalus now, which is testament to its greatness.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rescue_on_Fractalus!

Note
Rescue On Fractalus Atari keys:
Left and Right cursor keys = Speed up or down
L = Land
S = Shields On/Off
A = Airlock
B = Boosters [Return to Mother Ship]

Maniac Mansion, Atari ST

The Atari ST does have an excellent conversion of the classic LucasArts point-and-click adventure, Maniac Mansion on its books.

Featuring more colourful and more detailed graphics; a more refined control system (pour mouse), and quicker, less cumbersome saves, but still the same great story, script and characters.

This could be the best version of Maniac Mansion out there and another top drawer title for the Atari ST.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maniac_Mansion

Loom, Atari ST

Loom is a lovely-but-somewhat-obscure LucasArts adventure, from before they were LucasArts. It was first released in 1990 by Lucasfilm Games.

It’s a point-and-click adventure revolving around the use of musical notes. As you explore and progress you learn different notes in a series (called “Drafts”), each of which can activate a magical power. Playing the Drafts at certain points in the game will do certain things, most of which are entirely logical. Playing them backwards often does the opposite, which is a key gameplay component. In Standard play mode you get on-screen help with the notes, in Expert mode you do not, so the challenge is in remembering the sequences. As well, of course, as solving the puzzles and getting further into the game.

The fantasy world of Loom is extremely well crafted. The graphics are fabulously drawn and coloured and suit the simple nature of the clicky gameplay perfectly. The music is great (the original game came with a 30 minute audio drama – to help fill in the backstory). The script and dialogue are first class, with dry humour and some surprises – what you used to expect from LucasArts back in the day.

Brian Moriarty, Loom‘s lead designer, was an ex Infocom employee before making this game, and he knows a thing or two about having good scripts and logical puzzles.

Steve Purcell, who created Sam & Max, worked on the art side. Gary Winnick – co-creator of Maniac Mansion (and later Thimbleweed Park) – also co-created Loom. The talent on this show was immense and the results speak for themselves.

Loom – I think – is an Atari ST classic. It’s not well-remember by most, but after playing it you can’t deny its beauty. And – amazingly enough – it’s still available on Steam and GOG.com, which just shows you how highly-regarded it is.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loom_(video_game)
Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/32340/LOOM/
GOG.com: https://www.gog.com/game/loom

Rescue On Fractalus, Commodore 64

LucasFilm Games‘ classic space shooter, Rescue On Fractalus, was first released on Atari 8-bit computers in March 1984, and this Commodore 64 version came a year later, in 1985.

Although very simple by today’s standard’s, Rescue On Fractalus still plays a good game of “rescue the space pilot”, with a first-person, cockpit style view, and fractal graphics used to generate the 3D landscapes.

The aim is to basically rescue downed pilots from a war-torn planet, by locating them using your on-board systems, then landing, then turning off the shield (allowing them to pass safely), then opening the airlock to let them in. They are at least courteous enough to close the airlock for you. And when you have a few rescued pilots on board you can then return to the mother ship and drop them off. Provided the mother ship is in range.

In later levels the aliens become wise to your plan and send infiltrators to try to punch your windshield through. Turning your shield back on will kill them, but you have to do it quick before they break the glass.

And, if you fell off your chair when the alien first rose up, you’ll be needing the S key…

If you can see a pilot running towards you, you can tell whether he is an alien or not by the colour of his head. If it’s green: he’s an alien. It’s subtle things like that that make Rescue On Fractalus so good.

Rescue On Fractalus is still a great little game. Early LucasArts at its best.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rescue_on_Fractalus!

Note
Rescue On Fractalus C64 keys:
<> = Speed up or down
L = Land
S = Shields On/Off
A = Airlock
B = Return to Mother Ship