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Nintendo Power Uncovered
Nintendo Power #16: September/October 1990 - Maniac Mansion
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 29, 2012   |   Episode 16 (Show Archive)  

            
After nearly three hundred issues, Nintendo Power is finally coming to an end. To send this long-running periodical off in style, the Cover Critic has decided to review every single issue. Join him as he experiences every aspect of Nintendo's journey through their magazine covers.

Now in its second year, Nintendo Power has proven that they know a thing or two about creating amazing art for some of their biggest games. But that's the problem; thus far all of the covers have been designed to promote the biggest games for the Nintendo Entertainment System. I'm talking about Super Mario Bros. 3, Ninja Gaiden, Tetris, Batman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Duck Tales. These are the top selling games that can only help sell issues. When will we ever get an issue that helps to promote a smaller, niche title?

As it turns out, all we had to do was wait sixteen issues. Here we see an average day in the life of Maniac Mansion, Ron Gilbert's brilliant point and click adventure game. Despite its goofy sense of humor and full cast of memorable characters, Maniac Mansion is not the kind of game you expect to do well on a system packed with Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt. It has a decidedly slower pace and puzzles that cannot be solved by hitting your head against floating bricks. And yet, here it is getting some much-needed attention from Nintendo Power.

Every inch of this cover perfectly embodies the spirit of Maniac Mansion. We see Bernard and Dave signaling punk rock chick Razor. Wendy Wells pokes her head out the window after investigating the telescope. And there is Dr. Fred Edison making sure nobody can get in ... or get out. In the distance a meteor is screaming towards Earth and the night is covered in thick fog. But none of that can hold a candle to the harrowing things happening inside the house. The bright yellow glow (and rampaging tentacles) is a dead giveaway that something is seriously wrong in the Maniac Mansion.

This is Nintendo Power at their best, and not just because it's Maniac Mansion. The modeling captures the characters perfectly and there are little secrets hidden for fans of the game. If Ron Gilbert ever decides to make an updated version of Maniac Mansion, I can only hope that it looks exactly like this Nintendo Power cover.

Nintendo Power #15 Nintendo Power #14 Nintendo Power #13 Nintendo Power #12 Nintendo Power #11
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