One of the best adventure games of its time, Maniac Mansion is remembered for plenty of bizarre elements: evil meteors, microwaved hamsters, a chainsaw that it perpetually out of gas, a radioactive swimming pool, a mummified cousin in the bathtub, some rockin' theme music on the Nintendo Entertainment System version, and lots of weird humor. One thing for which it is not remembered is its 3D visuals because, obviously, it didn't have any. Until now, that is. A group of Maniac Mansion fans are hard at work on their own version of the game that sports a 3D art style and remixed music (along with both English and German language options). Prepare yourself for Meteor Mess 3D (named after one of the arcade games in the Edison mansion). GameSetWatch has the details and a YouTube video of the demo version in action.
To avoid licensing issues, the German group named their project Meteor Mess 3D (or MM3D) -- it kind of makes sense, what with a meteor playing a key role in the original game's story, but that title makes the game sound like some sort of Asteroids-type shooter. Also, I doubt that simple title change is enough to get the team out of any legal troubles.
Anyway, as the name suggests, the demo transforms the original 2D game's characters and mansion rooms into 3D. The graphics are a little rough and certainly not up to the standards of more professional productions, but one should keep in mind that the group started work on this project as a way to learn Gamestudio, the 3D authoring system tool used to create the game.
This remake looks and sounds slick enough to impress, yet it still seems to retain some of the original game's charming soul. Here's hoping this free game produced by fans is allowed to launch before being lawyered out of existence by Mansion's owner, Lucasarts.