Wednesday, October 12, 2011

nerd alert : the manhole

// download black and white version here
 So, last week in my Steve Jobs post i referenced the first pixels in my possession... and here they are.

Though this review covers the Masterpiece edition (which i did play later) - I played the original black and white version on my dads mac when I was 3. It was a long time ago - but I remember the lines, characters, music and sound effects like it was yesterday.

01/ manhole $12.00  //  02/  animal in your teacup $21.95  //  03/ anchors away $15.95  //  04/ walrus' hat $19.95  //  05/ dragons sneakers $85.00  //  06/ sailor tank $52.00  //  07/ mister elephant $89.00  //  08/ book of manhole covers $25.22  //  09/ teacups $10.00

Should I comment on how ironic it is that the game is now available as an iphone app? It is truly amazing to me that I can literally travel through time, back to the memory my dads old office in Arlington Texas, and play a game that I haven't been able to run on a computer in over 15 years.

// download the App
So let me preface this review with one important thing - this is a kids game (and I highly recommend it for children). As an adult, while it is clever and entertaining, unless you have a highly nostalgic association with this game you will not find it very mentally demanding.

You are confronted with a manhole, and a fire hydrant... click your way through the underground world and meet an array of characters including a dragon, rabbit, alien, penguin, rhino, elephant and walrus. figure out the shortcuts through the world and make sure to check all the drawers and corners for little extras.

I think the App was great - but if you want to experience this game in all its computer screen glory - it's available for PC over at for $5.99

5/6 Toes // Overall

1 // Graphics 
The original in 1988 was available originally in black and white, then color - and then the remastered edition. the fact this games graphics were addressed 3 times and each time they were extremely high quality for the time period i give this a high rating.

0.5 // Storyline and Characters
The characters are cute, and each have a little personality for you to enjoy. The storyline, well there really isn't any- its more exploratory than plot driven - which doesn't matter if you are a kid.

1 // Soundtrack and Sound Effects  
There is a definite soundtrack to this game - that changes with your location and the character personalities. There are also very nostalgic early computer sound effects such as "bonks" and "drips" that might take you back to your AfterDark years (if you remember that...)

1 // Length of Game and Price  
Since the game has no plot, you could argue it is infinitely playable. But you will probably run out of things to do after an hour or so. but for $1.99 i don't think I'll complain.

1 // Replay Value  
As the first game I ever played, this replay was priceless. If you remember this classic you won't be disappointed with another run through. I might just keep it on my phone for those moments when i need something to do, or a mood elevator.

0.5 // Puzzle Difficulty   
Um - there aren't any puzzles so I will base this purely on the little wormholes in the game - for a kid it will be challenging to figure out how to get where they want to go!

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