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Cronela's Mansion to be unlocked on retro and modern systems

Cronela's Mansion to be unlocked on retro and modern systems
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Upcoming "spiritual successor" to Maniac Mansion to be released for NES, SNES, GB, GBC, GBA, PC and Switch

Over thirty years ago, players were invited into a creepy old manor to explore with a revolutionary verb-based control scheme. All these years later, Maniac Mansion may be far in the rear-view mirror, but the legacy of that game and the SCUMM interface it pioneered lives on even now in games like Straynus's upcoming throwback retro adventure, Cronela's Mansion.

The game stars a young man named Tommy, who finds himself recruited against his will to help in defeating the titular Cronela. Tommy's reluctant quest thrusts him into the depths of a mansion on a sprawling estate, a place in which "a story of witchcraft, lies, and betrayal is concealed, laden with nightmares that defy all known logic." Here the line between reality and fantasy is blurred and "each room is a portal to a shadowy world where the truth is as elusive as light in the darkness." Only the bravest and most resourceful souls can hope to triumph over the many puzzles that await and piece together the mansion's enigmatic mysteries. To "scour for clues and tons of hidden easter eggs," you'll need to thoroughly explore over 50 unique rooms throughout the house and the nearby fictional city of Rodsem Land in nonlinear fashion, interacting with "a colorful cast of characters through a branching dialogue system" along the way. 

The indie Spanish developers make no secret of their inspiration, referring to the game as a "spiritual successor" to the Lucasfilm Games classic. But what's particularly intriguing about Cronela's Mansion is just how unique it looks and feels on various retro platforms. Development began in 2020 for the Nintendo Entertainment System but has since expanded to include the Super Nintendo, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, PC and Switch. Instead of trying to make the exact same game work on all devices, Straynus has adapted it to "take advantage of the different platforms' strengths to create a unique and exciting experience." The earliest Game Boys, as you'd expect, feature a monochromatic palette with streamlined verb options, while each new hardware advancement allows for more detailed artwork, music and more complex gameplay elements, although even the PC and Switch version are decidedly retro for the most part, with a pixel art presentation and full SCUMM-style interface to go with a smattering of hi-res "hand-drawn animation videos in anime and cartoon styles." 

While Cronela's Mansion is due to arrive sometime in 2025, that may depend on the results of its upcoming Kickstarter campaign scheduled for later this summer. Backers will have a variety of support tiers to choose from, including  digital versions of the game and various limited physical editions for each platform. 


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