Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders under Virtual PC

Continuing on through the LucasArts adventure game history (last week I was playing Maniac Mansion) I arrive at Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders.  This is third LucasArts adventure game chronologically – but it was the first one I ever played.  Though, to be honest, I played it on a friends computer and did not get a copy of this myself until a couple of years ago.

The story of this game sets you as Zak, a writer for a tabloid newspaper, who gets involved with an alien plot to reduce the intelligence of humanity and then take over the world.  The story is quite zany, which - while it is amusing at times – often leaves you rummaging through your inventory randomly trying things on other things just to see if you get lucky.

Some interesting aspects of Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders are:

  • There are a lot of locations to go to, and you will find yourself flying back and forth between different countries and cities regularly.  However, as some have criticized the game for, most of the locations are very small and are only one or two screens in size.
  • One of the challenges of the game is managing your money.  It is possible to get blocked in progressing the story line because you do not have enough money to buy another plane ticket – so this is something you always have to keep an eye on. 

By default the mouse is not enabled, but pressing “Shift + M” turns it on.  You can then navigate the game using simple point and click:

ZakMak1 ZakMak3 ZakMak4

Just like with Maniac Mansion the PC speaker sound can be a bit garbled at times, but having just spent a couple of hours playing I can assure you that it is functional, and not too irritating :-)