Zak McKracken is a tabloid reporter who discovers a plot by aliens to decrease the intelligence of the people of Earth. He embarks on a globe-trotting adventure to stop the aliens plans, teaming up with scientist Annie Larris and the first human astronauts to land on the surface of Mars, Melissa China & Leslie Bennett.
Zak discovers a number of special crystals in his adventure that give him powers including teleportation & the ability to jump into the body of animals.
The player is able to control 4 characters:
- Zak McKracken
- Annie Larris
- Melissa China
- Leslie Bennett
Unlike the First SCUMM game Maniac Mansion, players are not able to control & switch between all characters from the start of the game. Only as the plot progresses and the characters are introduced are players able to control them.
- Unlike most other LucasArts games, players are able to die in Zak McKracken.
- The original box came with a fake newspaper with several humorous articles in it.
- There is a can of chainsaw fuel on Mars, if players try to pick it up, characters will say it's for a different game, in Maniac Mansion there was a chainsaw in the kitchen that was out of fuel, but there was no fuel for it in that game.
In Maniac Mansion, another game by Lucasarts, a poster with Zak McKracken on it can be found in the arcade hall. And vice versa, in Lou's pawn shop a Maniac Mansion advertisement poster can be found on the wall.