In 1989, it earned the distinction of being the first game ever published as a CD-ROM. In the 1990s, the original Apple Macintosh HyperCard version started receiving ports to other platforms, including MS-DOS, Windows, and most recently, the iPhone.
This game provides examples of:
- Chess Motifs: The flamingo's domain.
- Edutainment Game: Very mild educational elements, such as a book of the alphabet and a few sentences written in both French and English.
- Elevator Gag: The "New and Enhanced" edition added some on the floors between the sunken ship and the walrus's island.
- Everything's Better with Penguins
- Macro Zone: And Macro Zones within Macro Zones. You can sail a tiny boat around the teacup of a rabbit who lives inside a fire hydrant.
- Mythology Gag: In the Masterpiece Edition, the rhinoceros at the top of the tower tells you she was a flamingo in a previous life.
- Non Sequitur Environment: By climbing a beanstalk, you can find a forest above the clouds or a tropical island under the eponymous manhole; a tower sitting in the middle of the forest turns out to be a rook in a giant chess set bobbing in an underground canal, but only when you reach the top; a perfectly ordinary elevator can open in a sunken ship; a wrong turn in one of the canals can take you through the teacup of a rabbit living in a fire hydrant across from the manhole...
- Our Dragons Are Different: This dragon is a laid-back dude in Cool Shades.
- Portal Picture
- Shout-Out: The whooshes of a passing spaceship form the five-note motif from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
- In the CD-ROM version, clicking on the TV in the house plays you a trailer for Myst.
- Take That!: On a shelf of children's books with pop-up descriptions of what they're about is a textbook called "Metaphors of Intercultural Philosophy"."This book isn't about anything."
- Turtle Power: He speaks French!
- Updated Re-release: The "New and Enhanced" edition, the "Masterpiece" edition...
- Warp Whistle: Mr. Dragon's TV set.
- Wide Open Sandbox
- World of Chaos: There's no rhyme or reason between how the game's areas connect at all. But then, that's part of the fun.