This game is about as fun as… A fat bald guy wearing lipstick and a fur coat. Yeah.
The Addams Family is kind of fun, what with their creepy kooky ways and their altogether spooky mansion. Unfortunately, their ability to be amusing in their television and movie areas doesn’t transfer well to video games.
Let’s start with the story. Uncle Fester is enjoying a glass of lemonade on his lawn chair, at midnight. Aliens begin terrorizing the city. Uncle Fester goes off to save the city and kill the aliens. That’s all. When you beat the game it just gives you a screen that
says “Congratulations!” or some such, and rolls credits (not really sure, I stopped paying attention about halfway through the final boss fight.) is just a picture of the Addams Family surrounded by a bunch of people. I went back and checked.
Now we’ll move on to gameplay. Uncle Fester has two methods of attack: Gun and whip. You start with the gun, and you get the whip about halfway through the game. Now, I’m not sure why you would ever use the whip because it offers only one advantage over the gun, which I will cover later.
Your gun and whip can be upgraded by picking up little items on the ground that say “GUN” and “WHIP”. Unfortunately, there’s also items that look identical, but are differently colored that will downgrade your weapons. This means you have to be careful and watch which power-ups (and power-downs) that you walk over.
Here’s where the one advantage of the whip comes in: it doesn’t change attack patterns. The whip always attacks in a straight line. The gun, well, it gets kind of crazy. The first upgrade gives you long range (yay! The long beam!) but after that it’s nuts. You move through patterns of wavy attacks, circle attacks, criss-cross attacks, and several variations of each. This means that you can be shooting at an enemy and the bullets will literally just move *around* the enemy and miss them.
Another frustrating thing about the bullets is that any time they hit anything, they stop. This is quite frustrating when you’ve got the swirling black bullets, because they will often end up failing to hit anything before they disappear. It’s even worse in the game’s sewer levels because you will be in passageways that are so narrow that there is literally no room for your bullets to move a tiny bit to the side of you and disappear. Terribly frustrating.
Fortunately, the final upgrade of the gun just shoots straight. Sheesh.
There’s also the inventory screen, which confused me for quite a while (not as long as Rygar’s did, but that game is awesome). You have a bunch of items, but nowhere does it say how to use them. It turns out that the “A” button uses items.
There are a few bosses that will fight you, all are extremely difficult. Several are invincible unless they are attacking, and you will probably die at least a half-dozen times on each, unless you are supremely lucky.
Did I mention that if you die at any point in the game you go all the way back to the beginning? Oh, my bad.
Now, this game does hold a position of nostalgia for me, so I couldn’t make myself put it all the way as my worst game. I used to play this game with a friend in my youth, and it has the distinction of being the first game where I actually recorded the music and listened to it later… as music.
Do I recommend you play this game? Absolutely not. I played through the whole thing, and all I got was a sensation of being robbed of my time by Sunsoft. At least they made Blaster Master, which is an AWESOME game.
Angry Video Game Nerd did a video on his impressions of the game, and he hit it pretty spot-on. It’s pretty funny. WARNING: Video contains (a lot of) language that is not safe for work.