GAME REVIEWS

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Addams Family

~ THE ADDAMS FAMILY ~
ICOM Simulations / NEC
CD-ROM
1991

I didn't like the "classic" Addams Family television show, nor did I enjoy the "hit" movie NEC intended to cash in on here, so as you might imagine, I wasn't exactly dying to play this game. Still, I was a bit--and I really do mean a bit--interested in the title because ICOM went in such an unusual direction with it. Umbrella-wielding Tully Alford is hardly a dream hero, but as I fully expected to play as the "good-guy" Addamses, the unlikely protagonist was a pleasant surprise. And since some of my favorite games are ambitious sidescrolling adventures that shun the idea of level-by-level progression, I'm always interested in giving new ones a try. Indeed, exploring the hallways (and dungeons and caverns and torture chambers) of the Addamses' mansion can be quite enjoyable, as you never know what sorts of freaks you'll run into.



Some areas and characters look better than others, but the graphics hold up pretty well aside from a few bland side-rooms and botched sprites, and the designers clearly tried to inject as much variety as they could into what's essentially a single-structure adventure.



As you make your way through the mansion, you'll inevitably run into the Addamses themselves. Some of the battles that take place are quite fun to partake in thanks to the methods of attack employed by your bizarre hosts: young Wednesday tries to bludgeon you with an enchanted NES, while her off-kilter old man elects to go the sword-fighting route.



Just as there's variety in the location designs and boss fights, there's variety in the methods of travel available to you. A ferry is your ticket to a duel with Uncle Fester, while the Addams family locomotive can help you reach treasures resting on high-up platforms.



Sadly, not much use was made of the Turbo CD's capabilities aside from inclusion of the Addams Family theme song and some digitized images.


And that's not all there is to find fault with here. Sure, it's fun to peek around the strange old mansion, but I wish we were given some cool puzzles to solve while poking about. All we get along those lines are spots that require us to figure out (via trial and error) which door of many is the right one to open. And speaking of "the right door," should you select a "wrong" one, you might find yourself hurled back to a point much earlier in the adventure, which can be extremely irritating (to say the least). Still, if you can live with some frustrating times, you might find the game to be surprisingly enjoyable, as I did.

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