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The high profile remake of The Addams Family in 1991 spawned an inevitable 16-bit video game spin-off that, as was customary for all such titles, bears such a tenuous relationship to the film that it can easily be played without having knowledge of the storyline. This also means that the biggest fan of the movie can comfortably avoid this game for eternity, without feeling like he or she has missed out on a great piece of tie-in merchandise, as it doesnt add anything to the experience.
The game is called The Addams Family, the box sports the film poster, and the characters have the same names. Beyond this, theres nothing that gives off a distinctly pungent Addams Family whiff, and this could easily be the template for any generic horror-based platform game. Bizarrely, this games looks more like an adaptation of the 1960s TV show rather than the film, from the appearance of Gomez in a pinstripe suit with a likeness thats more John Astin than Raúl Juliá (though the graphics arent up to much) and Things confinement to red boxes rather than the newfound freedom the helpful hand gained in the feature film. It seems very strange that such a game should ignore the revamp and risk alienating the young players whose experience of the family is likely restricted to the film. There isnt even the excuse of rushing this out for release before the film was properly developed: this game was released a year later, in 1992.
With the films plot ignored (which focused on the return of long-lost Uncle Fester), this game starts from scratch with the arcane nuclear familys everyday life disrupted. In a plot thats more than a little reminiscent of Super Mario Bros., as well as pretty much every cartoonish platform game released between 1987 and 1993, the player must travel across varied terrain in a number of areas with the goal of rescuing kidnapped family members at the end. Lacking the luxury of character selection, the player controls Gomez Addams, a pint-sized, large-headed caricature of the man of the household. Gomez is controlled with the Amigas joystick, and can be moved left or right, and can jump to reach higher platforms. When in possession of a beanie red fez hat with a propeller, that really has nothing whatsoever to do with anything Gomez can fly for a limited period, necessary in reaching otherwise impossible areas such as the roof of the Addams mansion, and avoiding a nasty death over lava. Each level is intended to represent a different part of the Addams mansion, from underneath the garden/graveyard to hallways, the dining room and the ridiculously long boiler room, and each contains individual enemies that can be dispatched with a Mario-style bop on the head. If they have a head, that is.
The graphics are fairly basic 16-bit fare, and theres nothing that tries to impress aside from the start menu screen, which attempts to reproduce the films logo and ends up emphasising the limitations of the format. Gomez and the other human (?) characters are drawn in an exaggerated manner comparable to that of the similar adaptation game Allo Allo: Cartoon Fun, but its quite noticeable that the enemy designs dont fit in too well. Partly thanks to bright colours, its always obvious whether a sprite is an object that can be collected, such as dollar signs or the flying fez, or a beastie that will take one of Gomez three life hearts. As for the sound, the music in the interior levels can get pretty annoying as the faux-organ score repeats endlessly, but theres a nice contrast in the exteriors where the music is more subdued and some convincing wind effects dominate. The sound effects are the least inspired aspect of all, and not a lot of thought seems to have been put into the bop, quock and ding effects that accompany the limited range of actions. Players who die frequently, as I always did, are treated again and again to an organ synth of the Addams Family theme tune every time they pass on, which Ive now been conditioned into expecting to hear when I kick the bucket for real.
Despite all the criticism Ive given, this was actually a very enjoyable platform game, and one which I remember fondly from the Amiga 1200. The enemies and levels are what can be expected from a horror themed game flying skulls and bats swooping from above, walking trees and werewolves below but the design of the levels themselves makes gameplay interesting. The majority of the game is very confined, and though hearing Gomez quock as he hits his head on the ceiling can get very repetitive, this invites a degree of strategic thinking, especially in uncovering hidden areas. By contrast, the default location outside the mansion is the perfect junction between levels, although not all can be reached from here, and is nicely expansive. Even though they sometimes lack logical sense, the levels are nicely varied, and the game is satisfyingly challenging rather than frustratingly difficult. Experienced players could likely complete the game in a relatively short time, but it takes a while to learn the layout.
Taken on its own merits as a platform game, The Addams Family was one of the better realised such releases for the Amiga, and is very similar to its excellent contemporary Yo! Joe as well as Superfrog, the Amigas attempted answer to Sonic and Mario. The attempt to flog this horror-style platformer as an Addams Family game is quite weak, and in fact, Id rather consider it a stand-alone game about a well manicured vigilante in a purple pinstripe suit exploring a creepy house and emancipating prisoners. Unfortunately, that damn death music has been so drilled into my head that I dont think such escapism is possible. As a successful attempt to translate the old Addams Family comic strips, sitcom and film to the video game format, this gets one star, and only for not featuring that god-awful rap mix of the theme song that played over the end credits. As one of the most entertaining Amiga platform games, it scores significantly higher. Its just a shame you couldnt play as Lurch.
This game was released shortly after the Addams Family was released as a film in the early nineties. ====What Kind Of Game?==== This is a platform game and is controlled by the joystick. It's set in the family home and you explore various rooms throughout the game. ====Aim==== You play Gomaz and the house has been taken over by evil things such as bugs and ghosts. You must destroy these whilst searching for your family members who are trapped around the house. ====Killing Baddies==== This was quite tricky. You had to jump on the heads of the baddies and this didn't alays seem to work when I did it. TIP: If you're trying to reach something up high, then when you jump on the baddie, jump again and you should go shooting up high on the screen. ====Big Baddies==== On some levels you may come across large baddies. These have an energy bar that show how many more hits are needed to kill them. If you kill these, you will get an extra heart giving you longer lives. ====Hearts and Dollars==== The hearts you come across will boost your energy levels. Whereas the dollar signs should be collected in order to "buy" lives. When you get a hundred of them, you will here a funny boing noise which means you've been given an extra life! ====Thing==== You remeber the hand called Thing? Well his box is dotted around the game. If you jump up and hit it then he will give you advice. ====Passwords==== When you kill a big baddie or rescue a family member, you will go to a password screen. Make a note of these as you can enter tem before starting a game, which saves you having to go through the same thing over and over again, because continues aren't limitless. ====Controls==== Being a joystick game you would expect the controls to be fairly easy. I didn't find this to be the case. Jumping in most
games means pushing up on the joystick, but not in this game. Instead, you hit fire. This can be easy to forget and when he's jumping, he's very difficult to control. It's also difficult to control Gomaz when he's wearing the flying hat. You have to keep pushing fire to make him stay up in the air, which gets very tiring on the thumb! ====Gameplay==== If your not easily put off, then the drive to complete the game will keep you going. For me personally, I found I could play it for a bout an hour before wanting to smash the computer! ====Graphics/Sound==== To be honest I have seen better on the Amiga, but these weren't too bad. There's a lot of colour in the game and a lot of detail too. The music is alright. Thankfully it's not the theme tune going round in a loop. Most of the rooms have different tunes and if you die then you get a blast of the theme tune in a harpsicord style. Sound effects have been considered too, with doors creaking when opened and baddies "popping" when you kill them! ====Hints and Tips==== DON'T READ IF YOU IF YOU WANT TO DISCOVER THESE FOR YOURSELF!!! Ok first things first, don't start the game planning to win. Instead die! Lose all of your lives and then you will land by a signpost. One way says continue, the other is just an arrow. Go through there and bingo! A host of extra lives! Next - there's a secret door on the ground floor of the house under the left hand staircase. This leads to LOADS of extra lives, especially if you find the other secret door within the secret rooms! And finally - leave the house, go to the left and climb up the gallows. Catch the flying hat and go exploring the roof and go down the chimneys for more extra lives. ====You Can Look Again Now!==== First I would like to say that I have not given away where all of the extra lives are hidden t
hroughout the game, so search everywhere! Overall I quite like this game, but I wouldn't call it my favourite. It was a bit repeatative for my liking, and it takes an age to complete. I know it can be completed because my sister did it, but I always lost my temper with the game. It's worth a look if you're a fan of the Addams Family and like platform games, but I wouldn't expect too much. Thanks for reading.
The Addams Family on the Amiga is probably one of the best games I've ever played on one disk. It is a huge game and has all the same features as the rather more expensive Super Nintendo version. The only difference is that on the Amiga version, Gomez can't get the sword to fight with. Basically, you play the part of Gomez Addams and you have to rescue your family from the cluthes of 'The Judge' who has captured them all in an attempt to get the Addams Family fortune. I think that's the plot but I'm not exactly sure on all of the details but that's not what I'm here to talk about. This game is really good. There are loads of levels to go into and each level is big too. You've also got the usual secret rooms in which you can collect loads of power-ups and extra lives and stuff. The graphics are pretty good too except for a little colour clashing here and there. The sound is really good too but the music tends to get on my nerves after a while. If you haven't played this game for the Amiga, and like this type of game then Addams Family is definately worth a look if you can get your hands on a copy.