SNES A Day 43: The Addams Family

the_addams_family_us_box_art

Approximate Release Date: March 10, 1992
Genre: Platformer
Developer: Ocean Software
Publisher: Ocean Software

The Addams Family screws up the one thing that any adaptation of the movie of the television sitcom needs to get correct: The rendition of the theme song is terrible.

Let’s ignore the fact that turning The Addams Family into a video game is weird. Because it is. Obviously turning a sitcom into a platformer is a strange decision – one we will see a lot of as SNES A Day continues – but why does the player-controlled Gomez sound like a car when he skids to a stop? Why does he honk when he gets hit?

Sound and music aside, The Addams Family isn’t a bad game. You start off in front of the family’s mansion, and from there can go to any level in whatever order you choose. This hub concept does a lot to make this game interesting. Each doorway has different environments and enemies inside and there are enough secret areas to make exploration worth it. It feels almost like a “Metroidvania”  game, but I don’t think there are any areas that you need power-ups to traverse.

Controlling Gomez is standard for the platforming genre, but he can be surprisingly squirrely to maneuver at times. Landing precise jumps can be a challenge, but the game is generous when it comes to jumping on monsters; there were times where I should have been hit by a bad guy but was given credit for stomping it instead. I died numerous times by misjudging where the line was between me hitting them and getting hit myself. This was made worse whenever I had the sneakers power-up. I could never tell what those did because they made Gomez impossible to control.

I had fun with The Addams Family. It’s fairly challenging and has some novel ideas that were unexpected in a licensed game. I don’t give it a strong recommendation, but there are worse ways to spend a few hours.

Tomorrow: If you wanted more 16-bit baseball, you got it with Extra Innings!

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