The Addams Family - Pugsleys Scavenger Hunt FI

SNES A Day 154: The Addams Family: Pugsley’s Scavenger Hunt

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Approximate Release Date: February 23, 1993
Genre: Action/platformer
Developer: Ocean Software
Publisher: Ocean Software

Some of what made its predecessor special has been stripped out of The Addams Family: Pugsley’s Scavenger Hunt.

The main thing I found interesting about 1992’s The Addams Family was how many of the levels were connected. The house was the hub where you could enter different stages, sure, but the stages had alternate or secret paths that led to other areas of the house. It wasn’t a true “Metroidvania” game because it didn’t gate progression behind character abilities, but it was close enough to be interesting.

Pugsley’s Scavenger Hunt seems to have gotten rid of that defining feature. The house is still a hub, where the stages spoke out and can be completed in any order, but there are only three or four options at the start. Selecting a door in the home seems little different than choosing a robot to fight in Mega Man.

As disappointed as I am for this change, almost everything else has been changed for the better. The graphics especially are a massive step-up, maybe even some of the best so far on the Super Nintendo. Looking back at the previous game makes Pugsley’s Scavenger Hunt‘s use of more and brighter colors obvious in a way that may not be clear at first. The incredible increase in visual quality is even more remarkable when realizing there were less than 11 months between the games’ release dates!

The other improvement in Pugsley’s Scavenger Hunt is in the controls. In the first game, I remarked that Gomez suffered from “squirrelly” controls. Thankfully, those problems are mostly gone. Pugsley can still be a little touchy at times, but I never had him careen out of control into a monster just because I decided to run. No, all my deaths were from the game’s vastly increased difficulty level. Even the hub has things falling from the sky out of nowhere to sap your life away. Expect enemies and projectiles to appear when you need to make any precision platforming.

I spent the time playing The Addams Family: Pugsley’s Scavenger Hunt being bummed out that it didn’t take the cool stuff The Addams Family did and improve on it. The sequel is better in many ways, but the reduced scope and increased difficulty makes me prefer the older game.

Tomorrow: It’s not Mahjong, it’s Shanghai II: Dragon’s Eye!

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