With 2019 seeing the release of the animated reboot of “The Addams Family,” I thought it’d be fun to check out the line of Addams Family video games that came to consoles over the years. I’ve always been an Addams Family fan, preferring the darkly demented family over the more whimsical Munsters. Hopefully the animated movie can be the start of a brand new franchise like “Hotel Transylvania.” Until then, these are the Addams Family games from the absolute best to the utter worst.
What’s your favorite?
Addams Family Values (1995) – SNES
Based on the hit sequel, this feels like an amped up superior version of the crappy “Fester’s Quest.” Rather than an isometric platformer, this is instead Addams Family by way of Zelda. You play as Fester who is tasked with finding the Addams’ baby Pubert who has been kidnapped by the psychotic Debbie. Now, using Fester’s patented lightning, you have to go around exploring, venturing through different tunnels and chambers, battling various monsters, and outwitting an assortment of creatures. You can also gain information by speaking with various family members, find keys, build your power level, and find secret passageways. Although it begins kind of rough, it’s a fun and well imagined game with enough challenging obstacles to keep you coming back.
The Addams Family: Pugsley’s Scavenger Hunt (1992) – SNES
“Pugsley’s Quest” is primarily based around the very fun, underrated 1992 animated series from ABC Saturday mornings. That iteration was great on its own, and the game is about as good as Addams Family games get. For this title you play as young Pugsley in what is primarily a platformer/scavenger hunt where Pugsley has to go through various levels and find different objects assigned to him by his sister Wednesday. This is a well done game and entertaining enough despite its occasionally unfair gameplay. The animation works in favor of the game play and it channels the spirit of Addams Family quite well, even if it’s far from perfect.
The Addams Family (1992) – SNES/Sega Genesis
For this somewhat mediocre iteration, you play as Gomez, and despite the game being based around the 1991 movie, Gomez looks a lot like John Astin from the original black and white sitcom. This game is yet another platformer and scavenger hunting game where Chibi Gomez has to travel through various tough levels trying to find the family fortune, and save his various family members that are all scattered throughout the deadly mansion. This time he has some weapons including a beanie cap that lets him fly for a short period, and his trademark rapier which temporarily lets him kill enemies much quicker.
The Addams Family (1992) – NEC TurboGrafx 16 CD
For some reason, this dull, unfair game based on the 1991 movie makes the main character the villain Tully, as played by Dan Hedaya. This is another platformer/scavenger hunt game where Addams Family is the bad guys. Tully, along with his umbrella and brief case, has to enter the Addams mansion, and then navigate through various rooms within the mansion to find jewels and colored keys, all the while battling Lurch, Thing, Wednesday and many more of the Addams clan. It’s a boring, lackluster, and brutally hard game that wastes another opportunity to have fun with the Addams Family, despite cool cut scenes from the movie.
The New Addams Family Series (2001) – Nintendo Game Boy Color
Based on the short lived live action TV reboot, this barely playable and confusing iteration from the handheld console is boring, confusing, and absolutely tedious. It plays a lot like a cheap Macintosh game and you once again play as Pugsley. Once again you’re sent out by Wednesday to look for specific items to help her in her demented hobbies and games. You then have to go through endless corridors and rooms finding various objects, and coming face to face with other family members. This is such a god awful search and find with dodgy, glitchy animation and I could barely muster up the power to finish it.
Fester’s Quest (1989) – NES
Here you play as wacky Uncle Fester, which seems like a natural first step for a video game based on the TV series. Sadly, the video game is awful and the absolute antithesis of fun. From NES, this 1989 adventure is an isometric platformer with Fester fighting various monsters in an attempt to look for his family and save his family’s fortune. The game is a slog to play through as Fester is slow and weak, the monsters are inexplicably impossible to beat, and the energy throughout is absolutely flat. This should be a fun, whimsical, and raucous game like “Zombies Ate My Neighbors,” instead it plays like a cheaply made cash grab that sits alongside other infamous awful games like “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.”