Uncle Fester’s Quest – NES
Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
Release Date: 1989
Nerd Rating: 4 out of 10
Reviewed by bbpower
All I can say about this game is simply wow…not because it’s an amazing game to play, not because of cutting edge graphics will leave you impressed for the time period, but because this game is simply a pain in the ass. Sunsoft must have hated gamers and wanted to drive them mad. The Addams Family: Uncle Fester’s Quest will upset you. It will be a challenge for those who decide to buckle down and defeat this game, and I think everyone should at least once. However, the advertisement below tells it all.
For starters, I love The Addams Family. Gomez Addams is a classy guy with his dashing suit collection, and Morticia was a good looking kinky Gothic lady that would turn any guy on. As a kid, I watched the wacky cartoons and the original series from back in the 60’s, but I remember most of the newer 90’s movies starring Raul Julia, Angelica Huston, and of course, Christopher Lloyd. When I found out Sunsoft had released an Addams Family video game, I was ecstatic! And then I found out it was based around the lovable Uncle Fester, well even better! The Addams Family: Uncle Fester’s Quest was the first installment under the Addams name prior to the movies, and actually was based on the original TV series. Let’s dive in, shall we?
It has been around five years since I have played this tiresome game, maybe longer. I took a deep breath, got a cup of coffee, blew in the cartridge, and slid it into my NES. It fired up right away, so I sat down for the long haul. My initial thought was the title screen looked more like I was about to play a Hanna Barbera Cartoon video game versus an Addams Family game. There were bright colors and comic sans style-font… it was like the game went with Wednesday and Pugsley to Camp Chippewa to get force-fed happiness by … nothing like the spooky box art, or Addams Family style.
This top-view game starts off with Uncle Fester moon-bathing at the Addams mansion and a UFO hovers over the city and beams down aliens. Uncle Fester takes it upon himself to go investigate and stop the invaders. He grabs his gun and goes downtown.
The buttons are straight forward in this game; B is to fire the Gun and A is to enter stairs and buildings. Press start for the inventory and press A to use inventory. Ammo is unlimited, so it fires as fast as your little fingers can press the button.
Fester appears in the streets and there are aliens everywhere! Fester must navigate through downtown destroying aliens and finding clues to stop the aliens. The aliens come in endless numbers and reappear in random spots all throughout the level, so if you have to backtrack you will have to defeat the same aliens you just blew to smithereens. I found it very annoying. Moving any direction causes more enemies to appear. It was nearly impossible to get away from aliens to advance. Fester has to work his way though streets, buildings, sewers, and finally the UFO to defeat bosses. Each boss beaten will give a puzzle piece to get Fester on board the UFO to face the main boss.
This game does deserve some merit. There is an inventory system which allows Fester to stock up on needed items to get through the game. Also, aliens will drop items needed to fill inventory, so blast away to gain more items. Also, on the way through the levels, there will be fellow Addams to assist Uncle Fester in his efforts. The whole gang is around town to help, which is much needed.
Uncle Fester’s gun is very interesting to say the least. It can be upgraded by shooting aliens and picking up BLUE “gun” icons. Also, he has a whip that can be upgraded as well with BLUE “whip” icons. ORANGE/RED colored power ups will reduce the gun/whip, so avoid them! Both weapons are easy to upgrade and are desperately needed when facing the never-ending onslaught of aliens. The gun will not work in certain areas, which is ridiculous, but this is why the whip is available to switch to in close quarters.
Another big negative to this game; you get two lousy health bars! TWO! There are upgrades in the game to get another life bar, but you have to find them in the 3d buildings. So, if you are lucky, you can get more life bars. Also, hot dog stands are around for Uncle Fester to buy health points, if you have money! There are also life potions available (if found) to restore health. Another aspect I did not like was there are no points for killing aliens, so therefore there are no bonus lives. You must press on with no reward for killing mass amount of enemies, besides items.
Get through this ridiculous game and you conquered one of the most difficult games for the NES. It is not hard for any reason other than that it’s just poorly designed. The weapons make it hard to hit aliens when upgraded, life is not as generous as it should be, and when you die and use a continue, Uncle Fester starts back at the beginning, but inventory is not lost… still a monster bummer to not start back where you died, which is what most people expect when a continue is used.
For endless reasons, I could knock The Addams Family: Uncle Fester’s Quest, but it is still worth playing and owning. I love a challenge and even better, a cheap game that takes more than an hour to beat. You can nab this game at most shops for under five bucks. If it’s more than that, kindly walk away, or buy another game.
With all my rants and raves expressed, I think this first installment of The Addams Family video game line earned itself a generous Nerd Rating of 4 out of 1o. It breaks my heart that I cannot rate it higher, but I feel this game road on the highly-popular Addams Family brand name to get people to buy it. Blending aliens and The Addams Family together just did not do it for me, either. I wish it would have been more of fighting zombies, skeletons, or anything spooky that comes to mind.
This game came before The Addams Family game on NES that was based around the early 90’s motion picture. Still The Addams Family: Festers Quest is worth checking out, so you can get mad yourself, but it’s worth it to conquer this difficult title. Also, why not own it? What’s the fun if you cannot have them all! Game on!
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