The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem
The First Addams Family Game In Two Decades
The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem is the first game in The Addams Family franchise in over two decades. Historically, with other IPs, this isn’t much of an issue until players realize that The Addams Family never had a lot of games under its belt. The last game under The Addams Family license was The New Addams Family released on the Game Boy Color in 2001.
For further reference, The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem is the first console Addams Family game in almost 24 years. That honor goes to 1995’s Addams Family Values on the SNES. At first, developing an Addams Family game may seem random until another realization settles in. The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem was released as a tie-in for the upcoming movie, The Addams Family 2, which is a sequel to the 2019 movie.
Outright Games -- We Meet Once Again
This does harm the possible theory that the developers at PHL Collective were secret die-hard fans of The Addams Family and just wanted to make a new game after so long of a gap. However, seeing as the publisher is Outright Games, things start to become clearer.
The publishing company is known for its video game tie-ins to children’s movies, tv shows, and other media. Some of its games are on the abysmal side, like DreamWorks Spirit Lucky’s Big Adventure, while others were surprisingly decent like The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom. So where does The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem fit in the equation?
On the boring side, a spot that’s shared with PAW Patrol: The Movie Adventure City Calls. Coincidentally, the latter is also a video game tie-in based on a movie, which shows that maybe it’s best to let sleeping “movie tie-in video games” lie. But why is The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem boring in comparison to the PAW Patrol game that is literally autopilot?
The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem Is A Game You’ve Played Before
The gameplay is an isometric top-down beat-em-up similar to The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom. The game has a local co-op for four players, allowing players to choose between the four members of the Addams Family. While they are each different from each other design-wise, from a gameplay perspective they each play the same.
Players are required to jump across platforms, attack monsters and the environments, and collect objects. These objects include coins and emblems, in which the latter acts as this game’s equivalent to the stars in recent Mario games.
For each of the four playable characters, there are special abilities that tie to each character, including Gomez’s sword and Wednesday’s pet octopus, although these abilities are accessible on a per-level basis. Some of the items outright break the game as the sword allows the player to travel greater distances than usual. Combining the sword’s ability while jumping will not only cause the player to double jump in the air but also hover and land precisely.
Not Terrible, But Not Impressive
These sound like cool upgrades, but all it does is trivializes a game that already feels trivial by nature. The enemies range from stationary enemies that act as punching bags to enemies that seem threatening but are pushovers. After a while, it became a game that I’ve played countless times before yet has been done better by other developers.
The mini-games that players can play in-between levels and as a standalone mode is even more lackluster. Most mini-games, which require “collecting coins in the time limit” or “get from point A to point B” are reskins of other later minigames. There’s no originality to be had anywhere in the game, which is a shame because the dialogue is entertaining.
Even an entertaining humorous dialogue isn’t enough to save this game, sadly, as there are way better options for the asking price tag of $40. Parents looking for gifts for their children to enjoy can do far worse, sure, but they can also do better than a mild action-platformer lacking any substance.