It’s not creepy or that kooky, it’s not mysterious or spooky, but it is a little ooky…
Roll on up, kids: it’s time for another franchise tie-in game from Outright Games, the first of many we’ll be seeing this holiday season. It’s The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem, a co-op platforming game designed to cash in on the recent Addams Family animated movies. And… it’s alright. Though its Addams Family ties are very loose at best.
Playable in single player or with up to four players on the same screen, participants choose a member of the Addams Family to control. It doesn’t matter who you choose; each one plays and controls the same, and has access to the same weapon, which you’ll pick up at the start of a level. So, the choice is purely down to aesthetics – but the characters are rather small when you’re playing, meaning it makes little difference. Mid-level, you’d have no idea this is an Addams Family game.
Split into four worlds, the levels of The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem have you exploring different areas of that titular mansion. There’s the Dining Room World, Graveyard World, Music World and Laboratory World, and though they all sport different aesthetics, the gameplay doesn’t change much. Jump up platforms, avoid hazards, kill enemies, collect doubloons. Levels are surprisingly long – perhaps a little too long – and worlds get repetitive, since the levels within them do little to differentiate themselves. You’ll get sick to death of jumping through soup in the Dining Room world.
To break up the game somewhat, however, are minigames which you’ll play after every couple of main levels. These are designed to be played with others, but even if you’re playing solo you’ll have to take part. Each minigame has its own challenge, which usually amounts to collecting the most tokens. Maybe you’ll have to avoid falling off platforms, or guide a raft down a soupy river rapid, or have a game of curling with a bomb. You can jump into any of the 11 minigames directly from the main menu, which is a welcome addition, particularly for those wanting some quick and easy local multiplayer fun.
The main bulk of The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem, dubbed Story Mode, is at least decent to play. There’s a loose story here; someone wants to buy the Addams’ out of their house, and in order to stop them from doing so, you’ll need to uncover the mansion’s secrets. But with no voice acting and no real effort in bringing the characters to life, there’s little to get invested in. It doesn’t matter once you’re in the levels – you’re simply focusing on the task at hand, which is making your way across obstacles to the end point. It’s pleasant enough to control, with characters moving and jumping in a responsive fashion, which is all you can ask for.
Along with simply reaching the end of the level, there are three ‘Family Crests’ to be obtained, all for doing additional tasks within a level. You’ll need to engage with at least some of them, as further levels are gated behind Family Crest requirements. (Thankfully, the requirements are never anywhere near 100%.) The Crests may be hidden off the beaten path, requiring a bit of searching. Others task you with solving a light puzzle, such as knocking objects onto a weighing scale. The third Crest on each level is always for collecting a set number of doubloons in each level, which are generously scattered.
Gathering the Family Crests is undoubtedly the highlight of each level, and once you’ve got them all, finishing the level feels a little long-winded and arduous. Shorter levels would have helped here, I think; repetition sets in rather quickly, and dodging the same obstacles again and again gets rather boring. It’s at least accessible for younger players in that there’s no real penalty for death; when your three ‘hearts’ get depleted, you simply get reset a few seconds back from where you died.
The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem is a very average platform game. It plays it safe, and doesn’t try to do anything interesting – or in fact, anything at all – with its license. As such, it’s hard to recommend to Addams Family fans, as there’s very little here that evokes any kind of spooky, kooky mayhem. There are plenty of better platforming games out there, but it’s serviceable for younger players – and the minigames do at least add a bit more fun into the proceedings.
The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem Review – GameSpew’s Score