Hands-on Preview – The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem
Of all games I had the chance to preview during Outright Games‘ 2021 Unwrapped event, The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem was the one that impressed me the most. It wasn’t only because of the source material itself. Let’s face it, we all grew up watching an iteration of The Addams Family in some way and have a bit of fondness towards it. No, it mostly impressed because of how the folks at PHL Collective decided to craft a game based on its source of inspiration.
I had the chance to play a couple of levels alongside one of the developers, as well as two minigames on the side. At its core, The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem is a co-op 3D platformer. More specifically, the game is very heavily inspired by Super Mario 3D World in particular. Its level design, camera angles, emphasis on four-player local co-op, and even the fact each level has three hidden “super macguffins” you need to collect to progress, all reminded me of the Wii U/Switch title.
Don’t get me wrong, that isn’t a bad thing. Mechanically-speaking, The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem felt like a dead ringer for Super Mario 3D World, but it kept all the themes and atmosphere we expect from an Addams Family product, most specifically the more recent CGI movies. Each of the four playable characters (Morticia, Gomez, Wednesday and Pugsley) feature special abilities of their own, reminiscent of their personality. Levels are based around the family discovering their house for the first time, being submitted to spells and traps inside of it. For instance, the first level I played on this demo had the family exploring the mansion’s kitchen, Honey I Shrunk the Kids-style.
I also had the chance of playing a handful of competitive minigames with one of PHL’s developers, and despite their simplicity, they were fun. They felt like extended Mario Party minigames, being simple to learn in nature. One of them was a pachinko-style bomb drop minigame, while the other had me using a grappling hook to collect as many coins as possible in a trapped-filled gauntlet. The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem is all about local multiplayer, so these small minigames felt like a nice diversion from the game’s main focus, co-op platforming.
From what I was able to play, I was very impressed with how The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem is shaping up to become. Like most games published by Outright, it knows its audience: people have had a lot of fun with Super Mario 3D World over the past years, and now they are offering you a nice side dish with a coat of paint that appeals to anyone born after the 1980’s. Do I think it will be mind-blowing? Absolutely not, but I had more fun with it than I imagined, and am looking forward to the final release in a few weeks.
The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem is scheduled for a September 24th release on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch.