Review – The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem
I had the chance of previewing The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem during Outright Games‘ OG Unwrapped event, and was actually surprised with its potential. Let’s just say that, given the multimedia franchise’s poor gaming track record in the past (Fester’s Quest, anyone?), I wasn’t initially expecting for it to be that great, but the preview made me actually look forward to the fully finished product. Here we are, with the complete version of The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem in hand, and yep, it delivers. Is it a game of the year contender or one of the best 3D platformers out there? Hell no, but I had a great time with it regardless.
The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem is a 3D platformer in the same vein of Super Lucky’s Tale, Sackboy, and most notably, Super Mario 3D World. It’s a fixed camera 3D platformer but with some side-scrolling sensibilities, with the main objective always being going from point A to point B, all while collecting a ton of coins and a handful of hidden MacGuffins. These can all be obtained by solving simple, yet interesting puzzles; adding that little extra spice to the overall level design. Just like Mario’s game, this is also a multiplayer experience, allowing you to play it with up to three more friends in co-op, as well as competitively with its various minigames, which were clearly inspired by some of Mario Party‘s best.
One of main points of criticism in these linear 3D platformers is the lack of creativity when it comes to their worlds and backgrounds. Super Mario 3D World is the biggest culprit, following the boring “grass-desert-ice-etcetera” world design, just like most of its post-New Super Mario Bros siblings. Thankfully, this is not the case with The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem, with its first world being set in the mansion’s kitchen in a Honey I Shrunk the Kids kind of way, the second world being set in the family’s graveyard, and so on. The source material allowed for some creative worlds and overall level design, even though I wish each world had less levels, as things would get a bit too repetitive after a while.
There’s not a lot to complain about with the gameplay that hasn’t been said in similar platforming titles. The fixed camera results in some occasional issues regarding the perception of depth, culminating in a few unfair deaths. It takes a while for each character to finally be able to use their special ability. Finally, there is some combat in here, but it’s not exactly the most polished out there. I’m glad there is one at the start and one that isn’t about jumping on top of your enemies’ heads, but it’s a bit janky regardless.
My main issue with the game is its presentation. I actually like its art style, as it is based on the original The Addams Family comic strip from the 1930’s. It took me a while to get used to, given how I grew up on the 90’s movies and animated series, but I have to commend the developers for doing a great job recreating the look and feel of the original strips. Sadly, there is a big problem when it comes to the visuals: characters are way too small onscreen. You can barely notice them in some of the busier levels. The game does make up for this issue with some surprisingly great textures and lighting effects, as well as a rock-solid framerate. It ran at 60fps at all times, no matter what was happening onscreen.
Another issue regarding the game’s presentation lies within its sound design. Don’t worry, it’s not terrible. It even has one or two catchy tunes in its soundtrack. Sadly, it’s far from memorable. The lack of impactful sound effects and voice over beyond a handful of super brief voice clips was a bit disappointing, but what really saddened me was the absence of the classic The Addams Family theme song being used in the main menu. I get that the game is also inspired by the more recent animated movies, which featured Snoop Dogg doing its soundtrack for some damn reason, but this is The Addams Family we’re talking about. That tune is way too iconic, it should have been included somehow!
It might have a few issues regarding its gameplay and presentation, but I’d still easily recommend The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem. It does everything it promised with flying colors, offering tons of fun levels, an easy-but-not-patronizing level of difficulty, local co-op, and a surprising amount of minigames on the side. This is a pretty good family-friendly platformer that can be enjoyed by all kinds of people, young and old, solo or with friends. I just wish they had included the damn franchise’s theme song in the main menu for a more iconic nostalgia effect…
The art style takes inspiration from the 1930’s comic strips, but characters look far too simplistic and small onscreen. However, the surprising quality of the textures and the excellent framerate make up for that issue.
It’s a fixed-camera 3D platformer, akin to Super Mario 3D World. There are occasional issues regarding the depth of field, resulting in unfair deaths, but all in all, the gameplay is pretty good, all thanks to some good level design, responsive controls, and a solid framerate.
The soundtrack isn’t bad at all, with some catchy tunes, and the VERY occasional voice clip uttered by the titular family. Although, on the whole I wouldn’t call the soundtrack memorable, and the lack of that one classic Addams Family tune is borderline criminal.
Fun Factor: 8.0
It’s simple, but it gets the job done way better than I could have possibly imagined. If you liked Super Mario 3D World or Super Lucky’s Tale, The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem offers more of the same, but with a pseudo-gothic coat of paint.
Final Verdict: 7.5
The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch, and Stadia.
Reviewed on Xbox One.
A copy of The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem was provided by the publisher.