Not as good as The Munsters, it's...

The Addams Family logo Gamer Gold

OCEAN * £25.99 * 1 meg recommended * Joystick * Out now

We all know Ocean were famous for signing big licence films and then turning them into boring and downright awful platform games. Take Robocops 1 and 2, Darkman and Total Recall for example.
Lately perhaps, Ocean have been listening to Joe Public a bit because some of their recent releases such as Robocop 3, Parasol Stars and Epic have been brilliant.

Ocean's latest game is The Addams Family, gulp! I clasped my hands and prated to God that it wouldn't be Darkman with different graphics. I think in some small way my calls were answered.
It's a platform game, but it's no ordinary platform game. Nay missus, The Addams Family is a platform game of epic proportions.

The Family are a bit of weird bunch to say the least. Let me introduce you to them. First up are Gomez - the main character in the game - and Morticia, while Pugsley and Wednesday are the mischievous kids who are always trying to kill each other.
Lurch is the butler. Granny is mad, as all good grannies are, and Uncle Fester is the family weirdo - you should see what be can do with a light bulb! But without a shadow of a doubt the star of The Addams Family is The Thing.
The Thing is a hand and in the original TV series he just stayed inside his box, but now thanks to magic of film special effects he can come out and do all sorts of weird and wonderful things.

If you decide to buy the game you'll, no doubt, be rushing out to rent the video - well you'll be pressured into renting the video because it's splashed all over the box and the game's title screens.
Hey wait a minute, I think I'll run up to my local shopping centre and visit the video shop. Hmm what shall I rent? At £2.50 a time I'd better decide carefully, aha The Addams Family looks quite good. I'll rent this.

All that talk about The Addams Family video plastered all over the box has actually influenced my decision to rent the film. Blimey, there must be a marketing man somewhere looking very pleased with himself. Right enough of this insane warbling, I suppose all you lot want to know more about the game. Well I'm the reviewer and I can do anything I want, but because I'm in a kind and forgiving mood I will tell you more...

You play the part of Gomez and it's his job to venture through level upon level trying to get his precious family back who have disappeared somewhere in the house. Right, The Addams Family is huge, giant, massive. OK let's slow down and put this size business into perspective.
Any other platform game on the Amiga is the size of Southport. The Addams Family is the size of Russia. If you're a dedicated platform game fan then The Addams Family is a game you can't afford to miss.

Now whenever a platform game comes out that is this good, people turn to comparisons. For instance, if I even uttered the words "short, fat, blue and red uniformed, Italian plumber" then you'll know instantly who I'm talking about. It has to be said that The Addams Family is very similar to the Mario games, which if you think about is no bad thing at all.

I wouldn't recommend it to the platform beginner because it's very tricky and you'll just find yourself throwing the joystick around the room in frustration. For the more experienced gamers it's ideal because there is no way it's going to be completed in a couple of days. The Addams Family is one of the most enjoyable platform romps I have, err, romped on in a long time. There are hundreds of enemies and obstacles for you to avoid.

It's got loads of platform cliches in it. Secret rooms are to be found everywhere, hundreds of coins to be collected, invincibility pills to be plundered and a handy little item that can be found to help Gomez find his family is his fez.
This little fez is no ordinary fez - it flies, thus enabling Gomez to reach those parts of the game that other non-fez wearers can't reach.

Overall The Addams Family is probably one of the greatest little platform games of all time on the Amiga. The graphics re excellent and give it a console feel.
The backgrounds used to be parallax scrolling, but due to speed loss they have been changed to simple black, which isn't as bad as it sounds because the sprites are easier to see.
Sound wise you get a startling reproduction of the programme's theme tune. The effects aren't bad, they just serve their purpose. Plenty of 'em though. On the playability front, you can't go far wrong. Everything moves as it should. A dead easy control system makes t a doddle to play.

You'll keep on coming back to it, simply because the game's so huge. The fact that you can input codes to return where you left off does help matters.

I was addicted to it within minutes and it's not often that that happens. The Addams Family may be that be creepy and spooky and all the rest of it, but if I were you I'd get down to the shops and buy a copy before there are none left. Hurry up.

The Addams Family logo

A few months ago, while the Addams Family film was mopping up the last of the profits on a tour of the provinces, this cutesie platform explore-em-up was well down the road to completion and had some of the most beautiful background graphics you ever did see.

What we have here, however, is the finished version - with no gorgeous backdrops. Have Ocean gone mad? Is graphical devolution the hip thing for programmers to get into these days? Besides, games sell off the back of groovy screenshots, don't they?

Well yes, a sexy-looking still from a game can often push a punter's cash till-wards. But Ocean have made a brave move and decided that it's gameplay that counts. Are all the other softies listening?

Eating cakes as opposed to having(!) them
What you can't see on paper (so you'll have to take my word for) is the slick character animation and fast-moving sprites. Gomez (our principle boy) is superbly controllable and scuttles around his Robocod- meets-Freddy-Krueger world with panache. As a result, Addams Family is real fun and has great 'feel'. Ocean felt this level of gameplay was worth the graphical costs, and made the sacrifice.

Keeping faithful to the film's storyline, Uncle Fester has been kidnapped by the evil Abigail Craven (along with most of the other members of the family) and it's your job to find them. Explore all the big levels (each level is found behind a door in the hallway of Addams mansion, so you can decide which to negotiate first Robocod-style), locate and rescue all of the family and your job's done.

Gomez can run and jump, killing his enemies (and there are lots of them) by bouncing on their heads (maybe he's wearing crampons or something - use your imagination). Each level is divided into sub levels by secret passageways, tunnels, underwater sequences and so forth, hence mapping is essential to success. Another useful aid is the assortment of power-ups you can find littered about the mansion.

If the game layout smells a bit fishy (that was a poor Robocod gag, sorry) then the power-ups reek of Sonic The Hedgehog: power-sneakers to speed-up our little Gomez; sparkling invincibility clouds and dollar icons to collect and then trade for extra live. Gomez can also collect a flying fez (enabling him to go up, down loop-the-loop and defy the ground for a few precious seconds) and heart icons to replenish his meagre energy reserves.

The game area is huge, the obstacles that you'll encounter are well thought-out (your success is down to skill, not just blind-fire-button pummeling luck) and Gomez moves as smoothly as a ghost.

There's not that much variation in terms of gameplay between the levels and the backgrounds would have added atmosphere, but apart from these niggles Addams Family is a good game. There's nothing earth-shattering, ground-breaking or gob-smacking, and despite the obvious similarties, Addams Family isn't quite in the same league as Robocod. But I enjoyed it, and I'm sure you will too. Let's hear it for good ol' fashioned gameplay.

The Addams Family logo

Dreimal dürft Ihr raten, von wem diese Filmversoftung stammt. Na? Genau, natürlich wieder mal von Ocean, die Leute haben anscheinend ein Monopol auf Kino-Konvertierungen. Und was haben sie aus der cineastischen Vorlage gemacht? Natürlich wieder mal ein Plattformspielchen...

Also nichts grundlegend Neues am Screen, aber mal ehrlich: sooo viel Neues hatte das Movie ja auch nicht zu bieten, oder? Und genau wie der Film gehört auch das Spiel zur ganz netten aber letzten Endes doch eher harmlosen Sorte. Wenn wir trotzdem ein kleines bißchen enttäuscht sind, liegt es vor allem an den Vorschußlorbeeren, die dem Game allerorten verpaßt wurden - von einem "Mario-Killer" war da gar die Rede! Schwamm drüber, eilen wir lieber Papa Gomez zu Hilfe.

Das Familienoberhaupt der Grüsel-Sippe sitzt nämlich plötzlich und unerwartet allein im gemütlichen Häuschen, weil seine Anverwandten allesamt entführt wurden. Soviel Ruhe verkraftet der Mann einfach nicht, also rafftet er sich auf, um nach seinen Lieben zu suchen.

Das Suchgebiet umfaßt insgesamt fünf Abschritte, die alle im oder ums Addams'sche Anwesen herum liegen. Bereits nach den ersten zwei, drei hüpfen fällt dabei die unverkennbare Konsolen-Orientierung von Grafik und Gameplay auf - Vater Gomez hat schon rein optisch eine gewisse Ähnlichkeit mit Bruder Mario!

Genau wie bei den meisten "Konsolisten" wird auch hier massenhaft gehüpft, gelaufen und geduckt, später kann man dann mit dem "Fez-Chopter" auch ein bißchen fliegen. Fallen sind da, um sie zu überwinden. Dollar-Boni, Energie und Extra-Leben, um sie einzusacken, und (etwas abstrakte) Gegner, um sie totzuhüpfen. Hat man schließlich auch den obligaten Obermotz am Levelende überwunden, ist wieder ein Familienmitglied gerettet - das sich meist nicht einmal bedankt.

Auf der Habenseite des Familienkontos findet man das überwiegend fair gestaltete Leveldesign (fair aber hart, echt hart!), eine solide Stickabfrage und die knuddelige Präsentation, Es gibt ein nettes, bloß ziemlich kurzes Intro mit der körperlosen Hand, die Animationen sind brauchbar, und der begleitende Addams-Song geht ebenso in Ordnung wie die Standardgeräusche.

Doch übermäßig berauschend ist das alles halt auch wieder nicht, vor allem die Grafik hätte etwas abwechslungsreicher ausfallen müssen, um Oma wirklich aus dem Koma zu reißen. Schade auch, daß keine originellen Extrawaffen die fünf Bildschirmleben versüßen und die geheimen Bonusräume so gut versteckt wurden, daß selbst der Osterhase von Neid erblassen muß - bei unseren Testspielen hatten wir so unsere Probleme welche zu finden.

Unter dem Strich bleibt also ein ambitioniertes und auch recht unterhaltsames Jump & Run im typischen Konsolen-Stil, zum ganz großen Süchtigmacher wie Mario einer ist, fehlt hier allerdings noch eine Menge Feinschliff! (mm)

The Addams Family logo

The best Mario-style game on the Amiga to date, Ocean's best of the year and most playable film licence ever - true.

Told you Ocean games were starting to get really good ( a couple of months ago in AP11, back issue fans)! This is, for my money, the best Ocean release since the budget Amiga version of Head Over Heels last year (yes, better than Parasol Stars), and one of the best 16-bit console-style Amiga releases to date. Of this type of game, only Harlequin gives it a run for its money, really.

So what can we put this down to? Well, the fact that the Amiga Addams Family has been developed in parallel with the very-well-received Super Famicon version, for one, and we all know where the real development time and money is being spent these days - on posh console games for the vast American market. There's been a degree of time and effort put into the actual game design here that we only really get to see six or seven times a year.

There's been one major change since we previewed the game back in AMIGA POWER 11, and it's been for the better. The parallax scrolling has gone - totally. What we're now left with are plain black backgrounds - they may not look quite as pretty in the screen shots, but the sprites show up better against them, and, crucially, the game scrolls far more smoothly.

In fact, I'd challenge you to come up with something that moves better on the Amiga - this is a joy to play, and one big reason is that you're not aware of the limitations of the machine when you play it at all, just your own limitations as a gamesplayer. Loading between levels is kept to a couple of seconds each time too, adding to that console-style feeling of immediate access.

Want something to compare the game to? Well, if Robocod was fast and Sonic-like, Addams Family has more than a touch of Super Mario Bros 3 to it, particularly in... well, lots of it, actually. If you're familiar with that game you'll see what I mean immediately, just by looking at the pictures on this page.

There's not a wasted screen in the entire thing

The plot is simple, and has (mercifully) very little to do with the largely story-free Addams movie. Various members of the family have been stolen away by an assortment of evil forces and hidden around the house. It's family head Gomez's job - as the one surviving member - to trot around rescuing them all, though that's going to take some doing.

Not only are the four people to be rescued initially (Pugsley, Granny, Wednesday and Fester), each guarded by an end-of-level boss character, there are a handful of other Boss characters littered around to halt your progress too (killing these provides an extra life), not to mention literally hundreds of rooms and sub-levels to make your way through.

Only when all four have been rescued do you get to open a wall blocking off half the music room to reveal - loads more levels (as many as you've been through in the first half of the game, according to some sources at Ocean, though we find that pretty hard to believe) somewhere at the end of which you'll find your beloved Morticia. There is no getting away from it - this is one big game, alright.

It's also a bloody tricky one - though not in any unfair sort of way (there's no hidden danger to be found here, Stuart and others of a similar disposition will be pleased to learn). Bags of restarts (and even more secret rooms, packed to the rafters with extra money, power-ups and lives) give you more than a fighting chance, while assorted codes mean that (unless you want to) you don't have to replay bits you've already done each new time you come back to play.

The game is also packed to the brim with nasties and landscape obstacles to evade - there's not a wasted screen in the entire thing - and for once they're nicely integrated too. You don't get the sense that the game designers are just throwing baddies at you for the sake of it here - the jumping and landscape--evading is at least as important part of the gameplay as the baddie killing (oh yes, and the baddies all die on the first hit too. This isn't one of those hopelss platformers that half thinks it's a beat 'em up, a la Magic Pockets). There's nothing much wrong with the way the game's paced or presented at all, quite frankly - and how many Amiga platform games can you say that about?

The other thing we always seem to be criticising Amiga platformers for is a lack of imagination. Not this one though. Yes, we've seen a lot of these gameplay elements before (the big bullets you can jump on, the buttons to press to move walls or create platforms, the moving platforms, the guillotines, swinging maces and all the rest) but significantly not in Amiga games very often, much more likely in PC Engine, Mega Drive or coin-op ones. And besides, rarely are they combined any better than this.

More a Nissan 200ZX than a vintage Ferrari

Faults? Well, there are a few - what game doesn't have at least a few, and they're certainly worth talking about, in the interest of balance if nothing else. The first is that the background are a bit empty now, and that the game looks somehow slightly unfinished without them. This is true, alright - you can't deny it - but equally you can't deny that a) the lack of backdrops doesn't effect the gameplay at all (in fact, it's the principle reason the scrolling is so smooth), and b) at least there's no danger of you getting fatally distracted from the main action by something clever going on in the background anymore.

Another criticism I've heard is that some of the sub-levels do seem to go on a bit, with umpteen variations on the same theme repeated in slight variation, rather than anything new happening. This is called depth or value-for-money, I guess - you're simply getting a lot of game here.

Some may find the control inertia slightly uncomfortable too, I suppose - though, to be fair, everyone in this office (Mark being the only exception) seems to think it works just fine. I certainly had no problems with it - it's nothing like as unfriendly as the inertia in Hudson Hawk, say - but I know Mark found it a bit 'forced', claiming that for him, the way the Gomez character slides to a halt seems to have little to do with how fast he was going. I have to say I don't see it myself.

No, for me maybe the biggest fault with the game - and it's not so much a fault with what's there, really, as an absence of something good - is that there's little here that'll really knock your socks off. There are no great surprises, no really impressive giant sprites (well, not that I've seen) - the pacing is more or less uniform throughout.
The Mario games are like this, too, you might say (and, indeed, you'd have a point), but the fact remains.

This is without a doubt a great game, but it's more of a Nissan 300ZX than a vintage Ferrari - just as fast, much more sensible and efficient and user friendly, but lacking a degree of soul.
Now go away and forget the last few paragraphs - the slightly whinging ones - because they make no difference at all to my buying recommendation. Quite simply: go out and get this game. What more can I say? That you'll regret if you don't?

The Addams Family logo CU Amiga Superstar

The quest for the perfect Mario game continues, and Ocean have bridged the gap between Amiga and console playability even further. Recruiting the kooky Addams Family as the stars, have ocean produced the ultimate platform game? Steve 'Lurch' Merrett enters their sprawling house...

From his humble beginnings as the barrel-jumping hero in Donkey Kong, Mario has come a long way. Since Super Mario Brothers and its horizontally-scrolling platform action arrived with the first batch of NES consoles, virtually every platform game released since has been compared to it. However, courtesy of Ocean, the Amiga has its first 'real' threat to the Brooklyn Plumber, as those creepy, kooky, spooky, and ooky members of The Addams Family make their Amiga debut.

I got my first glimpse of The Addams Family during a visit to Ocean's Manchester HQ several months ago, and went away fairly impressed by the fun-looking platformer I saw. Since then, the game has come along in leaps and bounds - literally - and although little touches (such as the parallax scrolling the programming team had originally hoped for) have fallen by the wayside, The Addams Family is the closest the Amiga will get to a Mario game - and if that isn't the ultimate accolade, then I don't know what is...

Taking notice of past licensed failures, Ocean have opted for the 'Hudson Hawk' route, adopting a single gamestyle rather than a mishmash of sub-games. It had always been Ocean's Gary Bracey's intention to rival Mario, and on perusing the film's script, he decided that Addams had the perfect setting for it.

The game is played within the Family's sprawling mansion, and this allows the game to be broken down into five distinct areas - i.e. wings of the building. The scenario tells of an evil property developer who is forwarding plans to flatten the mansion so that he can build a series of towerblocks on its estate.

Obviously, this has encountered resistance from the kooky clan, but such protestations have been silenced with the kidnapping of Granny, Morticia, Fester and the kids, leaving head of the house, Gomez, with little option but to scour the house's many dark corridors and rooms in search of them, and, in doing so, defeat the mysterious kidnappers.

Just as the scenario is far removed from that of the film, though, the Gomez sprite is equally unrelated to the film's Raul Julia character. With his squat physique, handlebar moustache and incredible running and jumping finesse, all Gomez requires is a set of red dungarees before the transformation into Mario is complete.
However, that said, Gomez can match Mario move for move, and even has a few extra tricks up his smoking jacket's sleeves. For example, a flying Fez (a Fez-Copter) can be found in some levels, and can be collected to get Gomez airborne and past particularly nasty areas.

Starting in the hallway, five doors await Gomez's attentions. These form the entrances to the five wings, and contain a series of creature-infested rooms and the guarded members of the family. Behind these doors lie the garden, the kitchen, a dungeon, and other such rooms, and follow either a horizontally or eight-way scrolling path.

Ocean's studying all things Mario also shows up in the animation and control over Gomez. As can be expected, the joystick sends the moustachioed hero scurrying to and fro and pressing the fire-button prompts him to leap, but these simple controls belie the true athleticism of the sprite.

The length of each jump can be determined by keeping the joystick pressed in the direction Gomez is leaping, and his direction can also be altered mid-jump. The flexibility over the character is essential to the game, as to destroy the rampaging nasties. Gomez can either jump on them or avoid them. The jumping method is obviously the most favourable, as several thousand points are given as a reward, but avoidance is less rsky.

Each of the wings follows the set pattern of avoiding or killing the nasties until the door to the next area is found, and, ultimately, the 'Boss' creature guarding your family member is defeated. However, this simplicity is the basis for The Addams Family's complete playability. Nobody could ever say that Super Mario Brothers was the most taxing or original of games, but such is the implementation of the ideas and the ease of use of both Mario and, indeed, Gomez, that there's no room for unnecessary sub-games or complications.
So, what you get are hundreds of nasty-infested screens, all ready for a good bouncing. Additionally, Addams' nasties are all tied in with their respective levels, so the garden features horticultural horrors, whilst the kitchen has cutlery-wielding chefs and the like.

Gomez begins the game with a set of five lives, the length of which are determined by a series of hearts which act as energy indicators. These are steadily reduced should Gomez come into contact with a nasty or hit by one of the many swinging axes or rapid-firing cannons that form the game's plentiful static obstacles.

However, to replenish any lost health, throughout the game there are a series of Dollar signs which our agile hero can collect. Twenty-five of these money signs go towards an extra energy points, whilst a hundred grants Gomez with a much-needed extra life. The goodies don't stop there, though, and useful power-ups such as limited invulnerability, can also be collected.

With The Addams Family, Ocean have produced what is quite easily their best game yet - with the possible exception of the brilliant Rainbow Islands (but it is very, very close). Forget the likes of Batman: The Movie, the excellent Robocop III, and even Parasol Stars, The Addams Family is platform perfection.

Everything about the game, from the tinkly John Dunn music and effects to the little dust clouds Gomez kicks up when he skids to a stop, make it a polished-looking game - but as in Mario, the gameplay still outweighs the aesthetic pluses.

The complete control over the Gomez sprite, coupled with the devious layouts of traps, nasties and obstacles makes for a real challenge. Due to programming limitations, there's usually never more than three moving nasties on the screen at any one time, but they are timed to move or patrol so that it isn't really noticeable. In addition, these objects behave in such a way that they, too, can be used in your favour. For instance, above the flight path of a cannonball, there may be a series of Dollar signs and the only way to reach them is to jump in the path of the cannonball and bounce off it to reach them.

For anyone who has seen Mario in action on an NES or Super NES, then you need yearn no longer for the same style game. Addams may not be as busy or as fast as the Super Mario Brothers games, and I doubt that Gomez will attain the cult status of the Brooklyn U-bend fixer, but, even so, The Addams Family is a massive achievement.

It somehow ties in with the film without compromising its variety, and even manages to get across some of the film's darker humour. I'm not sure whether it's just because The Addams Family movie was crying out for a decent game based on it, or whether Ocean's programmers have simply pulled out all the stops to produce one of the best platform games ever, but whatever the reason for Addams' content and style, Ocean deserve to be rewarded.

It seems that they have listened to people complaining about the likes of Darkman, Total Recall, and Terminator II, and come up with the perfect answer. The Addams Family has instantly become of my all-time favourite games, residing up their with the likes of Kick Off II, Rainbow Islands and Jimmy White's Snooker, and as a decidedly picky git when it comes to what I'll actually play in my own time, that's a praise indeed.
Steal a copy if you have to, but this is an essential addition to every Amiga's software library. They're certainly ooky by me...


Every bit as imposing as the Family themselves, is the Addams' Mansion. Starting outside the building's doors, on entering the foreboding hallway there are five entrances awaiting Gomez's entry. Linked by staircases, these open up to the Garden, a Dungeon/Torture Chamber, the Kitchens, the Library, and the Conservatory. However, also located somewhere within the building are a series of other, better hidden locations.
For instance, on completing a certain task in the Kitchens, access to the fiery interior of the Stove is given, and this paves the way for an appearance by flame-coated demons who are oblivious to your attacks.
Similarly, on entering the garden, access to the Family's Mausoleum and the interior of a rather spooky tree can be gained. The former of which actually paves the way to little Wednesday's rescue - mirroring the plot of the recent film rather nicely.

Other areas aren't quite so large, but one room prompts a cameo appearance by your loyal butler, Lurch, who tinkles away on his Piano whilst Thing, your hand-like servant, scurries along on his fingertips. More useful, though, are the actual bonus rooms which are secreted throughout the area. These are often hidden behind secret doors or even inside the mouth of your Bearskin rug, and feature dozens of Dollars and energy-boosting hearts to extend your life expectancy. In addition, 21 extra lives can be found in a particularly useful room during the 'Continue?' screen - but a set procedure must be followed before Gomez can collect these.


Before the individual family members are freed, Gomez must take on the massive 'Boss' creatures who stand guard over them. Although they vary greatly in appearance and attack methods, all can be killed by repeatedly bouncing on them. However, although platforms are provided to do so, there's still the danger of coming into contact with them, and these larger creatures drain Gomez already-limited energy considerably faster than their smaller counterparts.
Initially, Gomez can opt to rescue Puggsley, Wednesday, Granny and Fester, but the hardest family member to free is Morticia. She is trapped within a final section which can only be accessed when the other four have been rescued.
Even so, there are still four, all-new stages between Gomez and his lady love...

The Addams Family

MEET THE FAMILY... Starting life as a series of single-frame jokes in the New York Dailies, The Addams Family have since reached a greater audience via the TV and silver screens. Originally, the family were limited to black-humoured one liners, but with the advent of the black and white TV series in the 60s, script writers actually managed to create an amusing half-hour which was far better than its upstart "Wannabees", The Munsters - see for yourself on BBC2, where the series is currently enjoying a rerun.
On the announcement of the film's forthcoming release, skeptics doubted that a 'half-hour joke' could be stretched across a two-hour screenplay, but the film's dark and aminous humour and perfect casting sent it well into the realms of big budget successes. Prepare to meet The Addams Family...

GOMEZ - The head of the house. Perfectly normal in appearance, he is a dashing romantic who is totally obsessed with his beloved Morticia. An expert swordsman, his other loves include his massive train set (for venting out his rage via a series of spectacular crashes), and continual sparring with his Brother, Fester.

MORTICIA - Svelte and vampiric, Morticia is a real family lady, and takes pride in her little darlings Wednesday and Puggsley - even going so far as stopping them from killing each other. A fan of torture - particularly that to her own body - she is a shrewd judge of character, but perfectly amicable to people she is unsure of.

UNCLE FESTER - Although he is Gomez's twin Brother, the two are completely dissimilar. Whereas Gomez is swarthy and handsome, Fester is short, stocky and bald. A real whizz in the lab, where he is a master of poisons, Fester adores his niece and nephew and can often be found joining in their deadly antics and helping them with new traps.

WEDNESDAY - Morticia and Gomez's Daughter. A fan of the 'Grand Guignol School Of Gore', Wednesday is fascinated by death and murder. However, there is a softer side to her nature, and when she isn't trying to electrocute her Brother, she can be found playing with her headless doll.

PUGGSLEY - Wednesday's long-suffering Brother, but equally as devious. Enjoys experimenting on his Sister, and his favourite toy is a mini-guillotine, with which he decapicitates all of Wednesday's dolls.

GRANNY - The stereotypical old crone, Granny can be found cackling her way through the house whilst experimenting her dark magical powers. She enjoys the odd party, and, although harmless enough, is the most unsettling member of the family.

LURCH - Not exactly a member of the family, but a loyal Butler and classical Piano virtuoso. When not using his massive physique to add dust to the house's higher corners, there's nothing he likes more than tinkling the ivories as the appreciative family sit around.

THING - Thing is a handy little helper - literally! For someone whose bodily extremities are limited to four fingers and a thumb, Thing is surprisingly adaptable. He can pull things on his trolley, massage an aching brow, and, well, hold objects...

The Addams Family logo Zero Hero

Never mind all that spooky, ooky, kooky nonsense - Gomez only had to whisper "Querrrida" to Amaya Lopez once to make her play Ocean's new film licence, and win her heart. (Yeuch. Ed)

Back in the 1950's, cartoonist Charles Addams created the infamous Addams family, the inspiration for one of the smartest cult TV series ever made. This year, Columbia pictures released the film, and now Ocean has released the computer game starring all our old favourites: little Wednesday and and Pugsley, sumptuous Morticia, sexy Uncle Fester and gorgeous Gomez. Ah, if only all families contained such oddities! Imagine having a cousin with more body hair than Micheal Heseltine and a mother who swoons over Freddy Kreuger. Now that would be smart! Well, you can let your imagination run wild in Ocean's latest film licence.

The plot focuses on poor old Gomez, who returns home after a hard night in the Grave Digger's Arms to find that his family have disappeared. Have they run off to a Swiss finishing school to be trained in the manners of normal people? Or have they simply got fed up with a father whose eyes are googlier than Marty FeIdman's? Not on your nelly! What's happened is that the family's answer to Clive James, Uncle Fester, has lost his memory and fallen under the spell of that no-good dame, Abigail Craven. She's not the least bit interested in Uncle Fester's nether regions - she's a gold-digger at heart and only wants to get her mits on the Addams' hidden fortune. She's managed to get befuddled Fester on her side, as well as two other evil basts, Tully and the Judge.

Abigail has entered the family's mansion in Gomez's absence, and has managed to capture the other family members, imprisoning them in different areas of the mansion. It's up to you, as Gomez, to rescue your loved ones by finding and freeing your children, Pugsley, Wednesday and that old bat Granny by somehow restoring Fester's memory. After that, you're faced with the prospect of rescuing his 'Querrrida', who's been locked up in the under ground vaults, and the task of taking on the dastardly judge in the final conflict.

The game starts at the front door of the Addams mansion. Gomez has been given a note by Thing, containing words of advice. Thing's advice appear at different stages of the game - giving you extra help - but he's your only ally. Inside the mansion, you have a choice of doors to enter. It doesn't really matter which rooms you go into first, except that you'll only be able to find Morticia once you've rescued all the other members (handy for Bernard Manning types who have no desire to be reunited with their missus).

Each door eventually takes you to a big baddie - if you beat him, you reap a reward in the form of one of your long- lost relatives or a bonus heart. Hearts are quite handy little beauties - you start the game with two, which means you only need to be hit twice before buying the farm. Defeating the big, bad guys will earn you three extra lives, so you can have up to five lives at any one time.

There's loads of dosh to collect, in the form of twinkling dollar signs - save up 25 and, if need be, one of your hearts will be replenished. Collect $100 and you'll earn a one-up.

Gomez scores points every time he picks something up or kills a nastie by jumping on its head. There's a rather smart shield which makes Gomez indestructible for a limited length of time, natty trainers which allow him to move faster and jump further, a bouncy springboard, and a fez hat which turns into a fezi-copter when Gomez jumps into it so that he can fly around.

Seemingly inaccessible areas can often be reached by finding a switch and flicking it off. Sometimes switches are hidden in a patterned block - hitting these will often make platforms appear. If you're a bit crap, you can use the Continue option, which sends you back to the hallway, but you'll retain the same amount of hearts and rescued family members. However, if you're skill, you'll be rewarded with a password that, in effect, allows you to save your game.

It's up to you to rescue the kookiest family ever by exploring the kitchen, the torture chamber, music room, conservatory, hallway, underground vault and the super spooky graveyard.

Amiga reviewAmaya: Ah, 'the game of the film of the TV series' - much hyped and long awaited. But has it been worth the wait? You bet it has! Playability is the name of this baby - with a capital 'P'. Gomez is the name of the hero and my, what a star he is! He's a real little mover - ducking, diving, climbing ropes, even flying.

However, there's nothing devastatingly original about The Addams Family - it borrows some very popular features from some very famous games. Mario is the first one that springs to mind, what with all the 'jumping on people's heads' antics and the acquisition of a Super Gomez bonus. There are also spiky spines a la Sonic and little Super Mario-esque advice boxes. But who says copying is a bad thing? It's okay to borrow the best bits from successful titles and whack 'em all together if the end product is a glorious stew of sizzling gameplay. And that's just what Ocean has done.

The graphics are cute, although nothing extraordinary. Best of all is the way Gomez has been animated - his eyes googling away as he stamps his foot impatiently at your obvious incompetence. It doesn't seem to matter that the graphics aren't amazing, because the gameplay's so addictive that it lifts the game above your Mr Average platform romp. Another big plus is the size of the game - it's huge, with over 1,000 screens and loads of hidden rooms (often hidden behind fake walls). The difficulty level is pitched just right - easy to get it into but hard enough to get you hooked. The soundtrack is also incredibly catchy - sometimes the desire to partake in the family finger clicking tradition is so strong that you just give in subconsciously. In certain parts it's surprisingly easy to die, so make sure you gather loads of dosh for a reserve supply of lives.

There are loads of neat touches in the game, such as the rather fab fezi-copters (or 'Tommy Cooper hats'), which handily turn up in different stages in the game. With these you can fly around all over the shop, reaching those hitherto impossible nooks and crannies.

Gomez, the petal, also does a fetching doggy paddle whenever he falls into water, which enables him to get even more points by bumping off all those bothersome fish. He can pick golf balls up to kill enemies and a fencing sword for a bit of hack and slashing. One of my favourite bits was Lurch's questionable musical skills at the family's piano. The more members of the family I rescued, the more tuneful Lurch's playing became.

And what of the nasties? They're here in force, with dangerous end of level baddies, like the Executioner in the torture chamber who bears an uncanny resemblance to that master of computer games, Patrick Moore. Lethal knights in shining armour come at you in the hallway, whilst in the furnace, apart from the drawback that you can't actually touch anything, you're treated to blazing creatures who look like they've OD'd on Ready Brek.

The Addams Family is fab, cutesy, platform fun. I almost wish I could run away and marry it. (But she's engaged to Monkey Island 2! Girls, eh? They're so fickle. Ed.) Stop