AMERICAN TV in the mid '60s was hot on cute spooks. Shows like Bewitched, where a puckish housewife did nothing more scary than twitch her nose, were all the rage. Another shadowy sitcom was The Munsters, a hit over there but never quite a cult on this side of the Atlantic.
However any famous TV show is worth hanging a licence on, and so we get, 25 years after the first broadcasts crypt out, The Munsters computer game.
The running gag of the show was that although caked in mad Max Factor and looking like death warmed up, the members of Famly Munster were nice guys and ghouls.
The game is based on the idea that as a punishment for all this niceness the Prince of Darkness has sent his truly evil mobsters to kidnap the one normal character, Marilyn. In order to release her from the demonic clutches, the rest of the Munsters have to wander through their house, collecting bits in the right order.
It takes three Munsters to get through the game, you control each in turn. First off is Lily, who gets this, that and the other and activates Granpa, who then has to head off somewhere else followed by Herman, who finally takes over.
Against the massed ranks of Old Nick's army you have spells. These look remarkably like glowing tennis balls - ever seen a glowing tennis ball? But lob them at the spooky sprites which ingest Schloss Munster and you won't go far wrong.
The house is depicted in two dimensions. You can walk along the floor up and down stairs, but that's it for manoeuvres.
The graphics are pretty, lots of background detail and interesting objects which, if you can't collect them, do absolutely nothing. Once collected, objects disappear for good and play no further role in the game beyond letting the character complete his, her or its part in the, erm, plot.
The ectoplasmic enemy swoop from out of the ceiling, behind the doors or from the stairwell. Some can be zapped by the balls, others have to be dodged. This isn't always possible, and close study of the perambulatory habits of the nastier customers is needed to prevent al all to frequent demise.
There's only one life per game, and this is lost either as a result of energy depletion by lots of small spooks, or by total lifeforce removal following a brush with a really evil entity.
This game is so scary that it frightened my Amiga into not working unless I took out its extra memory and hid it under the duvet. "Amiga - All Models" boasts the box. This is not true - only 512k machines will run The Munsters.
The fact that there is precious little to do is partially hidden by the way in which it is far too easy to die and start again from the beginning. Pictures are so-so, sound is minimal, as is the chance of this game holding any Amiga owner's interest for more than 10 minutes.