The Addams Family: Pugsley’s Scavenger Hunt

Read the review here.

“Writing this review is arduous, tedious, and unrewarding, much like the game itself.”

– from the full review, which you can read here.


Hope you like one-color backgrounds and precision-jumping puzzles.

If I said that this was a bad video game because it is enormous without being rewarding, would you understand what I mean? If I said that this game has no soul, would you “get” that?

I hate this game. I hate what it stands for. Pugsley’s Scavenger Hunt represents everything wrong in 8-bit gaming; or, at least, what potentially could have been, with each title. This cartridge alone would make an excellent case study in the flaws of license games, sequels, gamification, item-finding games, the importance of good control mechanics, etc.

I could write thousands of words trying to explain why Pugsley’s Scavenger Hunt represents what is wrong with gaming, but I just can’t. Not tonight. Probably not this week or this month. I am so sick of it. But I am, at least, going to give three red flags, three signs that should tell any gamer just how awful this game is:

1) It offers both a password system and infinite continues. Think about that for a minute: It has both.

2) The instruction manual recommends the player draw their own maps as they progress through the mansion to avoid getting lost. Now, listen, okay, that part is not so bad. In fact, for many of us old-school gamers, drawing our own maps was actually a wonderful part of video gaming, as we charted our adventures and truly felt more personally invested in the adventure. But then the manual goes on to also recommend “experimenting” with level elements, like the mysterious on/off switches; then, furthermore, the manual tells the player that not all doors will go back the same way (in other words, if you go through a door, but do not like the destination, then try to return, you may end up in yet another place entirely). That goes way beyond simply drawing one’s own maps. That’s just messed up.

3) The mansion is immediately accessible from the start of the game. However, there are certainly areas to explore outside the mansion, and spots that lead to underground/tree levels. I spent over an hour exploring outside the mansion, only to rescue one family member, die many many times, and not find any additional items or increase my health bar. Let me emphasize the relevant bit there: I played this game for over an hour before ever getting inside the mansion.

This video game is a nightmare.

You may say “It sounds like you absolutely hate this game, why not give it a lower rating, like one star or a half star?” The answer is because, honestly, because of its size it has a lot to offer – it has an appeal in the idea of someday really devoting one’s self to beating it. This would be an amazing prospect if it were not so bland and boring and repetitive. Also, it does not look terrible. And it has a password system. Eh.

Read The Full Review For: An example of what happens when I play a game I do not like until I get utterly sick of playing it, so much so that I quickly become utterly sick of writing the review as well. This is a little more rambly and negative than my usual full reviews, even for a bad game.

NES Gameplay Tips for The Addams Family: Pugsley’s Scavenger Hunt: RUN AROUND EXPLORE EVERY INCH AND JUMP ON EVERYTHING DERP DERP

Oh, and did I mention that this game has the worst jump animation on the NES console? Behold the awful:

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