Uncle Fester's 8bit Adventure
Fester's Quest (1989) offers up some cool, 8-bit graphics, animation sequences, music and sound effects. The visual and audio effects may not impress a modern gamer, but they were impressive to a kid back in 1989.
The fact that the game looks and sounds as good as it does, is quite impressive for a NES game based on a television sitcom from the 1960s.
This game came out before the Addams Family (1991) film helped to renew interest in the franchise. Few kids had seen much of the original series, much less the 1977 reunion episode. Yet, the designers of the game took the time to really capture the look and feel of the Addams Family world, albeit 8-bit style.
The player takes control of Uncle Fester as he walks around the city, killing aliens, adding items to his inventory, explore homes and locating members of his famous family.
You begin the game with a weak blaster weapon, but (not unlike Contra) when you kill off enemies, they will sometimes leave behind some nice weapon's upgrades.
Success in the game requires mastery of your thumbs as well as your brain. In addition to the army of aliens (including several big bosses), you are going to have to hone in your RPG skills as well.
Fester's Quest offers a pretty big world for you to explore -- on foot --, so be prepared to draw up some maps. Whenever you enter a building the format of the game shifts over to something akin to a 3D, Dungeon Crawl format.
Uncle Fester moves slowly in the game, and sometimes will walk even slower, when he gets hit by certain enemies. Most of the enemies in the game are much faster and more agile then you are.
All of the enemies will re-spawn if you even think about walking off-screen. This means that you will likely find yourself trying, in vain, to avoid taking damage from an endless army of aliens. Before you even get close to the first boss in the game, be prepared to die often.
Uncle Fester can withstand two hits before dying. Fester's Quest does not have extra lives or a password feature. The lack of a password feature is especially troublesome, given the RPG elements in the game.
You can buy hotdogs to restore your hits points, but the opportunities to do this are few and far between. Most of the time, death will come quickly and often in the game.
Festers Quest will allow you "Continue" (keeping all of the weapons and upgrades you have collected), but only if you are willing to be taken back to the very first screen in the game. It is a long and slow walk forward for Uncle Fester!
Yes, their is a bug in the game that allows you to get hit three times before dying, but the player will still die often and be let with the horrible choice of beating the game in one sitting or starting from scratch.
Initially, Fester has a weak gun (it sort of looks like an old fashion car horn) that shoots in a straight line, but you can grab some weapon's upgrades that look nice, but oftentimes only make the game harder. Why?
This is because many of the upgrades shoot their projectiles in some sort of wavy or boomerang-style motion. While they are more powerful weapons, you quickly find them to be highly ineffective in a narrow sewer or up against say, a frog from outerspace.
Much later on in the game you can also acquire a whip, which is one of the more useful weapons in the game. Alas, it is something that you have to go without during much of the game.
The rest of the Addams Family has largely been reduced to brief (sometimes helpful) cameos in Festers Quest. Granted, this makes sense -- in light of the story -- but their were certainly times in the game where it might have been fun to play as one of the other family members.
Last, but not least, Fester's Quest lacks the humor found in the original Television series. Yes, the game's opening and ending sequences look nice, but their is little in the actual game itself that connects with what made the television series popular.
In the game, Uncle Fester uses light bulbs to see in the dark -- a nice reference to the series - However, most of the time the game never really attempts to be funny or connect with fans of the series.
The Bottom Line
Fester's Quest looks and sounds nice enough for a NES game made in 1989. It also comes with a high degree of difficulty, largely due to some poor game play mechanics, which may be a deal breaker for some people. If you are up for a challenge, then put the game into you NES, turn the power on and start signing, "They're creepy and they're kooky, Mysterious and spooky, They're all together ooky, The Addams Family."
by Shamal Jifan (21) on April 17th, 2017