The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem review (multi)

The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem releases on PCs and consoles just before the upcoming release of the movie sequel to the animated reboot from a few years ago. Time to see how it turned out, which we did in both solo and multiplayer mode.

We’re going to be seeing the name “Outright Games” pop up a lot this coming holiday period, as the publisher with a focus on family friendly entertainment has a ton of releases lined up. This one was developed by PHL Collective, who we talked to during a recent preview session for the game as well. It marks the return of the Addams Family franchise to videogaming as well – a franchise that started with the excellent videogame adaptation of the 1991 movie but hasn’t hit many highs since them.

As with the 1991 game, The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem is – at least at its core – a platformer. The action is in 3D now though, but you see everything through a fixed camera perspective – no doubt the result of the fact that the game was designed with cooperative multiplayer gaming in mind. But while a necessary choice, it also gives it some of those retro vibes, echoing the 2D side scrolling origins of the games while at the same time making sure it doesn’t try to compete with modern platforming games like Ratchet & Clank – an unfair comparison by any stretch of the imagination.

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Levels in Mansion Mayhem are relatively linear in nature, with a few side avenues you can take in order to pick up a few extra collectibles and coins. There are a few small puzzles that will require cooperation as well, and this is part of why we’d recommend playing this with at least one friend or family member and not as a solo platformer. In addition to platforming together, it’ll also allow you to have a lot more fun playing the Mario Party-like minigames that are included both in the main campaign and as a separate mode.

The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem features some fun world design elements, all of which nicely walk the border between gruesome/creepy and family-friendly, making this is good choice to play over the Halloween break with younger players. Throughout the campaign you’ll travel through the kitchen, graveyard, music room and the lab – all of which have a unique visual identity and gameplay elements that are specific to that location. Because some levels are quite long things do have a knack of getting repetitive after a while, so the somewhat regular change of scenery is a welcome one.

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Part of that is the simplified game and control mechanics, though that’s also part of the family friendly approach that makes it suitable for younger players. Combat is very one-dimensional, and the platforming is simple as well – making the puzzles feel like nice changes of pace. The minigames very much serve the same purpose as well, and they’re especially fun when played with a full roster of four players. It’s also where we see the bulk of the lasting appeal of the game, as there’s not a ton of reason to go back and do the campaign again once you’re done.

Audiovisually, Mansion Mayhem is a mixed bag. The visual design is lovely, looking a lot like the animated movies thanks to a cooperation with the folks at MGM. This is true for both the locations and the characters, though the latter don’t get a time to shine in many of the levels that have a zoomed out camera perspective – making the on-screen characters appear too small. The audio is mostly fine, though it’s a generic collection of catchy ditties with the occasional sound bite – the iconic theme song is nowhere to be found.

For a family-friendly platformer, The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem doesn’t disappoint with its co-op gameplay and diverse collection of minigames. The core platforming campaign borders on the generic so you don’t want to play through this alone, but bring a few friends along and you’ll have fun – especially if you’re fans of the source material.

Score: 6.8/10

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