(NES)

Game Review

Fester's Quest Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Bryan Griffin

What the macabre sixties sitcom were they thinking?

Uncle Fester of the Addams Family has to save the world from aliens in this cheap cash in on a beloved franchise. So, why is Fester's Quest so terrible? The reasons go on and on. This will remind you to go enjoy a nice day outside, play a board game or clean your kitchen. Any activity you could think of would be more fun than this. It's so bad that you may need to put down video games for a while after playing. On top of the terrible gameplay and mediocre graphics and music, it's horribly difficult and unfair. The only reason you may want to play is just to see for yourself why it's such a famous turd.

The game is a top-down action/ adventure experience that breaks things up with occasional pseudo-3D mazes. You collect power-ups such as keys, light bulbs, dynamite and weapon upgrades to make your way through the city and defeat the aliens. With the exception of the gun and whip, your main weapons, most of the items you collect reference the Addams Family in some way. For example, the vice grip item is what Fester uses in the show to cure a headache. In the game, the vice grip cures the condition that halves your walking speed. Way back in the campy days of 1960s sitcoms, it was hilarious that Uncle Fester could power a light bulb by putting it in his mouth. Don't worry, Addams fans, he'll be doing the same thing here when you enter a dark room. Just knowing that the developers were aware of some inside jokes from the TV series almost makes this game worse as it shows that even in spite of their paying attention to the source material, they still failed at creating anything worth playing.

Your first clue that this game is going to be zero fun is how slow Fester moves. Our hero travels much more slowly than nearly every enemy in the game, and some of them can further cut your speed as their attack. Immediate frustration will grip you when you must run away from an enemy frog, only to realise that there is no escape. Once the bad guys start shooting you with projectiles of their own, you may just feel like dropping the NES controller as you won't have a chance to even think about shuffling away.

There are several levels of weapon upgrades, but, rest assured, they are all useless. Your gun starts out firing straight ahead, and with subsequent upgrades begins to shoot in different patterns, which feels quite ridiculous. Whoever thought it was a good idea to make Fester's gun shoot several mini boomerangs or spray bullets in wide waves didn't keep in mind how narrow the corridors are. The upgrades just make it harder to hit the enemies. Sure, the raw power goes up, but when your shots are spraying impotently at a wall while an evil frog is hopping right at you, it doesn't help much. Additionally, if even half an enemy goes off-screen for a brief second, it re-spawns. With full health and the best weapon in the game, you can still end up in a corner and get a game over from the first breed of frog that you encounter. There is no hope – only disappointment.

Speaking of health, your life bar is very small. For most of the game, you'll only be able to take two hits before having to start all the way from the beginning. There is a dead end in a maze section that increases your life bar by one, but this may be a glitch because there is no physical power-up to collect. After getting game over, you'll have a "continue" option that allows you to keep all the items you've collected and your weapon upgrades. However, it sends you to the very beginning of the game. There are no check points or short cuts; be prepared for the grind of your life.

The bland graphics serve their purpose with zero flair or attention to detail. In fact, they fail at a very basic level in the maze sections. Because everything looks the same, you won't be able to tell where to go or where you've been. You'll most likely accidently exit through the door you entered and have to start the maze all over. Should you actually find your way to the alien boss, you'll be disappointed by its relatively low difficulty compared to the rest of the quest. In such a hard game, you would expect a worthy boss battle. Fail, fail and fail.

The music is interesting in a unique way. Don't be fooled, most of the sound effects are borrowed from Blaster Master, and the actual tune that plays during each level is just filler. What's intriguing is how they chose to use the famous Addams Family theme: you hear it when you get a game over. In a title where you'll be getting a lot of those, you may begin to detest the ditty. It's somewhat of a glaring mistake to risk conditioning players to associate the franchise's flagship tune with defeat, frustration, and unfair treatment.

The icing on the cake is the lack of humour. The Addams Family was a funny group! Where is the dark satire? Where is the light-hearted take on the perfect nuclear family? Not here. The only comedy you’ll find in this game is how terrible it is. You may also laugh at yourself for giving it a chance. Any fond memories of the Addams Family will be tarnished by forcing yourself through this disaster.

Conclusion

Fester's Quest is bad – it could be one of the most horrible games for the NES. Which, in a way, is fitting. If the Addams Family themselves were to play a video game, they may have chosen this one. A group of people that enjoys being tortured and blown up may just enjoy it. It’s almost as if this is a working prop for the show – Wednesday’s favourite video game that is impossible to play and no fun at all. This is one for the history books. The boring, repetitive, uninspired, franchise-destroying history books.

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User Comments (39)

sillygostly

#1

sillygostly said:

Couldn't help but notice the especially large Nintendo Seal of Quality on the boxart. =P

Tsuchinoko

#4

Tsuchinoko said:

Woah, woah woah....

umm, i hope i'm not the only one that sees this, but...
As someone who played Willow for the NES a lot as a kid, I'm a little shocked at what i am seeing in these screen shots. Any other Willow fans here notice anything a little off? Especially in the menu screen and the general look of the gameplay screens?

Eliasson

#5

Eliasson said:

I loved this game when I was younger, but its been like what 15 yeras since i tried it..

AndyK81

#6

AndyK81 said:

Was this game really that bad? I remember that I liked it, or did I? Was such a long time ago.

Bass_X0

#8

Bass_X0 said:

Couldn't help but notice the especially large Nintendo Seal of Quality on the boxart.

But as we all know, that only refers to the quality of the cartridge, not of the game.

RedBlueSpot

#10

RedBlueSpot said:

First of all, Festers Quest is NOT a horrible game. It's a very different game. You collect power ups to enhance your gun (and whip as you get later on). You collect keys to get special items from houses spread out through the game. There's only three huge problems with this game.
1. If you die you have to start all over again and you only got 2 hits.
2. You move toooooo slow.
3. The boss mazes are too big.
A reasonable score would be 4/10.

dings

#11

dings said:

The best thing about being a kid is you can play all these awful games and not even realize it, then grow to love them. I remember renting all sorts of awful NES games and it never even occurred to me that they were crap. I would just sit there and play and play and never get anywhere due to the broken controls or whatever other flaw.

There was a lot of shovelware for the NES much like the Wii.

avalanche

#12

avalanche said:

7/10 here.

I sunk many, many hours into this one. Pair Fester's Quest with the NES Max controller, then power up your gun to the maximum. The turbo buttons made it easy to lay waste to the aliens.

Never was able to get past the third boss. This game was tough as nails.

Spoony_Tech

#13

Spoony_Tech said:

Yeah I don't agree with this reveiw at all. This was one of my favorite games on the nes. It might have been different but was a whole lot of fun for an adventure game back in the day. It might have been one of the first of this type of game to surface for the system. I would give it an 8 out of 10. Sorry I guess everyone has their opinion but way off in my book and a must try game for anyone!

SolarJetman

#14

SolarJetman said:

7/10 for me too. I played this game a lot. Yes, Fester moved slow, but Fester was a fat, old little man. That's why he has his gun with many awesome upgrades: to waste those annoying frogs.

This game reminded me of the overhead Blaster Master stages, with Zelda/Willow-style open-ended gameplay. The frustrating mazes were my biggest beef. This game was hard. I think I never got past the third or fourth boss. But that's the way in was back in them NES days!

WaveWarlock

#15

WaveWarlock said:

the only redeeming thing about the game is the funky soundtrack and hilariously cheesy-so awesome box art.

the fact that Fester moves so slow, and that you start right from the beginning after you die destroys this game completely. The cheap respawning enemies, and your quirky ridiculous bullet patterns make killing enemies really frusturating too, and the fact that it takes almost a million hits just to kill certain enemies.lol funny enough, i actually have this game on the Nes. :D for $5, the awesome cover art allured me, and of course my fuzzy nostalgia hehe. It's a game so bad you HAVE to own. Just like The Karate Kid. ;)

zionich

#16

zionich said:

Back when I played this game there wasnt reviews, just games that punished ya to no end. Sometimes I miss those days. I dont know if it was a 1 to me, I pushed through and beat the game. Cant see me doing that on a game I hated.

@WaveBoy Karate Kid was another that was tuff, but ended up pushing through to the end also. I dunno, maybe I was just more determined as a child.

jkgatling

#19

jkgatling said:

let's not insult the reviewer please -- TBD
This game is actually very solid, not great by any means but not horrible, a 7/10 is a better score

WaveWarlock

#20

WaveWarlock said:

@zionich
The Karate Kid was much shorter as well, so it didn't take that long to finish, but it was totaly punishing....There was nothing worse than getting hit by a bird or getting kicked into the water. :p I could never beat it as a kid, but I finally did a few years ago. Anyways, I'd love to see a review for Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on elm street hehe.

SwerdMurd

#21

SwerdMurd said:

@jkg - virtually every sentence denotes a clear understanding of the game...he just really, really didn't like it (which he's well within his right to do--I can can totally see a nostalgia-free review of this game earning a 1--and this one is plenty justified) and defended why.

If I read this review and the score was 7/10 and the text was the same, I'd question the reviewers sanity...so yeah--1/10 is a perfect score for this review. Low score doesn't equal AVGN....I don't recall random unrelated streams of cussing and bashing the game simply because the reviewer wasn't good at utilizing the game mechanics.

RyuZebian

#22

RyuZebian said:

I trust AVGN on this one! Or all, in fact. The good old school games are hard enough as it is for me!

EdEN

#23

EdEN said:

Wow, a 1? I enjoyed this game back in the day since it has a certain Blaster Master overhead levels sorta vibe to it. I would give it a 5-6.

TheLonelyGamer

#24

TheLonelyGamer said:

I honestly don't think Fester's Quest is that bad, I'd give it a 5 or 6/10. The soundtrack is awesome, Sunsoft were the masters of 8-bit music.

WanderFan91

#25

WanderFan91 said:

Dang, 'twas it that bad, really? I don't remember having played it much (probably due to lack of motivation), but I didn't think it was that bad (didn't think it was great, either). I've always loved the 8-bit synth conversion of The Addams Family theme that plays in the title screen.

ogo79

#26

ogo79 said:

" The only reason you may want to play is just to see for yourself why it's such a famous turd."
beautiful.

Kingbuilder

#27

Kingbuilder said:

This game isn't even that bad. I still like it better than Blaster Master to be honest...

WanderFan91

#28

WanderFan91 said:

That's okay, Kingbuilder, to each his own. Though, personally, I thought Blaster Master was king out of the two.

nice_shirt

#29

nice_shirt said:

Granted I haven't played this in a really long time but I thought I liked it. Definitely better than the 1 it was afforded.

StuffyStuff

#31

StuffyStuff said:

This is one of those games that scarred me when I was a child. I rented it once and didn't get anywhere! That was a good waste of my parent's $3 that weekend.

Retroman

#32

Retroman said:

First game that I ever owned. Bought it with my NES :-)
Ended up trading it for Castlevania

Ren

#33

Ren said:

Yeah, I thought it was just me that didn't like it. My old neighborhood friend played the hell out of this one, and I never understood it. I wouldn't say it's a 1 though, not by a long shot, there are much worse games out there, to be harsh I'd give something a 2-4 but a 1 implies it's almost unplayable/ broken, boring, worst of the worst; I didn't like it either but not much gets a 1 for me.

OnionOverlord

#34

OnionOverlord said:

Gotta agree (mostly) with the 1. It's not so much that the game is too hard, as it is the game is too repetitive. The biggest flaw being that enemies respawn so quickly, and you don't get a reasonable means to take them on until you get the whip. Once you get the whip, your problems are pretty much over and you can put that stupid gun away.Half the game is spent with enemies either in your face or in tight passages, so the whip is pretty much the best weapon. Why they didn't just let him start out with the whip, I have no idea.

TikiTong

#35

TikiTong said:

They should release all the Addams games on VC,and i think this one does deserve the VC treatment!!!!

Mok

#36

Mok said:

I remember being with a friend and his mum to the shop buying this game. Didn't think it was THAT bad but it wasn't very fun or interesting either.

Blasted0

#38

Blasted0 said:

@sillygostly

Lots of non-official games were released by non-official publishers. For example, the publisher Wisdon Tree, which produced (uhhum) Christian themed games, published them without approval.These seals let people know that it was a Nintendo approved publisher and that the game wasnt produced by a hack.

Nintendood

#39

Nintendood said:

What a horrible reviewer ~ I can see why he was only active on the site for about six months, three years ago. The score of 1 was clearly given out of spite.

This game, while not for the easily frustrated, deserves a 6 or 7/10.

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