Remember when your dad used to punch you in the face for playing video games? No? Well that is the way it used to be. Video games were seen as being as a useless waste of time that turns your brain into mush. Before that it was television and before that it was novels, so that sort of thinking was always there. However I never understood what it meant until I played The Addams Family: Pugsleys Scavenger Hunt on the NES.
Made by a company called Enigma Variations, Pugsleys Scavenger Hunt was clearly a garage game. And by that I mean a game made in someones garage. There is no music and virtually no gameplay. You walk around on platforms and jump on enemies. Visually the game looked good. Games looking decent was all that mattered, apparently, to pass Nintendo Seal of Approval. All they needed was a few good screenshots so that they could slap a captured frame into an advertisement or on the side of the box so unsuspecting parents who were familiar with the Addams Family television show (but could not tell a video game apart from a box of animal crackers) into buying a game for their kid.
From the start of the game, which is outside the family mansion, your immediate goal is to jump on stuff. Anything that moves, jump on it, which will kill it. How do kids know that jumping on enemies will kill them? Because this was the way it was ten years ago when they first played Super Mario Bros! After I died outside the mansion, it started me off inside the mansion outside my bedroom (I think?) which was strange to me. I had no idea where I was. I did not even know I could go into the mansion!
Pugsleys Scavenger Hunt is awful, just awful. It is more tedious than anything. The most creative thing about it is that you can explore different rooms of the mansion. Then inside each room are enemies that resemble something in that room, like walking champagne glasses and dumb things like that. There are these things that explode, I guess they are supposed to be bombs. But what they look like is a turkey or ham bone or something. So here I was thinking that I was about to get full health (like in Streets of Rage) but instead get blown to bits.
It reminds me of that dumb BeetleJuice GameBoy game that was based on the cartoon show on television. I used to wonder why there was a children's show based on a scary movie, but then I found out that it was rated PG. Because a film about ghosts who poke their eyes out, have their bodies dry out and heads chopped off was a common thing to see in a family movie during the 80s I guess.