Overall Rating: 1/5 Stars
Released in 1989 by Sunsoft, Fester’s Quest was another one of the dozens upon dozens of licensed games for the Nintendo Entertainment System, in this case from the Addams Family canon. It was an overhead-view, loosely adventure-type game, featuring Uncle Fester as the protagonist who becomes Earth’s only hope to repel an alien invasion.
With occasional switches to faux-3D view (ala a dungeon-crawler like the Might & Magic series) when Fester enters a building, the Uncle must collect gun upgrades to blast away extraterrestrial baddies as he negotiates his way through locked doors and ultimately to the alien bosses.
This NES video game suffers from some notable flaws, especially two in particular that combine to make this an extraordinarily difficult and unenjoyable game. Firstly, Fester’s gun upgrades cause the projectile rounds from his weapon to swoop and curve in a pattern; yet in narrow corridors, each round stops when it hides the side or a wall, thus rendering them useless in many areas. Secondly, the enemies respawn at a remarkably high pace, sometimes multiplying just off-screen and cornering our poor protagonist.
Furthermore, while some of the buildings Fester can enter harbor useful items, sometimes gained from beating a big bad boss character, many of them seem to be empty and serve no point, which is unfortunate because, given their difficulty to navigate with stark undecorated similar walls and no in-game map, makes many futile trips lack any reward and result only in a wasted key.
Overall, the Fester’s Quest NES game could have been decent, even average, but ends up being a tad too challenging, uninspired, not completely thought through, repetitive, unfulfilling, and seemingly suffers from the same License Disease that strikes most video games that come from a pop culture storyline, when developers lazily provide a game quickly, just attempting to capitalize on recognizable features and characters.
Fester’s Quest looks okay. Some portions are even colorful, with interesting enemy designs. But other parts are bland (this would be those faux-3D portions), lifeless, and unassuming. During certain parts, with rampant enemy regeneration, the cartridge can suffer from clipping, slowdown, and sprite-flickering issues.
Ready to experience a toned-down version of the Addams Family television theme over and over? You had better be, in order to be prepared for Fester’s Quest. The sound effects themselves are stock files, and merely there to get the job done.
The plotline for this NES video game is original, if not a little ludicrous: As “explained” through the cut scene to start the game, aliens land on Earth and thus interrupt a pleasant “vacation” Fester is experiencing. It can be argued that this is somewhat intriguing and inventive.
But the lack of a save feature, in addition to the fact that after every death (which just takes a couple hits typically) you have to start at the very beginning of the game (albeit with items intact), really serves a blow to the already-tarnished experience of playing Fester’s Quest. The gameplay festers (pun intended, commence groaning) and smells bad, as Fester’s Quest the NES game shoots one star out of five.