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The Munsters logo

Again Again
C64 £9.99 cass, £14,99 disk
D The Munsters on’t expect too much from the claim that Again Again’s The Munsters is based upon the 60’s smash of the same name. The game shares little of the invention or wit of the original TV series. For an all edged piece of ‘horribly good software’ this, I am afraid, is more a horrible ham sandwich – stodgy, stale and liable to stick in your throat.

What makes this less-than-appetising arcade adventure so hard to swallow is its turgid, simplistic gameplay, so-so plot and decidedly average graphics. I cannot ever imagine getting excited enough to play this game time and time over.
‘Blimey!’ I hear you thunder, ‘Here’s one reviewer who’s really got the bit between his teeth’. Well maybe. The idea behind the plot is actually quite neat. It is the way that this is interpreted so literally which makes The Munsters so dull.

Depending on which of the three levels you are in, you get to play Herman, Grandpa and Lily in their quest to rescue their oddball offspring. Eddie and Marilyn, from the clutches of the likes of Dracula and Satan, who have decided to teach the Munster family a lesson for being too damn cuddly for a supposed group of fiends.

Level one finds you wandering through the house, its chapel and graveyard in search of Eddie. You must defend yourself against hovering blue spectres. These can only be killed if you have the appropriate icon. Once you have managed to side-step Dracula (old twinkle-teeth is indestructible, so no touching please), and you have blown away a few ghoulies (ouch!), especially the spell-sapping darker kinds, it is off to the cemetery.
Zombies rise out of the ground à la Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins, so collect the lightning conductor and fry them as they rise. Rescue Eddie, encounter some jiggery spookery in the catacombs, and it is on to level two.

Here you control a dragon as it flies above the Munster-mobile. The idea is basic enough: kill obstacles and spinning discs which turn into werewolves. There are two ways of protecting the car: you can breathe fire onto the opposition or you can lift the auto of harm’s reach.

The final level could have been a sort of Operation Wolfman. It certainly should have been a lot better. You have to rescue Marilyn by shooting three times the enemy as they emerge from the doorways of the room in which you are in: It is the simplest of the levels, and it is very much an anticlimax.

But it is the numbingly repetitious gameplay to which I most object. The action is slow and this is particularly the case with the first level, where in between killing the guardians of some very faint icons, you have to replenish your spell power by zapping minor ghosts.
This did not sustain my interest. The animation makes it look as if your energy bolts emanate from Lily’s chest instead of her hands. By the time that you have come a cropper and you have run into your third or fourth spell-sapping ghost, you do not feel like starting anew. It is time to put bazooka boobs and the whole game to rest.

It could have been faster. There could have been more to the sound than just the endlessly repeated ‘Munsters’ theme. The graphics could be clearer and a more inventive.
It is a shame. The Munsters smacks of the Stock Aitken and Waterman ‘get-‘em-out-quick’ approach to software publishing. This game should have been fun. With a little more though that might have been the case.

Amiga review
PRICE £19.99

The gameplay is the same on the Amiga version. The icons are better defined, but the version does not make adequate use of the Amiga’s scrolling capabilities. There are more sound effects, but there is still that endless Munster theme. At least the 64 version made use of a few chord changes.
 
SOUND
GRAPHICS
PLAYABILITY
LASTABILITY
OVERALL
46%
63%
23%
29%
34%

Steve James

CU Amiga, March 1989, p.55

SOUND
SOUND
PLAYABILITY
LASTABILITY
40%
44%
23%
27%
32%


The Munsters logo

Again Again, C64 £9.99 cassette, £14,95 disk; Amiga £19.99
the munsters The Munsters aren't half a weird bunch. I mean, they walk around looking like death warmed up… OK, they look like death still cold, but that's not the point. The point is that they're nice! They don't go around haunting or terrorising, they just all look… weird.
Now Mr Pointy Tail himself, Old Nick, has decided that such a weird, ghostly looking family should be doing devilish things. To try and persuade them, he uses evil tactics to blackmail them, he kidnaps Marilyn, the pretty blonde one! Ooh, the rotter. The rest of the Munster family - Lily, Herman, Eddy and Grandpa - must go to the rescue.

You kick off as Lily, by zapping some of the ghosties that Old Nick has filled the house with to increase the spell level. The spell level is essential for destroying some of the more nasty creatures and for reviving the other members of the family so that they can help you. This isn't all you need though, since you must then collect various objects which will allow you to kill the ghouls and monsters and activate the family.

Walking around the house, you may bet the impression that some of the locations are inaccessible. Indeed they are, until you get the right object and build enough spell power to dispatch the spirit guarding the door or stairwell, allowing you to search other rooms. But beware! Any touch by a member of the underworld saps your energy, eventually causing death. Gasp!

The family must rescue Marilyn! They can't fall ill to the will of the Devil and turn to the ways of the underworld! Or can they…?

Zzap! Issue 48, April 1989, p.23

Gordo This is an extremely poor rendition of the TV programme. Even though I can't really profess to being a fan of The Munsters series, I can still spot a bad game when I see one. This is a bad game and I've seen it. Playing for about half an hour gives the initial impression that the programmers have just made the going very unfair instead of making the puzzles mind taxing, but since it's an arcade adventure I thought I'd better persevere. It didn't get any better, though. It got to the point where I just threw the joystick across the table and gave up in sheer frustration. Yeuch.

Maff I got the impression while playing this that the programmers of The Munsters haven't been keeping up with the pace of arcade adventure development. It looks ancient in all respects: dull graphics, awful sound and archaic puzzles. The Amiga's graphics are marginally better - you can just recognise the characters portrayed - but they're still well below the standard that the machine is capable of. The first half dozen or so games are taken up by aimlessly walking around getting killed by all manner of annoying ghosties; even when you do work things out it hardly seems fair or logical. Oh, and you'd think that 16-bit users would get more puzzles for their memory - but no, the game's exactly the same. Oh dear.

64   AMIGA
32% PRESENTATION 34%
Tacky appearance and a highscore table.
28% GRAPHICS 49%
The 64 version doesn't capture the feel of the TV series at all and the Amiga version struggles to.
37% SOUND 40%
The Munsters theme has been murdered on both versions.
43% HOOKABILITY 46%
Starts off as a really boring experience…
29% LASTABILITY 31%
…and finishes as an extremely frustrating one.
30% OVERALL 37%
A licence that has a fraction of the entertainment value of the TV show.

Front: Come on! Back: I can't go on anymore!