The Retro Goggles, They Do Nothing: Fester’s Quest

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Let me get this out of the way. I love retro games. I love the sounds of their beeps and bloops, I like looking at pixelated blocks, I like having to blow in a slot before I get to play a game (no homo). But some games are just shit, and Fester’s Quest is one of them. Fester’s Quest is a videogame for the original NES developed and published by Sunsoft, and it is bad.

What’s so bad about it? I won’t say I’m pleased to tell you, since talking about this game makes me wince, but I will go ahead and tell you. First off, there is almost no plot. Not that I’m saying that retro games need stories, since a lot of them lacked the power to tell a good story, but if your game is going to have a plot, do it well or don’t, just don’t halfass it. In the opening scene, Uncle Fester, of The Addams Family fame, is sitting in a chair when he sees a UFO descend upon the city. Cut to game. Yes, that’s it.

While good graphics aren’t really expected in an NES game either, something about the look of Fester’s Quest just turns me off. The gameplay isn’t much better. Your first gun shoots straight, just like God intended guns to shoot (Oh yeah, don’t ask me why Uncle Fester has guns. Your guess is as good as mine.) When you get the next upgrade, your gun shoots in zigzags, and maybe that’s helpful in some foreign fucking land, but this is Earth, and when my enemy is coming straight for me, I want to be able to shoot straight at them. Another annoyance is if you get hit by certain enemies you slow down to a crawl, not that you’re moving very quickly in the first place, and you might as well turn the game off then. Finally, you get two health pieces, and then its game over. You can recover your health at hot dog stations, but those are rarely around when you need them.

The point is, if there is a bad game design, it is probably exhibited in Fester’s Quest. It doesn’t matter if you liked this game as a kid, or if you love The Addams Family show, do not play Fester’s Quest, nothing good can come from it.

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