JUST A NORMAL FAMILY REALLY!
Fans of the old black and white TV series, currently being rerun on Channel 4, will know that the Munsters are a typical (post-) nuclear American family. There's Grandpa the Vampire, Herman Munster - a sort of self-made man, his wife Lily and their children. Eddie the Wolfboy and the sickeningly normal Marilyn.
The game begins with Lily aghast to find the rest of the family has vanished. The lovely Marilyn has been spirited away (groan) to a nearby Chateau. Controlling Lily, you must roam the house shooting the ghosts and ghouls to increase your spell power. When you've enough power the search is on for the rest of the family, starting with Herman.
Once Herman and Grandpa are found, control switches to them. After a short period guiding his Mark Caswell-like friend, Grandpa turns into a bat and makes tracks (or vortices). While Grandpa goes to fetch the hearse (the Dragula), our lovable monster searches for wolfman Eddie, finally meeting up with Grandpa at the car. While racing along in Dragula they are attacked by zombies standing in the middle of the road, you must lift the car over them so they can get to the chateau.
I must admit to being a closet fan of the classic TV series, so I couldn't wait to play the game. But although it's a fair arcade adventure, I was disappointed by the lack of connection between its scenario and the series. There's so little humour in the game, just screen after screen of repetitive ghost-blasting. All the screens are in black and white too, but then so is the TV series! The Munsters is not a bad effort, but I'm sure more imaginative gameplay could have been devised for such a fascinating licence.
PHIL ... 67%
THE ESSENTIALS Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair Graphics: characterful and attractive Sound: continuous 128K theme tune
'Although this appears on first sight to be little more than a collect-'em-up with ghost-bashing overtones, a few attempts reveal that a sharp mind is also needed. In some cases certain objects have to be collected to kill the more stubborn of the spooks, whilst one item has an electrifying effect if used correctly. A good rendition of The Munsters theme plays throughout the game in 128K mode, and the graphics are nicely drawn and animated. Whether you're a Munster, fan or not, I urge you to take a look.'
'The Munsters takes the arcade/adventure format of games like Pyjamarama and adds its own, uniquely ghoulish tone. Presentation is a little disappointing with the well-drawn graphics totally lacking colours in the main play area. The soundtrack is only average, with adequate sound effects. Gameplay is the most important thing, though, and this is where I have my strongest doubts. The puzzles aren't bad, but it's all too easy to die, making exploration slow and painful. Also, the need for spell power means a lot of the time is spent shooting enemies to get it, and one touch from a certain ghost and it's all gone. While not a bad game, the constant deaths mean only the most determined will persist with this.'