Addams Family is one of my all time favorite machines. The sounds and voices in the game are amazing, the stackable modes allow for some great strategy, and touring the mansion still has my favorite wizard mode sound and light show.
The Skill Shot
To start the game you have a few options on how to plunge the ball. Most of the time you will want to go for the skill shot by plunging into the Thing saucer. You do this by plunging just enough for the ball to leave the ramp, and it will trickle into the Thing saucer. The skill shot starts at 2 million and increases by 1 million each time you make it, to a maximum of 5 million. Over the course of the game this can add up to huge points. The skill shot also counts as making the Thing shot, so it can count as locking a ball or collect a completed T-H-I-N-G (see below).
If you miss the skill shot short, the ball will fall back into the Swamp and then kick out towards the lower right flipper. If you miss long the ball will head into the pop bumpers. If you get it just out of the ramp, it might also barely miss the saucer and roll out to the upper flipper, so be on your toes.
Starting multiball is a multiple step process. First you have to spell G-R-E-E-D by hitting the blue bookcase just above the upper right flipper. When completed the green light at the Thing ramp will be lit showing that locks are ready. You have to lock two balls. Lock a ball by getting it into the Thing saucer. Usually this is by making the Thing ramp, but a skill shot or a random bounce behind the bookcase works fine. For your second lock, either the Thing saucer or the Swamp works.
When you lock a ball one of two things can happen. The machine will either put a ball in the plunger lane for another skill shot attempt, or it will flash a warning to watch the Swamp kickout, and then eject a ball from the Swamp kickout towards your right flipper.
After you lock two balls your life changes because the Power turns on. The Power is an evil magnet under the middle of the playfield (where the Power lights flash red) that can drastically alter the direction of your ball. You start multiball by hitting the Chair or the Bookcase shot (lit with a red light). The Power will run throughout the multiball. After the first multiball only the Bookcase shot (not the chair) will start multiball.
During multiball the side ramp and Train Wreck shots are lit for super (double) and single jackpots respectively. After collecting a jackpot, you relight the super jackpot by hitting the Bookcase shot (the single jackpot is only available the first time on each multiball). The base jackpot values start at 10M on the first multiball and 15M on subsequent multiballs, and increases by 1M for every bear ramp or bookcase shot (reset to base on collect).
If you fail to collect a jackpot and go back to single ball play, the Thing ramp will be lit for a multiball restart for 20 seconds. If you get the restart, you get to plunge for the skill shot and an immediate feed to the upper right flipper to try to hit the super jackpot!
There are 13 mansion rooms to collect, with the 13th being the mansion tour (red question mark insert). You collect the flashing room by hitting the Chair when lit (yellow light). The Chair is relit by making either ramp. It is also lit for a limited time by the right inlane rollover switch (the yellow Chair light will blink). Mansion room modes stack with one another, and non-multiball Mansion modes stack with the main multiball. You cannot collect a room during any multiball. The selected Mansion room is changed with every pop hit.
Here are the rooms of note:
Light extra ball!!!!!
Quick Multiball: Lights a two ball multiball at the Thing ramp. In multiball the Bookcase shot is worth a base 5M that increases with each successful Bear Ramp (center ramp) or Bookcase shot to a maximum of 10M.
Thing Multiball: Lights a hurry-up two ball multiball at the Thing ramp. The hurry-up starts at 15M and decreases to 3M. When you collect the hurry-up it awards the point value and locks in the jackpot value for the multiball (collected at the bookcase).
Tunnel Hunt: Hit the ball in the Chair, Swamp, and Bookcase shot (all lead to tunnels) in any order. They score 5M, 10M, and 15M successively for a possible total of 40M!
Seance: Hit a ramp (Bear or Side) three times for 5M, 10M, and 15M successively for a possible total of 40M! But the Power is on because the spirits like to mess with the ball!
Mamuska, Cousin It, Raise the Dead: These are all switch hit modes and their points are collected during end of ball bonus (so don’t tilt). Mamuska is all switches, Cousin It is all switches plus extra for hitting Cousin It, and Raise the Dead is pop hits. (These might get up to 15M each but aren’t worth specifically focusing on).
Tour the Mansion: When you complete all the other rooms, the chair will automatically be lit to collect the red question mark room. It is awesome, but you will have to experience it for yourself.
Addams Family is all about getting extra balls to have a longer game. Here are all the ways to light an extra ball at the Thing ramp:
- X Bear ramp – X defaults to 8, but reflexes up and down. I have seen it as low as 6 and as high as 12.
- 50 Bear ramps
- Light extra ball mansion room
- Tour the Mansion (sorry mini-spoiler) – must be collected on that ball
- X Completed Train Wrecks – X is operator set, usually at 3 or 4.
Extra ball magic: By getting to Tour the Mansion you will have lit two extra balls. This means if you can Tour before you lose those two balls, your game can go on forever!
Dead bounce Tip
On most machines when the ball ejects from the Chair it is safe to dead bounce (not flip the left flipper) over to the right flipper. This allows you to immediately shoot at the Thing ramp (with the right flipper) after collecting the Quick Multiball, Thing Multiball, and Extra Ball mansion rooms!
Here are more great ways to score after you have gotten the basics down
Side Ramp: On each ball, the side ramp starts at 1M and goes up successively by 1M to a maximum of 10M. It also spots a T-H-I-N-G letter. If you hit the side ramp right after the left orbit (through the pops), the side ramp also spots a star to the right or left of T-H-I-N-G.
Collect Thing: When T-H-I-N-G is complete, collect at the Thing saucer for 5M, 10M, 15M successively plus 5M for each star.
5X Graveyard: Any time the ball feeds the upper left mini flipper (Thing flipper) from above (including ramp returns), the 5x Graveyard arrow will light across the playfield at the Swamp entrance. The Graveyard value starts at 1M each ball, and increases with pop hits up to a maximum of 3M (I think). This is the shot that Thing (auto)Flips when the Bear Ramp is made after a left outer inlane rollover. The Graveyard value is held for the next ball by completing a Train Wreck.
Combos: There are two 3-way combos for 5M: Bear ramp, left orbit (bonus x shot), side ramp or left orbit, side ramp, Swamp. The 4-way combo for an additional 10M is Bear ramp, left orbit, side ramp, Swamp. You still get the side ramp value, making the 4-way combo 16-25M points plus a Thing star!!!
Bonus X: This one is a little meta and only for the Addams experts. For end of ball bonus you get 100K for each Bear ramp and 500K for each Mansion room you have collected throughout the game. This gives a bonus value of 6M for rooms and about 1M in Bear ramps each Mansion Tour. So after you have completed a second Tour in a game, a Bonus X shot is worth about 14M, more that almost any single shot in the game. The Bonus X shot is available after every right inlane rollover, and your bonus multiplier maxes at 5x.
Addams according to David
I am all about the extra balls to try to have a super long game, so I play the Mansion all the way. My goal is to Tour on every ball in order to bank extra balls (max is 4 stored up) as a buffer for the inevitable bad balls.
I take the main multiball whenever it comes up, but I only prioritize the final start multiball shot because the Power is on and you can’t collect new Mansion rooms.
I try to collect Quick Multiball, Tunnel Hunt, and Seance quickly in a row. This collects the first Tunnel Hunt reward on the start Seance shot, then I immediately try to hit Bear ramp for first Seance collect that feeds to the Thing flipper. I go for the Swamp to collect 5x Graveyard plus the second Tunnel Hunt reward. On the Swamp kick out I try to hit the Thing ramp to start Quick Multiball, then try to collect Seance two from the upper right flipper following the skill shot plunge. In multiball I try to collect the third Tunnel and Seance awards. If this all goes according to plan I do a little jig!
After any inner left inlane I go for the double Bear ramp, and after any outer left inlane I go for the Bear ramp for Thing Flips.
After the Bear ramp I tend to shoot for the Chair on the fly. If I miss wide enough I will get the Bonus X orbit and set up an attempt at the 3-way and 4-way combos.
During Quick Multiball and a low value Thing Multiball, I will hit Bear ramps with the left flipper and Thing ramps to feed the side ramp with the right flipper instead of going for jackpots. I am playing the long game, so every Bear ramp is worth 100K x the number of remaining balls I have in the game (and builds towards extra balls and spotting Mansion rooms) and the side ramp is progressively higher millions plus adds a letter to T-H-I-N-G.
Many people only shoot the Chair from the left flipper (because it is safer) and post pass from the right flipper, but I find that to be boring and breaks my flow.
Many people will backhand the Bear ramp from a cradle on the right in order to relight the Chair. I tend to go for the Thing ramp to feed the side ramp instead, because I find the backhand to be inconsistent and it keeps me in the flow of making the Thing ramp – side ramp combination.
Once I get beyond two Mansion Tours I will prioritize the Bonus X shot during any multiball or if the Chair isn’t lit.
That’s it. Good luck everyone! I hope you enjoy one of my favorites!