Monty On The Run
By Gremlin
Spectrum 48K

Published in Crash #20

Monty On The Run

At last, the true successor to Wanted: Monty Mole, and Peter Harrap's evil sense of games humour is back at work. Whatever was mean in the first game, is now ten times so in this saga of prison escape for the hero mote. One noticable difference between the two games is that after his exertions in the prison gymnasium, Monty is now a very fit mole indeed and does all his jumping by somersaulting.

Graphically, the follow up is quite similar and there are the familiar combinations of platforms, building blocks, ropes and ladders. The Gremlin crushers are back as well, but some of them have an 'appalling' sense of timing. Added features are the teleport devices and the lifts. There are several of teleporters that fire beams of changing colours, and you have to work out which colour is the safe one that lets you walk through untransported. Of course, you may want to be teleported somewhere else on occasion, but not all exit points are desirable or safe! The 'safe' colour is different for each teleporter, and to make life worse, some of them change their colour after use. The lifts appear to offer a quick and useful means of going up or down, but one or two of them should be watched a bit closely because the cables aren't all that sound.

The basic object is to get Monty on board a boat sailing for France and away from the long arm of the British Law. Careless as people are, there are sovereigns lying around all over the place to be collected, but Monty also needs a lot of equipment to make good his escape. Here comes the adventure element; some of the objects are useful, others are a waste of time, and some are deadly if touched, although a number of the nastier items become less so if something else relevant has been collected earlier. This of course means having to retrace your precariously achieved steps a few times. In addition to the collectible items in the game itself, before you start the game, you may choose up to five of 21 objects which you think might help you in your quest - of course, you may choose badly, but you'll never know until it's too late.... The game starts off outside a house, but the ship isn't too far away, and it wont't be sailing until all the correct items have been collected and safely stowed away at the bow and the engines prepared for sailing.

Monty on the Run is vastly bigger and more complex than Wanted: Monty Mole and contains many more inter-related elements which make it both a platform jumping game and one of skilled timing with adventure overtones. Also, it is only being released in October, so this is a very early review - but one that has been fully made from a completed production copy.


Control keys: Q Left, W right, Y-P up, H-ENTER Down, B-SPACE Jump/Fire
Joystick: Sinclair, Kempston, Cursor
Keyboard play: very responsive, pixel positioning
Use of colour: excellent
Graphics: well detailed and animated, varied, fast and smooth
Sound: good
Skill levels: 1, and pretty hard!
Lives: 6

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