Crash


Escape From M.O.N.J.A.S.
By Rastersoft
Spectrum 48K

 
Published in Crash #4

Escape From M.O.N.J.A.S.

Pink has dreams. He wants to discover new life forms, rescue the odd spaceship and become a hero... alas, he's stuck on the rotten, dilapidated Epsylon 9 space station, with a crew who try to bring him back down to Earth by reminding him that he's just a number around here and to get real. One tells him to get a grip on himself, another says he needs to be realistic, whilst one just sees this as weakness, and an opportunity to bully him on a daily basis - especially after finding and reading Pink's diary, in which he charts his dreams.

You control Pink, who is one of six crew aboard the space station, each named after the colour suit they're wearing, as you bid to make your way through the day and find a way to get the hell out of this sad, unfulfilling predicament you find yourself in. Most of the crew have resigned themselves to the life they have now, putting up with the mundanity of space station life, though dealing with this in various ways. Green has taken to the bottle, Blue is by-the-book, upright and has questionable items in his locker, whilst Yellow has just made it his mission to make your life hell. When White turns up out of the blue in his cargo ship, Pink sees this as an opportunity to get out of there and join him on his expeditions, to become his right hand man and to take on the adventures he so desperately craves.

White is keen but not so keen that he doesn't want a few things from you first. It's down to you to fulfil White's requests before you can join him, but will the motley crew of delinquents (and drunks) stop you in your quest?

Paul Davies

Escape From M.O.N.J.A.S.

M.O.N.J.A.S. is a graphic adventure, similar in style to Spellbound, where you move around the play area using commands such as 'USE', 'TALK', 'GIVE', 'TAKE', etc with each command producing further unique actions, dependent on the character or item you're in close proximity to and which part of the puzzle has already been completed. 'TALK' will give you a choice of what you want to say to each character, which can lead to them giving you clues or helping you progress.

Some responses are there just for giggles, but are highly welcomed by this reviewer. The look of the game is outstanding, its cartoon-style graphics are perfect with such minimal colour clash, it's hard to believe this is running on a Spectrum. The character's movements are nicely done, as they hop around the ship, going about their business.

What else really got my attention is the game's sense of humour, as previously alluded to. Part dark, part slapstick with some comments and dialogue causing genuine belly laughs.

Escape From M.O.N.J.A.S.

The dialogue is well suited to each character and gives the game such a professional finish. The puzzles are fun and some of the consequences of your actions range from humorous to bizarre. But whatever the outcome is, it's all part of the brilliance of the gameplay. Some puzzles are tricky, but this is alleviated by the great humour, so no matter how much head-scratching you end up doing, it's worth it in the end.

I really can't praise this game enough. It's a joy to play and it's one I'll keep on playing until I help lilttle old Pink off this ship and into the life he deserves, find out just what is moving underneath those floor grids... and hopefully before he ends up getting himself thrown in the nuclear reactor.

Gordon King

It's been a long time since I've played a graphical adventure with a user interface for the Spectrum. I devoured the Magic Knight series, holding onto every word and trying to solve the puzzles. Escape From M.O.N.J.A.S. certainly fills this vacancy and provides the player with some good brain-teasers, delivered by witty dialogue (obviously, not to Monkey Island standards). However, I like a sense of progression on my adventures, with varied locations to visit; the irony of Pink longing for further afield adventures, outwith the space station, isn't lost on this reviewer. Despite that, it is still a really enjoyable game.

However, in the art department, the Among Us style graphics are the game's biggest asset and have lashings of colour - they genuinely are a treat for the eyes.

Comments

Control Keys; Q, A, O, P.
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair.
Graphics: Virtually no clash here and with lovely large sprites.
Sound: Minimal with just the odd knocking as you walk about.
General Rating: Brilliant stuff. A great graphic adventure that will keep you entertained and chuckling for a good while.

Paul DaviesGordon King

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