Amstrad Computer User1st October 1990
Published in Amstrad Computer User #71
Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Egg, Chips, Spam and Spam.
Monty Python's Flying Circus
Mr D P Gumby has a dream. It is a noble dream, dreamed only by those who dream the noblest of dreams; he wants to be counted as a member of that heady world of Chartered Accountancy.
Mad? That's not too far from the truth. There he is, lying on the opening table undergoing brain surgery, only two slices, a nip and a tuck away from realising his lifetime's ambition, when disaster strikes.
Complaining of bad working conditions and overcrowding, his brain makes a dramatic bid for escape by splitting into four parts, leaving Mr Gumby four sandwiches short of a picnic and without a hope of practising on his bought ledger. A very sorry affair indeed.
Not being one to give up without a fight, however, Gumby sets out to pick up the pieces of his brain which, not surprisingly, have been doing pretty well for themselves during their spell of freedom: three parts ran off to join the Buzz Aldrin Formation Dance Troupe, while the more individual fourth part is a film by Ken Russell. This is going to be no easy battle.
Nor, might I add, is it going to be a normal battle. Monty Python: The Computer Game, has to be the zaniest offering on the market to date. Not only is the gameplay barking mad, it's funny too. Quite a rarity these days.
The game is played over four separate levels, with a sectioon of brain lurking in each. Your job as Mr Gumby, is to track it down using the ultimate of weapons-damp fish.
OK, so you start off and everything seems fairly normal, just a couple of sixteen ton weights to negotiate, but what's that little walking bush doing behind you? Get to the end of the screen and you have to take a leap into the unknown. What's this? Gumby's turned into a fish himself! Now the lunacy really begins.
Two of the game levels allow Mr Gumby the use of his legs over platform challenges, whereas the other two will see you flipping your fins in sub-aquatic splash-a-bouts.
On each of the levels, you take part in a massive spam hunt against the odds, and boy, is it odd! No less than sixteen tins need to be collected per level to get the brain segments back, and they're well hidden, so you'll need to poke around every exit to make sure you get your quota.
Keep an eye out for the opposition, they come in all shapes and sizes and, of course, in true pythonesque form.
No sooner have you gone underwater than the flying feet start harassing you in no uncertain terms. Look out for Eric the Half a Bee as well, him and his friends can deal you a very nasty sting.
If you thought that was bad enough, wait til you progress a little further. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, but they're here and they mean you no good at all with their fluffy pillows.
You'll need to keep spectacularly cool if you want to negotiate your way through an attack of the nasty, nasty killer Keep Left signs and, once you've worked your way through the educationally unsound parts of the body, it's time to take on the might of the Ministry of Funny Walks.
You still want more? You've got it. Dead parrots, (or are they just resting), biting pillars, secret policemen, killer cars, gas cookers, eggs, sausages, those marvellous flower arranging lumberjacks and some very nasty looking foreign cheeses that need to be blown up for bonus points.
At the end of each level, you can gain bonus points by taking part in pointless arguments with yes, you guessed it, the Minister of Pointless Arguments. Keep contradicting him for higher scores but be careful, you could lose you for indecisiveness.Talking of points, don't expect to make any high scores in the Python game. You actually start off with 99,999,999 and the aim of the game is to lose them! The lower your score, the better you've done.
For every 10,000,000 points you lose, Mr Gumby gets a new life. Simple, what?
Just when you thought they'd gone quite far enough, you'll find it hard to keep a straight face when you see what your death-defying smart bombs look like. Look like? They are! They're Lupins.
If you can make sense out of this game, then you're a better man than I. The best idea is to forget the sense and enjoy the content.
There's something for everyone in this game, from daredevil stunts to paranormal puzzles. There's also plenty of scope for adventure as you sift around for spam.
Remember, you've only got three lives, and you'll need at least one of those if you want to succeed in the world of accountancy. You'll also need a fair knowledge of cheeses if you want to get on. Identifying the various types of foreign cheese in the Cheeslok security system can be tricky, especially with no smell sensor on the CPC.
The backdrops to each screen are totally wacky, with plenty of colourgul graphics to distract you from the spam hunt. As you can imagine, the sound effects more than live up to the weird happenings throughout what must be one of the most playable games of the year. It's certainly the most original. Maddeningly so!