Format reviewed: Commodore 16/Plus4
Publisher: Gremlin Graphics
Developer: Jason Perkins & Terry Lloyd
Submitted by: Barry Flowers
Poor, persecuted Monty Mole, who was incarcerated by the bastions of the law for borrowing coal to keep warm, has escaped and fled these pleasant isles. Lying low in Gibraltar. Monty's whereabouts have been leaked to "Intermole", who are in hot pursuit!
That's the blurb. For these pleasant isles, an all out molehunt for a little bit of coal pilfering seems not just draconian, but plain ludicrous. Still, I've read worse stories. On with the review then…
Here we have yet another platform adventure starring Monty Mole on his second and final outing from Gremlin Graphics on the C16/+4. Unlike other versions, and just the same as his last C16 adventure your task is to locate all the coins to finish the game. Sounds simple?
Unfortunately Monty also has to travel across 4 countries of 21 screens in total; Gibraltar, France, Germany and Rome to escape to the isle of Montos, but not before collecting all the 64 coins on his travels to afford a new luxurious life away from the authorities forever.
After selecting Joystick or Keyboard on the title screen and starting the game, Monty begins his adventure with 4 lives starting in Gibraltar. He then needs to work his way around platforms on each screen, climbing ropes, ladders, pipes etc and even the Eiffel Tower to reach the coins he needs.
He will encounter various nasties with fixed movements along the way which he needs to avoid. Quite who or what they represent is a mystery, maybe they're robot police although one looks suspiciously like a trashcan.
There are also dangerous water hazards and what I can only describe as high-voltage ground which Monty needs to jump over. The most dangerous of all though are the crushers which suddenly stomp down at random intervals to try crush Monty. There are also hidden passageways through walls which you need try find to get to secret rooms.
It's not so simple after all.
So what is the game like, is it any better than Monty On The Run?
I would say very much so. It is basically the same game, but Jason Perkins must have had a few ideas beforehand on improving the original. There is now a nicer title screen and also in-game music which is pretty good for the old black breadbin, but there is no option to turn this off and there are no game sound effects.
Terry Lloyd has improved the graphics over the original too, well defined and colourful. Monty plus all the nasties move along at a nice smooth fast pace too. There isn't any blockyness and I love the way Monty sometimes blends in behind the scenery, such as climbing the Eiffel Tower.
The game itself is very good fun to play, but also very challenging. As for difficulty, I think the level designs make it a fairly tough game but not impossible. However there is one screen in Germany which seems impossible to clear without losing a life, maybe there is a logical solution but I have yet to find it. It is still beatable though.
If you manage to beat the game, you will unfortunately just be welcomed by a rather pitiful Congrats message before it goes back to the title screen. But this is working within 12K of memory so it's forgiven. Although there is a score, it isn't really a hi-score game as the only points are in the coins, and once all collected it gives you the unbeatable maximum of 3200 points so there's little incentive to play again after this. However it may take you quite a longtime to beat.
So to round-up this review nicely, it's less Auf Wiedersehen and more Bonjour. Give it a play now!
You can watch the full longplay video HERE!