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Moley Christmas

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Released: 1987

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Gremlin Graphics

Developer: Shaun Hollingworth / Peter M Harrap / Chris Kerry

Submitted by: Gordon Sinclair

Back in the eighties it was great. We got a white Christmas every year, no repeats on the telly, wars would stop and no one would go hungry (OK, so none of those are strictly true, but that was how it felt back then). But best of all, was the bumper Christmas specials that filled the magazine stands. Going through the TV and Radio Times with a big black marker, ringing all the shows that you wanted to watch, cracking open a new five pack of three hour videotapes to record Morecambe and Wise and the Two Ronnie's.

But even better than that were the amazing double issues of your favourite computer magazines. I was a Crash man, but for one issue a year I would put aside the petty rivalry with my Your Sinclair loving enemies and buy both. Big double issues with a snowy scene on the cover and plenty of pictures of staffers in silly hats.

But what made the magazines extra special were the tapes stuck to the cover. Gone were the limited demo's of up and coming games, to be replaced with full commercial games and brand new specials. In 1987, Gremlin Graphics and Your Sinclair combined to produce one of the best Christmas cover tapes ever.

Moley Christmas is a six screen game in the Monty Mole series and after previously tackling such thorny subjects as the miner's strike and the increasing influence of Europe on local politics, Monty's next exploits were to centre around one of those unsung professions that work tirelessly over the Christmas period to keep the country on track. No not nurses, or policemen, or firemen. This game is about those hard working games journalists and has you running around the Your Sinclair offices to find a disk containing the code for the free game that will adorn the cover of their Christmas issue. The disk needs to be taken to the tape mastering plant and then the tapes duplicated. Then a trip up the M1 back to the YS offices before the magazine hits the newsstand. It is typical Monty platform fare and with only 6 screens it isn't the most in-depth game ever, but Monty does what Monty does best and this was the perfect kind of game that will see you through Boxing Day while you waited for the shops to re-open so you could get some batteries for you Big Trak.