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Mutant Monty and the Temple of Doom

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Released: 1986

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Artic Computing

Developer: Paul Watson

Submitted by: Lee Tatlock

Mutant Monty was just one of many Miner Willy (of Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy fame) clones who himself was a clone of Bounty Bob. Much maligned at the time for being ten a penny and not worth that said penny I always felt Mutant Monty got a hard time. Just because he didn’t do anything new doesn’t mean that his game wasn’t as valid an experience – if that’s the case then why is the market now riddled with critically acclaimed FPS’s that are nearly exactly the same? It is and was just a sign of the times and a sign that I miss, often when I say ‘God give me a sign’ this is what I’m talking about. I love these room after room games, each room packed with it’s own bizarre enemies, each lovingly crafted and full of hidden meaning (mostly to the creator) and sly digs at culture of the time, each given it’s own, often criptic, name, the personality, the basic graphics leaving room for interpretation and imagination to build what they will. So when I learned that Mutant Monty had an equally much maligned follow up in the form of Mutant Monty and the Temple of Doom I nearly peed my pants, hell, I nearly peed your pants I was so excited.

This time round Monty has taken a much more Jet Set Willy approach to his adventure as you free roam form room to room finding every treasure the temple has on offer in your own order and time. In fact it feels a little like a mix of JSW and Montezuma’s Revenge. Little attempts at atmosphere have been made such as hanging skeletons and cobwebs in corners, but the enemies are lacking inspiration, not to mention none of the rooms are named thus depersonalising the experience even further. This originally came on a compilation tape called Assemblage and may have been a bit of a rushed job, just to shift cassettes, but it’s not all bad, one major up point of the whole affair is it’s relatively easy. Give it a go!