(Gremlin Graphics, 1986)
Reviewed by John Beckett
Monty on the Run is the first Monty Mole game out of three for the CPC, and the story goes that our hero has escaped from jail and is making a bid for freedom, with his aim being to get to France. Strangely, this involves Monty somersaulting around a load of platforms avoiding strange enemies like teapots and giant hands. The graphics are detailed and pretty nice, the sound is good, but the game is way too hard! For example, at the start of the game you select five out of twenty or so items to take with you. Some are vital, some are deadly, some are useless, but choose the wrong ones and you soon find yourself stuck. Add to this the annoying totally random crushers, the teleporters which take you anywhere you don’t want to be, and the split-second timing needed for every jump, and you get one of the hardest games ever made – which is a shame because apart from that, it’s really good.
(Virgin Games, 1990)
And now for something completely different... D. P. Gumby’s brain has split into four pieces which have all wandered off. As Mr Gumby, you must collect all the pieces on each of the four levels of the game. During the game, you will encounter all sorts of Monty Python-related silliness and wackiness. It’s a platform game-cum-shoot-’em-up, but it’s great fun! You also need to shoot pieces of cheese which will reveal food to boost your energy, and tins of spam which are required if you want to collect those pieces of Mr Gumby’s brain (you need 16 in each level). The graphics are spectacularly wonderful, although there isn’t much in the way of sound effects, and even if you’re not a fan of Monty Python, this is still a thoroughly enjoyable, and crazy, game to play.
(Zeppelin Games, 1991)
Somewhere within the ruins of a city lies a monument which you must reach. However, the city is filled with robots and mines, both of which will kill you if you come into contact with them, losing one of your seven lives. Most of the robots don’t shoot at you, but occasionally there are some larger robots which will fire at you and will take several shots to destroy. The graphics are very nicely drawn, and the colours reflect the sombre mood; the silhouettes against the setting sun in the sky are particularly good. On the other hand, there isn’t much in the way of sound, and the gameplay is so frustratingly difficult that you’ll want to throw your keyboard or joystick against the wall.
Every year, a battle takes place on the Three Moons galactic system. Whoever wins the contest obtains the rights to exploit the resources of the moons. Last year, the Cyruls won, so this year, you have been chosen to beat them. Yes, you must take on the might of the Cyruls single-handedly; it’s not a fair contest, is it? The game is really simple; shoot the Cyruls while driving around the arena trying to avoid them, since the Cyrul vehicles are suicidal and try to crash into you, losing you energy. An alarm will sound if you reach the edge of the arena, and if you stray outside it, the game is over. The 3D graphics are very fast, and the music and presentation are very nice as well. The gameplay, however, is limited, and rather difficult.
Drive your moon buggy across the lunar surface, avoiding craters by jumping over them, and shooting rocks that stand in your way, as well as the planes which fly over you and occasionally fire bullets at you. It’s a really simple game which doesn’t stand the test of time any more. The graphics aren’t that good, although the scrolling background featuring volcanoes and craters works well to create an impression of movement, and the sound effects are awful. As for the gameplay, it’s too repetitive and there’s not enough to do.
A space shoot-’em-up based on the coin-op of the same name. Just shoot the waves of aliens and don’t crash into them; that’s easier said than done, though, because by the third wave, there are a lot of aliens to shoot and they fly around the screen very fast indeed! Your spaceship is divided into three parts, and each part represents one of your three lives. The first part only has a single laser, but the second and third parts are more powerful. The graphics are fairly good, and I really like the colourful twinkling stars in the background; it’s a very nice effect. The explosions are noisy, too. However, it’s such a difficult game that you need extremely good reflexes, as well as luck, to get past the fourth wave of aliens.
Your friend, Tamara Lynd, has asked you to come to Tresyllian Castle to investigate a ghost. Arriving at the castle at 7:00pm, you meet Tamara and the occupants of the castle and have dinner with them – but you also have to take part in a treasure hunt while trying to identify the ghost. Where the treasure is, what the treasure is, and who the ghost is changes in each of the four variations of this text adventure, depending on what you enter as your favourite colour (red, yellow, green or blue). Some of the variations are very interesting... This is one of the easiest of Infocom’s text adventures; it’s so easy that even I completed it quickly, and I’m not a big fan of text adventures. As a result, there’s little else to merit the game.
Princess Lalena has been captured by the Dark Lord, and you have to rescue her by battling through four levels of platforming action and collecting the three parts of Moontorc on each one. Each level has three shops where you can buy the parts of Moontorc, as well as keys – a lot of extra objects are hidden behind coloured doors, and making a map is almost essential since you may well have to restart the game if you don’t have the right key – very annoying! Despite this, the game is actually very good (especially the graphics) and probably the best game that Atlantis has released.
(US Gold, 1989)
Reviewed by CPC4eva
At the height of his stardom, Michael Jackson was so popular worldwide that he made a movie called Moonwalker. Later, in 1989, there was a computer game. The first two levels are top-down maze-style screens, exploring and locating objects to make up MJ’s clothing and motorcycle. The third level is a side-scrolling affair; here you must find ammo and a machine gun in order to shoot bad guys in a club. On the fourth and final level MJ morphs into a robot, shooting soldiers as well as some type of ray cannon by controlling a crosshair. Although you get heaps of lives to complete each section, it’s rather hard and very frustrating. The graphics, while colourful, are quite blocky and flicker while MJ moves. It must be noted this home computer version is not in any way like the arcade version which is rather good and fun to play.
Reviewed by Piero Serra
This is Othello or Reversi by another name. If you’re not familiar with them, it’s a classic strategy game that involves placing counters to enclose your opponent’s pieces between your own. The counters are dark on one side and light on the other. A line of counters of one colour that becomes trapped between two or more counters of the opposite colour is turned over and claimed by the other player. The winner is the player with the greatest number of their colour counters exposed once the board is filled. This version is simple but effective and actually plays a decent game, although it is a bit slow.