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Peter M. Harrap
Arcade: Platform
ZX Spectrum 48K
Unspecified custom loader

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Robin Candy, Lloyd Mangram
Chris Bourne

Use of Computer: 86%
Graphics: 94%
Playability: 95%
Getting Started: 88%
Addictive Qualities: 96%
Value for Money: 90%
Overall: 92%

Monty Mole was released at the height of the miner's strike and caused quite a stir with games experts, the press and television. This was mainly due to the caricature of Union leader, Arthur Scargill that appeared in the game.

The story goes that it is a long chilling winters day and Monty makes a daring bid to snatch coal from a South Yorkshire pit. Monty must find his way through the pit collecting bits of coal and other assorted items in his bid to escape with the goodies. He finally emerges in Arthur's castle where he must collect the ballot papers to topple the great man but first you must get past Arthur's personal body guard of flying pickets and nasties.

The game looks very similar to Jet Set Willy but in Jet Set Willy you could easily visit other rooms without collecting items from them. This is not so in Monty Mole. By collecting particular items you are able to proceed through some of the nasties or a wall opens up to allow access to another room. This means that it not a straightforward platform game and some thought is needed to play it. Some of the problems include how to get past the wall on the seventh sheet and how to get past the railway sheets. This all adds up to a highly enjoyable game.

I remember reviewing Monty Mole when it was first released and thinking that it was an excellent game. If it happened to come into the offices to be reviewed now I think I would like it just as much. The graphics are superb with few attribute problems considering that it is a very colourful game. Monty Mole is just as playable as the third game in the Monty trilogy, Monty On The Run, and is certainly addictive. If you still haven't got it then pop out and buy it now!

This game, of course, was voted Best Platform Game of 84 by CRASH readers, and looking at it again now, I can see why. Although it only has 21 main screens, most of them are deadly tough and you have to go through one or two of them twice. On top of that, the physical layout and the way the screens link make it an exciting looking game that really hasn't dated at all.

(Rob) I wouldn't alter the ratings at all; Monty Mole is still an excellent platform game.

(Lloyd) And neither would I!