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Nigel P. Johnstone
Arcade: Platform
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne

Monkey Bizness is a 'Kong' game, and a fairly comprehensive one at that with eight screens. The ladders and girders are about the most detailed for the Spectrum. It also boasts the first 3D barrels, which are enormous.

On screens one and two, the layout is pretty straightforward, although there are holes in the girders to be jumped on screen two.

Screen three has two sets of stairs to be jumped, screen four has a long jump, screen five has springs which throw the barrels upwards, screen six throws showers of barrels at you, in screen seven the barrels disappear and reappear further up. In the final level you must knock out the 7 weak points in the scaffolding to bring Kong tumbling down.

The barrels are very fast moving and have a wide pattern of travelling down the screen. In addition to the barrels, there are hammers to be collected by jumping up for them, after which you can I knock out barrels until the border flashes red. It isn't possible to go up or down a ladder while holding a hammer.

There are also umbrellas which protect against a bad fall, should you miss jumping a hole.


'This is quite a traditional 'Kong' with proper girders and lots of detail. Kong himself even sits at the top and is animated so you can see him throwing out the barrels. The barrels are very big and animated in hollow 3D and you can see them face or end on depending where they are. There's a very mean screen where they actually zig-zag down without using a girder or ladder. Fortunately your man jumps with enormous gusto. Very playable.'

'This is a fairly good reproduction of the original but the graphics are a bit on the jerky side and the animation of your man jumping isn't very good. It's reasonable, but for my money not as good as the Blaby or Ocean versions.'

'Usually you can start moving as soon as the game begins, but with Monkey Bizness your man doesn't appear (on the first screen) until the first barrel has already rolled down two girders - unfair! There's lots of detail and plenty to keep you on your toes. It may be a bit late in the day to be bringing out a 'Kong' game, but I think this one will prove quite popular anyway as it has enough variation to make it distinct from others, and enough screens to battle through to make it quite addictive in playing. Overall, the graphics are of a fairly high standard too.'

Control keys: 6/7 = left/right, 8/9 = up & jump/down
Joystick: Sinclair 2
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: good
Graphics: detailed, 3D barrels, a little jerky
Sound: fair to average
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 4
Screens: 8
General Rating: Above average to good.


Screenshot Text

"I'm singing in the rain of barrels, just singing in the rain of barrels..."