Chris Kerry
1985
Arcade: Platform
£6.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

122
Chris Bourne

Sequels being all the rage lately, it is important at the outset to say that Monty is Innocent is not a sequel to Wanted: Monty Mole. The game is entirely different in look and style and features a new hero, Sam Stoat. So what's the connection with poor old Monty? After stealing a bucket of coal and getting caught by Arthur's flying pickets, Monty has been imprisoned for five years in HM Scudmore along with murderers and arsonists. But on the outside, powerful friends are working to free him, among them Monty's best friend Sam Stoat. The object of the game is guide Sam around the halls, corridors, tunnels and exercise yards of Scudmore in search of the Governor's office and the eight keys that will open the eight doors to get to Monty.

Monty is Innocent is not a platform-style game like its predecessor, but a linked multi-screen 3D maze type which uses solid, brightly coloured graphics to draw the locations. It isn't proper 3D despite the perspective drawings but relies on the drawn spaces to define near and far away, rather like some of the Thor games.

This is not, perhaps, very surprising as Chris Kerry the author is the same Chris Kerry who did Jack and the Beanstalk etc. Keys can be picked up from inside the Governor's office safe and used by Sam, and it is one of those games that requires learning the layout to get around quickly, because Sam needs to constantly return to the Governor's office for more keys.

CRITICISM

'After enjoying Monty Mole I was rather disappointed with Potty Pigeon, but Monty is Innocent is great. It's really colourful and although the graphic movement is not ultrasmooth, it's okay. The locations are well laid out and due to the differences of each location you soon begin to know your way around. Frustrations such as solitary confinement tend to ensure that you only make such mistakes but once! On some occasions I found Sam's 'movement a little dodgy but this added to the difficulty, so who cares? Perhaps a little of the scenery could have been used as game play memory space, but this may have spoilt the atmosphere, so maybe I should just shut up and give an opinion - very good.'

'The differences between this game and their previous ones are that the graphics are much more detailed and jazzed up. There are quite a few 3D type scenes which work very well, but on the whole they don't add anything to the game. The game itself seemed quite big at first and indeed you can be exploring for quite a while. But it does become apparent that there is no need to wonder around the entire prison complex to be able to release Monty. In fact there are only a handful of screens that you need to play with. There doesn't seem much actual gaming element in Monty is Innocent, although you do consistently get killed off. But other than avoiding the inmates of the prison and finding the right key, there isn't a tot else to it - it doesn't, for instance, require the arcade skills that were so essential in the previous Monty game. Nice graphics, shame about the game.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: O/W left/right, O/K up/down, P to pick up keys
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair 2
Keyboard play: slightly odd combination, but it works well and response is good
Use of colour: colour plays an important part as it defines the 3D effect - drawback is with the attribute problem at times
Graphics: moving characters are neat and detailed with reasonable animation
Sound: good tune between games, spot effects
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 4
Screens: 48
General Rating:

76%
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76%
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78%