1987
Arcade: Platform
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

78
Graham Taylor
Chris Bourne

Monty is back. Never has a mole known such longevity. People expect certain things from Monty games, flying leaps and being squidged by giant steamhammers being two of them.

The good thing about all the Monty games is the way they have managed to take that basic Manic Miner format whilst ringing some fresh changes. In Auf Wiedersehen Monty the novel ingredients are objects to be collected (linked via some excruciating puns to various European landmarks) and a nifty little plan - Monty gets to fly across Europe. Provided, of course he managed to collect a ticket. Within the basic idea of travelling around Europe, collecting the right objects and taking them to the right places there are hundreds and hundreds of bouncing things, platforms (bouncy and non-bouncy, frogs, rabbits, impassable holes, assorted leaps (long, short and ludicrous) in fact everything you'd want in a good platforms and ladders extravaganza.

You want a plot? Oh well, Monty, is still on the run and is trying to earn enough money to buy himself a hideaway - a little island in the sun. Getting that money depends on Monty successfully completing a whole series of tasks in various countries around the world. For example, if Monty should manage to find the odd Mona Lisa knocking around, he might want to earn a bit of cash by taking to a fence. But what sort of fence and where? That's the sort of thing you have to figure out... It is possible to travel around most of Europe by finding your way through it screen by screen but it is sometimes necessary (and quicker) to use a plane. Airports are found in a number of locations - if Monty has an air ticket, The air flight section is fun, the mole dons old-style flying gear and does dog fights over the clouds.

I won't repeat some of the jokes, but you can imagine that, given that there are such puns as the leaning tower of pizza - things aren't too highbrow... The placement of the platforms and the ladders is brilliantly infuriating - half the time it seems impossible and the whole thing is made even more difficult to judge because of Monty's peculiarly Supermanesque style of jumping (a sort of up, up and away leap) at 45 degrees.

I failed to get off the first platform for the first few goes but eventually managed to make my way through the first dozen or so screens. The first thing everyone who played the game did was drink the bottles of wine - this was a big mistake as Monty goes completely erratic and wanders about all over the screen (straight into a passing frog).

Monty is not original in design but is still incredibly inventive - more inventive than half a dozen superficially more original games.

If you ever liked one platform and jumping game - buy this it's one of the best and pretty funny too.

Label: Gremlin
Author: In-house
Price: £7.99
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Graham Taylor

*****

A Rolls-Royce platforms and ladders game with lots of nick ideas. Monty goes from strength to strength.

5/5