Thundermonk (Minerva) Review | The Micro User - Everygamegoing

The Micro User

By Minerva
Archimedes A3000

Published in The Micro User 7.05

Fight for the right

Diving straight into the game reveals a full screen display of the Repton variety - it's OK, don't hide yet - with a status screen across the top. Your character is a hooded monk who moves through the maze, which scrolls beautifully, trying to get through various puzzles. Unlike Repton, he does have some offensive power.

You begin with 999 points of power plus the ability to throw fireballs - but this uses lots of power. You can take many items just by moving over them to add to your score. Some - like bunches of grapes - boost your power and the ball lightning puts you back to max, so shouldn't be wasted.

Difficulties include most greenery which drain power if you touch it and various rotating objects - I can't imagine what they're supposed to be! - which are equally lethal. Then there are puzzles on a simple level. Most passages are blocked and, as you can only throw fireballs left and right you can only remove them by shooting through walls.

Keys lying around are needed to open doors - but some doors require two keys so it's very easy to half open a door and then find you need the key somewhere else. So there is an exact order of solution. The first level is fairly straightforward, the only tricky bit lies in getting the keys right - but the second level is horrendous. It lulls you into a false sense of security with a simple little puzzle to start. Then hits you with a one-way wall - knock out the barriers first or you can stuck very quickly - and when you've done that there's nowhere else to go.

You can see lots more of the maze at the edges of the screen but there's no way to get to it - and your energy is clicking down all the time. You really wish you could walk through walls - and that's a hint.

The sound is digitised and very good, full of yeahs, greats, phoomms. As for the sheep - believe me you'll come to hate them.

Thundermonk is interesting and fairly enjoyable but I wouldn't say it had me rushing back for more. Like most Minerva games it is competently programmed has impressive graphics but ultimately the gameplay inspired a wave of indifference. The Archimedes is an exciting machine - when are we going to have games to match?

Teri Paul

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