Auf Wiedersehen Monty (Gremlin) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

Auf Wiedersehen Monty
By Gremlin
Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #44

Auf Wiedersehen Monty

I like platform games. There, I've said it - and I don't care if that sounds like the most untrendy thing you've heard since the Eurovision song contest.

After all, what was Impossible Mission if not a platform game - aside from also being the best computer game ever written.

Auf Wiedersehen Monty is just about good enough to get you to dig all those old platform games out of the cupboard and end the current obsession with mega-death shoot-'em-ups.

The furry little villain who is the hero of the games escaped from his pursuers on a cross-channel ferry at the end of the last game - Monty On The Run. Now the mole has decided he is tired of running and wants to settle down. No, not to an anonymous bungalow in Eastbourne. Our Mont has his eye on his own private Greek island. Of course, that's going to cost some cash so the little blagger decides it's time to start ducking and diving again.

In Auf Wiedersehen Monty he has two ways of earning money - one - by simply collecting the objects scattered around the screen.

This is fine for expenses - but for the real big, Isle of Montos-buying dosh, our hero has to trade in a few scarce international commodities.

I detect a wicked sense of humour at work in Monty. It had me chuckling all over the place. Take the trading for example - apparently Juventus, only one of Europe's richest clubs, need to buy a football. People are also starving in the food queues of Czechoslovakia so Monty makes a killing running them Danish bacon. As if that were not bad enough, the Mafia have turned all arty and are prepared to offer the rodent a fortune to bring them the Mona Lisa.

The map of the game resembles very closely the actual map of Europe, though I did notice one odd-sounding country down Bulgaria way called 'Moledavia'.

The method of travelling is the usual hope, skip and jump - though the game does have a number of new platform features. For example, if Monty jumps on the spot it eventually has a trampoline effect - enabling him to make some enormous leaps.

There are also airports in each country which enable Monty to hop into a World War I style biplane and fly off to his next international destination.

The plane sequence is a brilliant idea. It provides a totally separate little game - a welcome relief from the heavy duty jumping and nasty-dodging of the platform screens.

The suddenness of the change in graphics is stunning. One minute you are looking at intricate detail on the platforms - then Monty profers his airline tickets, presses 'f' on the keyboard and the screen changes to a bright blue sky with fluffy white clouds.

Enter two planes - one with Monty in and one with the enemy. Extra points are earned by nibbling the tailplane of your rival.

The game features some really tough puzzles. Real stinkers of 'how the hell am I going to get out of this and onto the next screen' variety. Just getting out of the first country is intricate enough - involving our hero hanging upside-down and inching his way along a series of hooks suspended from the ceiling.

Each of the countries is depicted with famous landmarks and personalities. France, for example, features the Eiffel Tower and a rather manic-looking Touolouse Lautrec (Isn't he the editor of CCI?) chasing after you.

One of the iron curtain countries even features a cute-looking Gorbachev. My favourite country to visit was Luxembourg - with its famous radio station. Of course, our Mont couldn't refuse going along and introducting himself to the DJ's - puts on a record and starts break-dancing in front of you. Cute.

Switzerland is pretty impressive too - with its mountain car that carries Monty effortlessly through three screens of alpine terrain.

If Monty collects enough dosh and is successful in all his transactions he can journey to Greece to do the business at the Island brokers.

If he has enough money (you are not told exactly how much you need) he disappears off to his paradise isle with a girl on his arm. If he doesn't have enough, it's island jail time and start again.

And yes, the game does have a cheat mode but you wouldn't expect me to give that away in the review, now would you?

This is easily my favourite game of the moment. For a change, it's just a good bit of slapstick fun - a welcome relief from all the heavy mega-death shoot-'em-ups that are weighing down the software shelves at the moment.

Eugene Lacey

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