Personal Computer News22nd September 1984
Published in Personal Computer News #079
WANTED: MONTY MOLE
The miners' strike will have made somebody some money if this strife-inspired game gets the success it deserves.
Monty Mole is so desperate for coal that he carries out a daring raid on his local pit. Monty grabs a bucket and proceeds to cope with the various hazards involved in this enterprise. The perils he must face include flying pickets, coal crushers, drills, hair sprays and, if you hadn't guessed it from the latter, King Arthur himself.
To the tune of Colonel Bogey, Wanted: Monty Mole begins above ground, at the entrance to a coal mine. Monty is a chubby, black mole who can toddle, leap and, unusually for such a creature, shin up and down ropes and pipes.
On the far side of the screen is a steaming bucket which someone has left outside the pithead office. Monty needs the bucket to collect his coal and to get it, he must leap across an incompletely bridged pool. He must also avoid being beaned by a red squirrel mischievously dropping nuts the size of boulders from a nearby oak.
As soon as Monty grabs the bucket, a burly miner pops out of the office in pursuit of Monty who must escape back the way he came and on to the next screen. Monty turns white on subsequent screens - and so will you when you see what you're up against.
Monty has three lives. Whenever one is lost, a few bars of "Abide With Me" play before you get going again. On the first screen, this is a little annoying as it slows the pace down. On other screens, the music thankfully finishes much sooner.
The rest of the game consists of a series of Jet Set Willy-type screens where the challenge is to collect coal and find a way through to another screen. According to the inlay, there are 21 levels in all, enough to keep you occupied for quite some time.
Various objects cause Monty no end of trouble. Flying hairsprays, moving platforms, mobile drills, mole-eating fish, candles, bricks, swords, ghosts, miners' helmets and an underground railway are all waiting for Monty to make just one false move.
Although I never got there, the game is reputed to contain Arthur's castle wherein sits a fiery figure seated on a graphite throne - remember, this isn't Camelot.
Gremlin Graphics has also released a version of Monty Mole for the Commodore 64 but apart from the first screen, it could almost be a different game, so unalike are the screens and content.
Both versions have lively graphics and animation and, in true platforms and puzzles tradition, are good entertainment.