Retail Price: £7.95
The good life is over for Monty the chubby mole. Having escaped from prison to a hideaway in Gibraltar, the villainous burrower from Monty on the Run finds that he's no longer safe from the attentions of Intermole, the international crime fighting organisation.
Monty's only hope of salvation lies on a Greek island, but only if he can acquire sufficient monies to buy it. Before he can do that the rascally digger must pass through Europe, performing at least one task in each of its nations. The continent consists of 80 platform-filled screens. These can be slippery or sticky; disappear beneath the mole's paws; blow him into the air or allow him to go walkabout on their undersides.
Monty moves left and right, and travels upwards by bouncing or using ladders. As he progresses, the scratching scoundrel comes across items to help him to complete the required tasks, these include airline tickets and even the Mona Lisa. Such objects must be picked up (by walking into them) and taken to the right place before they can be of use. Up to four of these articles can be carried at any one time, with these displayed at the bottom left of the screen.
Money is gathered in the form of lost Eurocheques, or earned whenever Monty completes a dodgy bit of business. Points are also scored, and a further six lives acquired, by picking up objects. Mr Mole's account is displayed at the bottom centre of the screen, with the points total to its left.
If this excavating escapee is ever to possess his Greek molehill, there are hazards which he must overcome or avoid. Monty isn't a good swimmer, and can drown in water, ball bouncing beasts brain him, flying hamburgers finish him off, and bottles of drink intoxicate him. Initially the mole has six lives, with those remaining displayed at the bottom of the screen.
Air tickets let you into the Air Terminals, from here you can fly to another location and straight into a dog-fight with the Intermole airforce. Clock up the points and broken baddies by shearing off the Intermole tailplanes.
Only when every task in the game has been completed, every Eurocheque collected and Monty's Swiss bank account number discovered, can the money be called safe and the island purchased. That done, our hero can toast his future and look out for a gangster's mole.
Control keys: Q left, W right, P up, L down
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interlace 2
Use of colour: a multitude of colours with few clashes
Graphics: familiar Monty Mole style
Sound: a happy title tune and adequate spot effects - 128 version contains nice music throughout
Skill levels: one
Auf Weidersehen Monty is written in Pete Harrap's usual style, instantly recognisable from the graphics and the infuriating puzzles. As usual, it's a case of learning how to complete each screen in the best way before progressing - it isn't always possible to return to a screen below the present one. A planned route is essential if you're going to get anywhere as just launching into a screen and hoping to do well is rarely effective. I'm quite happy with this, and wouldn't object to paying out the eight quid asking.
It's been a long time coming, but the latest in the Monty series contains all the attractive points of its predecessors. Monty has had some great moves added to his repertoire - the diving is especially superb. The countries contain distinctive scenic elements (such as the Eiffel Tower), but the screens don't possess any real individual characteristics - for instance there's no Spaniards walking around the place or oranges on the trees in the Spanish section. Auf Weidersehen Monty is very playable - basically more of the same with a few extra screens.
It's been quite a while since there's been a platform game of this quality bouncing around, so it makes a pleasant change from the continuous flow of arcade adventures and shoot 'em ups that seem to be filling the review pages recently. Some may moan that it's the same as the rest of the series, but I think that it's a good buy; colourful, smooth, attractive graphics, lots of different screens, and an interesting and addictive game design.
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