Impossamole


by CORE Design Ltd: Barry Leitch
Gremlin Graphics Software Ltd
1990
Sinclair User Issue 99, May 1990   page(s) 20

Impossamole? Unfairamole more like. Gremlin's latest and long awaited instalment in the Monty series features some really rather unnecessarily difficult bits.

By far the worst offender, deserving a good back-room mattress stomping from the Gaming Police are the Deadly Bats of Ultimate Death. These apparently innocent creatures flap about and fire bullets at you. No ordinary bullets these. In fact, they seem to follow entirely different rules to everything else in the game. Instead of draining your energy, as even the most deadly and enormous foes do, they kill you outright on their first contact. Game Over. No second chances.

There really isn't any excuse for such flaws in game design. It simply looks as if the pre-prod game was examined, deigned to be too easy and these leathery nemeses were inserted as half an after-thought.

Later levels feature other equally deadly beasts, and while some are more decently positioned, this sort of instant game ending strikes me as a bit unfair.

Moat of the game, though, is perfectly enjoyable in a slightly routine sort of way. Your aim is to explore the undeniably large levels of a dangerous land in search of cash. To cope with the denizens of the world you're exploring, you're equipped - at various stages of play - with bombs, a bazooka and, if the worst comes to the worst, your bare paws. You've also got a super weapon which kills every foe on your current screen. Needless to say, these are few and far between.

As far as I could tell, there's no way of telling how many bombs/bazooka rockets you've got left. This, inevitably will have you in many a tricky situation, utterly and unexpectedly cornered.

And another thing. I know that the Mole games are set in mystical magical worlds and I realize it would be pedantic and petty to expect absolute realism, but some things are still a little queer; why is the mole bigger than a human? Why do virtually all characters need to be shot twice (some even five times) with a Bazooka before they lie down? And why, when jumping, do you continually fall off ledges which you clearly reach?

If you're a fan of the genre, then Impossamole may be right down your tunnel. It offers a stiff challenge, full of colourful graphics, and the sort of hop, skip and jump progress which requires meticulous planning. Personally, I found it a bit of a drudge.

Label: Gremlin
Price: £8.95
Reviewer: Jim Douglas


Graphics: 80%
Sound: 68%
Playability: 70%
Lastability: 70%
Overall: 74%

Summary: Nice break from humourless death and destruction. Bit low on the thrill front.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 116, October 1991   page(s) 40,41

{The review text has been taken from Issue 117 - this review was unintelligible, presumably in the magazine also given the truly awful colours chosen - black text on a black background!}

Sega has Sonic the Hedgehog, Nintendo has Mario and the Spectrum has... Impossamole!

Monty the mole is back! Back into active service on budget and ready to combat evil in a sprawling, graphic, platform adventure.

The most recent of line of Monty releases, Impossamole has Monty's with superpowers, given to him by aliens before sending him on a mission to defeat the Five Guardians and re-take the sacred scrolls of eternal life.

There are five levels to explore spanning forests, iceland and underground caverns etc, all infested with various infuriating and varied hazards - from homing bats and robots to little old men and unidentifiable beasties.

And staying alive in this onslaught is not easy with only one life represented by a meter at the top of the screen that can only be topped up by the all too infrequent pick ups. A time limited special weapon can be used to clear the screen and lots of not so special bombs, rocket launchers and guns can be found behind trees.

As with most platform games the mission is almost immaterial as precedence is always given to staying alive which is extremely hard to do. Controls are very sluggish and only lots of practice will see you through.

Impossamole is still fun and looks great, with some excellent use of colour. The option to load up any one of four out of the five levels means the repetitiveness created by the difficulty is almost overcome. A strong product with lasting appeal.

Label: Gremlin
Memory: 48K/128K
Price: £3.99 Tape, N/A Disk
Reviewer: Steve Keen


Graphics: 84%
Sound: 70%
Playability: 70%
Lastability: 79%
Overall: 80%

Summary: If you want a real platforming challenge you can't get much tougher than this. A whole lotta mole!

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 117, November 1991   page(s) 50

{Presumably this is a re-print of the unintelligible mess of the review text that was in the previous issue. It has the same scores and overall outcome so it must be presumed it's just a re-print.}

Sega has Sonic the Hedgehog, Nintendo has Mario and the Spectrum has... Impossamole!

Monty the mole is back! Back into active service on budget and ready to combat evil in a sprawling, graphic, platform adventure.

The most recent of line of Monty releases, Impossamole has Monty's with superpowers, given to him by aliens before sending him on a mission to defeat the Five Guardians and re-take the sacred scrolls of eternal life.

There are five levels to explore spanning forests, iceland and underground caverns etc, all infested with various infuriating and varied hazards - from homing bats and robots to little old men and unidentifiable beasties.

And staying alive in this onslaught is not easy with only one life represented by a meter at the top of the screen that can only be topped up by the all too infrequent pick ups. A time limited special weapon can be used to clear the screen and lots of not so special bombs, rocket launchers and guns can be found behind trees.

As with most platform games the mission is almost immaterial as precedence is always given to staying alive which is extremely hard to do. Controls are very sluggish and only lots of practice will see you through.

Impossamole is still fun and looks great, with some excellent use of colour. The option to load up any one of four out of the five levels means the repetitiveness created by the difficulty is almost overcome. A strong product with lasting appeal.

Label: Gremlin
Memory: 48K/128K
Price: £3.99 Tape, N/A Disk
Reviewer: Steve Keen


Graphics: 84%
Sound: 70%
Playability: 70%
Lastability: 79%
Overall: 80%

Summary: If you want a real platforming challenge you can't get much tougher than this. A whole lotta mole!

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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