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Monty on the Run

Follow the white mole.

It's all about timing, though the elements of chance and fortune shouldn't be overlooked in this Monty: Wanted sequel. The mole is back and once again on a mission to outwit the authorities and tip-toe his way to precarious freedom.

Many games around this period were keen to incorporate relevant current affair elements into their themes in order to engage players and add a little extra dimension (and a whole heap of surrealist humour). After his daring jail break, Monty Mole is once again in flight after getting involved in the miner's strike and incurring the relentless wrath of the Iron Lady's militaristic, fascist police force. His only hope lies on a boat to France, and salvation. The sly, anarchic undertones infused into Monty's life were a source of much delight, and while they may not be quite so relevant now, their inclusion provides a wonderful, forgotten reminder of the world as we saw it in 1985.

Getting to the ferry port is no small task, and constitutes the somersaulting, fat mammal's main purpose. The enormity of the map and complexity of the puzzles and environments ultimately harm the otherwise invigorating, explorative gameplay and is furthered hampered by the attempted inclusion of a momentum-sapping anti-piracy system. The many objects available to help and hinder poor Monty (five of which are chosen before the game even commences) had to be deciphered using the instruction card, while teleports were confusingly and randomly colour coded to determine their intent.

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Ultimately, this overly paranoid approach to software theft prevention did no favours to what would be a massive and prolific platformer, but the increased scope of games like Monty on the Run were exactly what mid-80s gamers demanded; expanding the boundaries of 8-bit possibility to an unfathomable degree, and to that end, Monty must be applauded.

7 /10

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Spanner Spencer

Spanner Spencer

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