Monty on the Run

by Peter M. Harrap, David Bracher
Gremlin Graphics Software Ltd
Crash Issue 20, Sep 1985   page(s) 12,13

Producer: Gremlin Graphics
Memory Required: 48K
Retail Price: £6.95
Language: Machine code
Author: Peter Harrap

At last, the true successor to Wanted: Monty Mole, and Peter Harrap's evil sense of games humour is back at work. Whatever was mean in the first game, is now ten times so in this saga of prison escape for the hero mote. One noticable difference between the two games is that after his exertions in the prison gymnasium, Monty is now a very fit mole indeed and does all his jumping by somersaulting.

Graphically, the follow up is quite similar and there are the familiar combinations of platforms, building blocks, ropes and ladders. The Gremlin crushers are back as well, but some of them have an 'appalling' sense of timing. Added features are the teleport devices and the lifts. There are several of teleporters that fire beams of changing colours, and you have to work out which colour is the safe one that lets you walk through untransported. Of course, you may want to be teleported somewhere else on occasion, but not all exit points are desirable or safe! The 'safe' colour is different for each teleporter, and to make life worse, some of them change their colour after use. The lifts appear to offer a quick and useful means of going up or down, but one or two of them should be watched a bit closely because the cables aren't all that sound.

The basic object is to get Monty on board a boat sailing for France and away from the long arm of the British Law. Careless as people are, there are sovereigns lying around all over the place to be collected, but Monty also needs a lot of equipment to make good his escape. Here comes the adventure element; some of the objects are useful, others are a waste of time, and some are deadly if touched, although a number of the nastier items become less so if something else relevant has been collected earlier. This of course means having to retrace your precariously achieved steps a few times. In addition to the collectible items in the game itself, before you start the game, you may choose up to five of 21 objects which you think might help you in your quest - of course, you may choose badly, but you'll never know until it's too late.... The game starts off outside a house, but the ship isn't too far away, and it won't be sailing until all the correct items have been collected and safely stowed away at the bow and the engines prepared for sailing.

Monty on the Run is vastly bigger and more complex than Wanted: Monty Mole and contains many more inter-related elements which make it both a platform jumping game and one of skilled timing with adventure overtones. Also, it is only being released in October, so this is a very early review - but one that has been fully made from a completed production copy.


Control keys: Q Left, W right, Y-P up, H-ENTER Down, B-SPACE Jump/Fire
Joystick: Sinclair, Kempston, Cursor
Keyboard play: very responsive, pixel positioning
Use of colour: excellent
Graphics: well detailed and animated, varied, fast and smooth
Sound: good
Skill levels: 1, and pretty hard!
Lives: 6

What a brilliant game. I have never played Monty Mole and I am beginning to realise what I missed and why it was so popular. There are hundreds of screens gradually getting more difficult with progression. Every screen is as detailed as the last. There is a good idea on the beginning where Monty (you) can choose 5 tools to help him in the task. Choosing the wrong tools can be fatal. This idea, for me, gave the game the edge over a lot of other platform games. The High Score hall of fame has an ingenious idea of young Monty turning a handle to scroll the scores. All these little features go to form a platform game well worth taking a look at. Your money won't be wasted, and you won't be disappointed.

Wanted: Monty Mole was deservedly popular, and this new game offers a great deal more, much much more in fact. Monty's somersaulting is graphically excellent, very convincing as well as adding another skill element to the game, for his tumbling figure often makes it hard to squeeze between variously weaving nasties. In fact Monty on the Run is all about timing, and some of the situations take a lot of practice to get right. This is one of the very best of multi-screen platform games, with loads of screens, many different situations, gags and double crosses. I thought the lifts were marvellous, and the effect when Monty bites the dust under a crusher is quite spectacular. A map will be tough to get together and one is probably essential to complete the game, especially when it comes to remembering all those llttle items you didn't collect because there appeared to be no way of reaching them earlier. Excellent graphics, good sound, tough gameplay - in fact a great game.

Monty on the Run is similar to the original Monty game. This style is in my opinion better than some of the other Gremlin productions. I found Monty OTR very playable and addictive. The graphics were nice and smooth - somersaulting instead of just jumping seems to be the 'in' thing for this type of game. Monty does this with great ability.

Use of Computer: 89%
Graphics: 91%
Playability: 93%
Getting Started: 90%
Addictive Qualities: 95%
Value for Money: 95%
Overall: 94%

Summary: General Rating: A great improvement over last year's Best Platform Game.

Award: Crash Smash

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Crash Issue 70, Nov 1989   page(s) 49

£2.99 (rerelease)

Poor old Monty is still running, years after the game was first released back in 1986. If I remember rightly, when Monty On The Run first came out we ran a poster offer with Gremlin, and the screen telling readers all about it is still at the beginning of the Kixx tape. Please don't write in asking for your poster and badge though, because they ran out three years ago!

Monty On The Run's still an immensely playable game. The platforms and ladders idea is one that will never die, and this is one of the best games to use it. Monty Mole, star of many an adventure (see CRASH Megatape, Issue 65), has been locked up in prison which doesn't please him much. Not being one for small spaces he decides to escape, but things are not so easy. There's a 21 piece freedom kit to help him along his way, but he's only allowed five objects from it. If the wrong five are selected he'll get so far in his escape and run into trouble! Poor Monty!

Your quick thinking and arcade skills are tested to the full and the cartoon style aerobics are appealing. The game's packed with wide variety of colourful, animated nasties that move around each screen in a set pattern. It's best to spend some time studying the screen layout to try and find the best way through before you jump in feet first. The slightest touch of any nasty character and Monty is no more! If that wasn't hard enough there are such traps as broken lifts, crushing pistons and deadly water.

If you've never played Monty On The Run before you've got a real treat in store and hours of endless fun. Slightly aged, but still busting with playability.

Overall: 74%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 48, Dec 1989   page(s) 30



Another trip to the netherworld of cheapies with Mr Stingebucket himself, Marcus Berkmann! (Where's that cheque? MB)

Reviewer: Marcus Berkmann

Another splendid old game, this time a true platform-and-ladders arcade adventure with loads of pixel-perfect joystick control and general frustration and hair-tearing. Monty has escaped from jail, only to find that on the outside there are loads more platforms and ladders to be negotiated. To get through the trillions of well designed and often fiendishly hard screens, Monty needs to choose five items (from a large selection) for his "Freedom Kit", and anyone who keeps their old copies of YS should find a list of the right things to choose somewhere in an old Clinic (it's a regular request). Both the graphics and gameplay are streets ahead of the Jet Set Willy blueprint, upon which most of these games were originally based, and perhaps Monty's greatest challenge is to get past the coal crushers - white and grey whatnots that cruch anything between them. Trouble is, unlike everything else in the game, they're completely random, and it can be impossible to avoid being splatted. Some bits too require an awful lot of thought - on balance I'd say it's harder than Wanted: Monty Mole or Auf Wiedersehen Monty. And now here it is for £2.99. Worra bargain!

Overall: 81%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Spectrum Issue 20, Nov 1985   page(s) 54

Ross: For all the Monty Mole fans out there, this game continues his escapades, only this time, it all seems a little more difficult. You're gonna have to help little Monty escape the forces of Law and Order and get him on a boat bound for France!

The scenario of screens behind the talc of this cosmopolitan little rodent are similar to those in the original game. It's all platforms, ladders, ropes, and even those horrible 'crushers'. What's new are the transporters which flash on and off in spectacular multicolours, and you'll have to learn the colour code as quickly as possible if you want to pass through them safely. It's a bit like complicated traffic lights really...

You can kit Monty out with five assorted objects at the start, to set him up in life. You then have to collect gold coins, and use the objects, just as you did in the first Monty game. Your timing has to be pretty hot, and mapping is essential.

I'd say that this game has a higher fun factor than its predecessor especially since Monty has become more dynamic and has taken to leaps and somersaults rather than straight walking! This adds to the visual sparkle and keeps the adrenalin flowing. It's a goodie, try it! 9/10

Dougie: He flies through the air with the greatest of ease... Just another boring platform game? Rubbish! Give me that joystick back... 9/10

Rick: Not a bad rework on an old adventure. Monty seems to have developed a few more athletic tendencies though, so I won't be surprised if I end up with a headache after playing this one. 9/10

Ross: 9/10
Rick: 9/10
Dougie: 9/10

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 43, Oct 1985   page(s) 30

Publisher: Gremlin
Price: £7.95
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair

Innocent or not, Monty has escaped from gaol and plans to flee the country aboard a waiting ship in Monty on the Run. From the safe house he must get through the maze of tunnels and sewers, picking up cash and objects en route.

He needs cash for his new life and objects to help him through the dangers that lurk in the maze of platformed areas. Not all objects will help him - some are extremely dangerous to Monty and some completely useless.

Cash lies about the place - heavily guarded by nasty teapots - together with bouncing grandmother clocks, Hush Puppy dog lookalikes, machines which will flatten Monty and low flying insects. As he goes through each section the nasties become more bizarre.

Climbing up ropes, jumping across lakes and somersaulting onto platforms, are all within Monty's capabilities. Each of his skills are constantly tested throughout the game as the nasties stamp about after Monty.

The animated graphics are a great improvement on the early Monty games. No doubt the quality of this new game will ensure that we will see a mole lot more of Monty games.

Overall: 4/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Issue 26, Nov 1989   page(s) 115

Kixx, £2.99
Spectrum, C64, Amstrad

Up there with the best of platform games produced for the home systems. Monty has two main strengths - humour in abundance and a brilliant "Loony Tunes" style sound track. The aim of the game is get the recently escaped from Scudmore prison Monty safely out of the country on a channel tunnel before the cops catch up with him. Various items have to be collected and used if Monty is to succeed. The puzzles are intricate yet the game plays with great speed. All-time platform classic.

Overall: 4/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

C&VG (Computer & Video Games) Issue 49, Nov 1985   page(s) 15

MACHINE: Spectrum/C64
SUPPLIER: Gremlin Graphics
PRICE: £6.95 (Spec), £9.95 (64 cass), £11.95 (64 disc)

Justice put Monty Mole in prison but he escaped! Can YOU do justice in his bid for freedom?

The plot sets him in a safe house complete with an escape tunnel that leads into the sewers, other houses and onward to his final destination.

Gold coins along with both vital and deadly items are scattered about the locations. Monty must collect these taking care not to kill himself off should he pick up the wrong things. Jumping from platform to platform he can collect some of the objects and coins. Some are perched high above him or beyond brick walls - you must plan his route to them carefully.

The abundance of nasty floating masks, bodyless hands, balloons, dogs and machines capable of flattening him further complicate his route. He has five lives and, each time he gets knocked off, the game continues from whichever location he was last in.

Shinning up and down ropes and ladders gain him entry to new locations, but there are other ways!

The Spectrum and Commodore versions have been released almost together which presents us with a chance to dissect them both.

Well, the plot is the same. The graphics are virtually the same quality, though there are more flower pots and a C5 in the Commodore One!

However there is a big difference in the games - the sound. The Spectrum is not noted for its sound. The Commodore game explodes into life with the best sound we have yet encountered, it has a strong beat that draws even Monty to sway in time to the tune.

The game is a great test of timing requiring lots of thought to work your way through the locations without getting stuck. All the locations contain some of the hazards but they also have unique touches added like telephone box lookalikes, lifts or beam-me-up-Scotty machines and fighting off the nasties is impossible fun!

Monty on the Run is a worthy successor to the excellent Monty is Innocent. If you're a climbing game fanatic then this is the game should get - it's what Jet Set Wily II should have been.

Don't let your best friend borrow it - you will never get it back!

Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 8/10
Value: 10/10
Playability: 10/10

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Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 8/10
Value: 10/10
Playability: 10/10
Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Playability: 10/10

Award: C+VG Blitz Game

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ZX Computing Issue 22, Dec 1985   page(s) 63

Gremlin Graphics

Another in the Monty Mole series. In this game he has to escape by travelling through many devious and delightful screens of pure frustration. It seems too simple to describe it as another platform game, but it is. Added to the usual problem of carefully timed jumps is the sneaky device of having to choose and take with you five items of equipment from a selection of 21 objects before you begin an attempt. Get one wrong and you find yourself stuck and unable to get any further.

The screens are well designed to provide just the right level of difficulty, the animation is good - I loved Monty's somersaulting jumps - and key response is very good.

My only moan is that collision detection seems to be by attributes and this often gives the impression that you have avoided some malignant sprite only to find Monty expiring in front of you. With 43 screens this should keep his fans happy and probably gain him a few new ones. One of the better programs of this type.

Graphics: 4/5
Addictiveness: 5/5
Overall: 4/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Crash Issue Annual 2018   page(s) 59

As the Crash annuals are still for sale ZXSR has taken the decision to remove all review text, apart from reviewer names and scores from the database. A backup has been taken of the review text which is stored offsite. The review text will not be included without the express permission of the Annuals editorial team/owners.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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