Sunday, June 04, 2017

Monster Business

Monster Business is a fun-themed platformer released in 1991 by Eclipse and produced by incredibly talented people which you may know from the ST scene. As storylines go, this one is a Christmas cracker!! Crazed "mad meanies" have been loosed from their forest habitat and are pinching valuable items from Mr Bob's construction site. You are (wait for it) Leroy the beast buster and must help Bob by blowing up all the invaders. Yep, the situation sounds like total diarrhoea but we should still help Bob because we are the beast buster of Tin Town!

Each level follows a repetitive design of platforms and slippy slides that become more complex as you progress. Hop from ledge to ledge and chase these animals but, one touch and you're as dead as a dodo. Thankfully, you are armed with an air-pump weapon to inflate our furry friends for a slow and cruel death which is nothing short of hilarious! Only then will they slowly float away, which you can speed along by giving them a nudge. This zips them off the screen to leave behind their stolen goodies and, if you're lucky, they might drag along some live animals.

There are lots of levels but Monster Business soon feels repetitive and, to make matters worse, there is an imposing time limit which is far too severe. It's not all bad news because 2-players are supported, I only wish it was for co-op. Joystick controls are spritely and I like how there are two height levels to jump, depending how long you push upwards. Repeatably pressing the fire button activates your weapon and I appreciated the auto-fire function.

The graphics are lovely with humorous sprites and smooth vertical scrolling. Each character is superbly drawn and I dare anyone not to laugh when they first see that ginormous duck waddle across their screen! The attention to detail throughout is gorgeous and I love the animal expressions, the title screen made from animals, and bursting to float off into heaven...

Audio is equally as impressive as the visuals (if not more so) with a superlative range of gorgeous chiptunes. Each one is literally a jaw-droppingly stunning experience and goes beyond any expectations I had. I believe all are by Laurens Tummers, aka Lotus, and you should prepare to be blown away into chiptune heaven! The sound effects are also superb but are completely overshadowed by the stunning music. This is pure glam and certainly pleasing to both the eyes & ears!!

Blowing-up animals is shockingly entertaining and I guarantee that you will be foot tapping to the gorgeous music whilst on the hunt for prey. However, its weakness is the lack of variety so long-term playability suffers. Monster Business isn't a bad game but it's best with friends and I guarantee it will have you giggling like school children!!


 - 8BitChip has a version which can be installed onto your hard drive.
 - Those who prefer a floppy disk version should try Syndicate #26 via Stonish.
 - SNDH Record has MP3's of the chiptunes by Lotus.

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