Saturday, March 31, 2018

Impossamole



Monty Mole made it onto the Atari ST!!

I loved Monty Mole on my ZX Spectrum so I had high expectations of Impossamole. However, I was soon shocked to see a number of critical changes had been made and not always for the better. Why do they do that?

There are five huge levels to explore and you can begin on any of the first four, the fifth is locked until these are completed. Each is very different with its own unique environment, bad guys and cruel traps. Weirdly, this is now a scrolling platformer rather than the original flick-screen as seen in most games from that era.

However, the most shocking of all is that Monty can now fight back using karate kicks and weapons. It's a nice idea if the kicks had much effect and the weapons were plentiful and fun to use. Guess what, neither works and having Monty suddenly turn into a Mole version of Chuck Norris doesn't fit in with the original theme.



At least there's no Arthur Scargill

My first game began as an exciting stroll through memory lane with many familiar sights through a similar mining environment. However, my fun ended thanks to the basic mechanics which failed miserably. Things might appear nice but each level is impossibly tricky with enemies that appear to know your every move - before you've made it.

Also, Monty only has one life and it's not long until a couple of monsters have zapped your energy bar and "Game Over" comes all too soon. Sure, Monty can try to fight back with his kicks but those legs are way too short to be useful. The weapons are a neat idea but they're too few and far between. Nice ideas, badly executed.

My thoughts? As I said earlier, fighting back not only doesn't work here but it goes against the grain of what makes a Monty Mole game. The weapons are rubbish and his kicks are too short - well - moles only have little legs! This whole concept feels like an idea bolted onto the game last minute. It does not work.



Impossible Mole!

It doesn't matter which level I chose to play, the name Impossamole lives up to the expectations of being literally impossible. Every level will need to be pre-played to learn all the unfair and irritating traps that make no sense. Not to mention the enemies which are often impossible to kill and can appear from nowhere too.

That might actually sound 'fair' for a platformer but it doesn't work; the weaponry isn't good enough and the overall difficulty is constantly off the scale. Terrible, and incessantly far too tough. Whoever beta tested this game and then thought to themselves, "yes, it's ready" needs to be shot. Okay, I'm 30 years late - but shoot him anyways!

Can you tell I am absolutely gutted that I'm whinging about a game I was really excited about?



Graphics and Sounds?

Visually, this is a beautiful game with each level looking absolutely incredible. The attention to detail is stunning with highly detailed levels, gorgeous sprites and everything moves along smoother than a hot knife in soft butter. To say it's impressive is an understatement because it's absolutely brilliant in every respect. I have zero complaints.

The scrolling... Well done @Andy Green!! Nailed it. No lame Amiga port here, folks.

The title music is a rendition of the Rob Hubbard classic and is chiptune magic. This is something I can leave playing in the background all night long. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the sound effects which are sparse.



The CryptO'pinion?

I really don't know what to make of Impossamole. Technically, it's well-programmed with great visuals and fantastic joystick controls. It appears to have it all. However, it's simply far too difficult thus infuriating and without any enjoyment. Fancy releasing a game that's no fun? That's literally the opposite Core needed to do...

Impossamole could easily have been another Rick Dangerous but, alas, it's the weakest Monty game in the entire series for any computer. I'm tempted to add Impossamole onto my list!! Arrrgh, I hated this game!!

If you're curious, then floppy disks can be found here with a hard disk version by D-Bug.

4 comments:

  1. Woah... nearly made the 'hate' list? D: I have fond memories of this, but only because I cheated something rotten and it became little more than a sight-seeing mission! :D

    Great write up as always, chap!

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    1. Once again I find myself apologising to you buddy. Didn't see this!
      Yeah it's essentially a great game but the one life thing kills it somewhat. At least for my gaming skills!! Ha
      Thanks

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  2. Great game, very hard without cheat. But still like playing it. Excellent title screen music.

    Played it recently on PC engine. A very different game. But still hard.

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    1. Just wait until you see the Box Art i will soon post... I may have been a little silly! :}

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