Wanted: Monty Mole on the Commodore 64 is somewhat different to the ZX Spectrum version, although it does try to follow the spirit of the original.
You play as Monty, a mole who must explore a huge mine in search of, well, coal.
Wanted: Monty Mole was a game inspired by the Miner’s strike of 1983-84, so the images of miners and Arthur Scargill (the miner’s union leader) were very much topical at the time.
Programmer Tony Crowther‘s interpretation of Pete Harrap‘s original is weird. This C64 version is even more unforgiving and archaic than the original, which is saying something. The screen scrolls as you explore, climbing up and down ropes and jumping over moving platforms. You only get one life, and an energy bar that depletes if you get hurt. Standing in the same place for too long is not advisable either as it usually results in something falling on you and killing you. Falling causes damage too – even a small distance. This is definitely a game from the early days of gaming history…
On the title screen it says “written over a three month period…” which wasn’t enough in my opinion. Tony Crowther has written some good games in his time, but this isn’t one of them. Monty Mole on the Commodore 64 should have been a lot better.
The sequel, Monty On The Run, is ironically better known on the C64 because of the famous Rob Hubbard soundtrack.