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Monkey Magic

Title: Monkey Magic
Programmer: John Shay
Publisher: Solar Software
Year: 1985
Language: English
Genre: Shoot-em-up

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>1D74 3# – Starting number of lives (1-9)
>29A0 AD – Unlimited lives
G 11E0 – Restart game

High Score Challenge

Review by SixteenPlus

Based on the classic japanese TV show I enjoyed watching over evening meal as a kid after school. You are Monkey, sent on a perilous quest to retrieve some holy scriptures. The objective is to guide Monkey on his magic cloud blasting enemies which swarm in his path. Erm, that’s it. Now on with the review…

Once the game loads, you see the animated face of Monkey silently telling you of your quest as the words form below. The subtitle dubbing looks more convincing than the TV show’s dubbed english voice-overs. OK so far.

So onto the game. What you basically have here is your standard old fashioned blaster. The scrolling mountain backdrop is nice and colourful, although it’s like that repeat animation backdrop sequence you see in cartoons where the same bit of scenery just scrolls over and over ad-infinitum. Still it looks pretty enough.

The Monkey sprite is rather cool and controlling him is easy in all 8 directions. A drawback though is that there are only 4 short relatavely easy attack waves which repeats over without any increase in difficulty.

Monkey is also restricted to only shooting left and right and there are no powerups. The enemies look OK although I have no idea what they’re supposed to be, they also don’t fire back in return.

The sound is just about bearable whilst turned down low. Monkey’s high-pitched bullets are enough to make a dog howl.

The first 2 attack waves are in a Galaxian style where a swarm come flying in for the kill and always follow their same particular pattern before disappearing off screen, easy enough. The final 2 waves they come at you from the left and slowly disappear off to the right, with a slight increase in difficulty.

Once you complete the 4 waves it just repeats over again with no final victory to the game despite saying ‘Your quest has failed’ after all your lives are vanquished. So no victorious end to Monkey’s quest for the scriptures which will always elude him. A Fools errand.

But in fairness it is an OK game and it’s quite fun for a quick blast for the hi-score.

Presentation: 6
Nice title screen with Monkey animatingly miming along with the text. Clear crisp game display. Keyboard/joystick controls. Hi-score status, but no powerups with only 4 short attack waves.
Graphics: 6
Nice and colourful character graphics with a matching repeated mountain backdrop which all runs fluidly set on a black background.
Sound: 3
An ear-splitting bullet sound which is best turned down low, plus a couple of simple spot sound effects.
Playability: 7
Just a standard straightforward blaster that’s easy enough to just to pick up and play.
Lasting Appeal: 5
But the relatavely 4 short easy attack waves with no extra weapons may grow a little tiresome.
Overall: 5
An enjoyable enough blast limited by a lack of variety may provide some enjoyment for the odd 15 minutes.


Categorized as: Games | Reviews

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