SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring ‘The Monty Mole Collection’, Plus New Releases and Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for January 4th, 2023. It’s Thursday, and that normally means we have a lot of new games to look at. Not today, though! Today we have a whopping three new releases, and one of them is of highly dubious quality. That means I have another review for you, this time looking at The Monty Mole Collection. After that, we go through those new releases such as they are, then head over to the lists of new and outgoing sales. Let’s get to what we’ve got!

Reviews & Mini-Views

The Monty Mole Collection ($6.99)

While this was just announced for release next week in its home region of Europe, the rest of the world got this collection of classic computer platformers about a month back. I don’t talk about it a lot, but my first game machine of any kind I had at home was a Commodore 64. As such, I buy pretty much any Commodore 64 game that pops up on the eShop if only out of pure nostalgia. Not that any of these games are the ones I played on there, mind you. The North American and European software libraries for the Commodore 64 were very different beasts, I’ve come to learn.

Anyway, Monty Mole. I first played one of these games in the iOS Spectaculator app, which I think we can agree may not be the ideal way to play a highly challenging series of action games. I think it was Monty on the Run, because I remember that banging tune that plays during the game. At any rate, it seemed fine even if I couldn’t make much headway with it. With that in mind, it wasn’t difficult for me to fork over the seven bucks to grab this collection when it popped up on the eShop.

You get around half of the series here, with Wanted: Monty Mole (Spectrum and C64 versions), Monty on the Run (Spectrum and C64), Auf Wiedersehen Monty (Spectrum and C64), Moley Christmas (Spectrum), and Sam Stoat: Safebreaker (Spectrum). No Monty is Innocent or Impossamole. I believe the latter has some rights issues around it, but I don’t know why the former was left out. Maybe because it’s a bit of an oddball? Honestly, I was a little impressed that both Spectrum and C64 versions were included for most of the games. That’s a nice bonus.

The games play fairly well given their vintage, though they are very difficult by and large. I didn’t enjoy the C64 Wanted: Monty Mole, which is the one case of the Spectrum and C64 versions being extremely different from each other, as much as the rest of the platformers. Sam Stoat: Safebreaker can go fall into the abyss for all I care. Still, that means there are four rather enjoyable games on offer here. You get some basic display options, save states, and a wildly useful rewind feature. Nothing fancy, but it has what you need.

What it doesn’t have is any extra supplemental material for the games. You get what I think are the covers for each game, plus a brief description. No instructions, no explanations of what these games mean in a historical sense, or anything like that. These aren’t the most complicated of games, but it would have been nice to have a little something to establish some context. Also, Sam Stoat: Safebreaker really needs some directions. I had to look up instructions on the web to sort out how it worked. Likely not an issue for those who played these forty years ago, but those of us coming in somewhat fresh could use a little more to go on.

The Monty Mole Collection should please some of the largely underserved fans of classic microcomputer platforms. It’s a bit threadbare in some ways, but there are enough features here to enjoy this bag of Monty games as best as they can be in the here and now. I wish there was more in the way of extra materials, but I suppose they can’t all be Gold Masters. It’s also unfortunate that this falls just shy of being a full set of Monty games. In the end, what’s here is worth the asking price as long as you’re cool with platformers of this vintage.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

New Releases

The Spy Who Shot Me ($7.99)

This first-person shooter is a parody of James Bond and Bond games from the 1990s. You know which ones, I’m sure. It even throws in some weird mini-game levels to break up the shooting action. It’s more interested in being an amusing send-up than a good game, but for the price I think Bond fans at least will get a kick out of it. Just be ready for some serious frustration if you actually plan on finishing it.

Arcade Archives Mighty Guy ($7.99)

Once upon a time, back in 1986, there was a guy. A Mighty Guy. He was such a Mighty Guy that he decided to punch, kick, and psychoblast his way to the evil computer Zelda and destroy it to save us all. You can live the chronicles of that Mighty Guy in this reissue of the Nichbutsu “classic”. Those who enjoy the weirder entries in the Arcade Archives line, come and pick up your game.

The Bin Bunch

Forbidden Ghost Photo ($3.99)


(North American eShop, US Prices)

A lot more going out than coming in today, but I suppose we could all use a break for our wallets’ sake. Eschatos and Parasite Pack are my recommendations in the inbox, while over in the outbox the Spelunky games and some of the S-Tribute releases are worth picking up. Check those lists carefully!

Select New Sales

Backbeat ($17.49 from $24.99 until 1/10)
Hexagroove Tactical DJ ($13.99 from $19.99 until 1/10)
Eschatos ($16.19 from $26.99 until 1/18)
Catmaze ($3.99 from $9.99 until 1/18)
Intrepid Izzy ($5.49 from $10.99 until 1/18)
Parasite Pack ($3.19 from $7.99 until 1/18)
Long Live The Queen ($3.99 from $9.99 until 1/18)
Ninja or Die: Shadow of the Sun ($9.74 from $14.99 until 1/18)
Super Brawl Rush ($2.99 from $4.99 until 1/18)
Seduce Me: The Complete Story ($5.99 from $9.99 until 1/18)
Gastro Force ($4.19 from $6.99 until 1/18)
Save Room ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/18)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, January 5th

Abarenbo Tengu & Zombie Nation ($5.99 from $11.99 until 1/5)
Akai Katana Shin ($20.99 from $29.99 until 1/5)
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX ($3.99 from $19.99 until 1/5)
Another World Mahjong Girl ($7.49 from $9.99 until 1/5)
Aragami 2 ($15.99 from $39.99 until 1/5)
Ashina: The Red Witch ($5.99 from $9.99 until 1/5)
Avenging Spirit ($2.99 from $5.99 until 1/5)
Batsugun Saturn Tribute Boosted ($17.99 from $29.99 until 1/5)
Blair Witch ($7.49 from $29.99 until 1/5)
Bone Marrow ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/5)
Bounty Battle ($2.49 from $24.99 until 1/5)
Bramble: The Mountain King ($14.99 from $29.99 until 1/5)
Bridge Constructor Portal ($1.99 from $14.99 until 1/5)
Bridge Constructor Ultimate ($1.99 from $14.99 until 1/5)
Buildings Have Feelings Too ($1.99 from $19.99 until 1/5)
Bulldozer Tycoon: Construction Simulator ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/5)

Chained Echoes ($18.74 from $24.99 until 1/5)
Cleopatra Fortune S-Tribute ($8.99 from $14.99 until 1/5)
Cloudpunk ($4.99 from $24.99 until 1/5)
Cotton 2: Saturn Tribute ($8.99 from $17.99 until 1/5)
Cotton Boomerang: Saturn Tribute ($8.99 from $17.99 until 1/5)
CrossCode ($5.99 from $19.99 until 1/5)
Cry Babies Magic Tears: The Big Game ($19.99 from $39.99 until 1/5)
Curse Crackers: For Whom the Belle Toils ($9.00 from $15.00 until 1/5)
Darker Skies ($2.69 from $17.99 until 1/5)
Death Becomes You ($3.99 from $7.99 until 1/5)
Deathrun TV ($2.24 from $14.99 until 1/5)
Deathsmiles I-II ($27.99 from $39.99 until 1/5)
Deathtrap Dungeon Trilogy ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/5)
Dr. Fetus’ Mean Meat Machine ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/5)

Elevator Action Returns S-Tribute ($8.99 from $14.99 until 1/5)
Embraced By Autumn ($11.39 from $18.99 until 1/5)
FerroSlug ($2.26 from $5.67 until 1/5)
Foreclosed ($2.99 from $19.99 until 1/5)
Fresh Start ($9.99 from $19.99 until 1/5)
Game Tengoku CruisinMix Special ($8.97 from $29.99 until 1/5)
Gleylancer ($3.49 from $6.99 until 1/5)
Guardian Force: Saturn Tribute ($8.99 from $17.99 until 1/5)
Gynoug ($3.49 from $6.99 until 1/5)
Hirilun ($7.99 from $9.99 until 1/5)
Knight Squad 2 ($8.99 from $14.99 until 1/5)
Lost Epic ($8.99 from $17.99 until 1/5)
Morbid: The Seven Acolytes ($3.74 from $24.99 until 1/5)
Moto Roader MC ($3.49 from $6.99 until 1/5)
Mrs Cat Between Worlds ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/5)

Mugen Souls Z ($31.99 from $39.99 until 1/5)
Nape Retroverse Collection ($2.79 from $6.99 until 1/5)
Necrosmith ($1.99 from $7.99 until 1/5)
No Place Like Home ($12.49 from $24.99 until 1/5)
Omen of Sorrow ($12.99 from $19.99 until 1/5)
Package Inc ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/5)
PAWfectly Designed ($1.99 from $19.99 until 1/5)
Ping Pong Arcade ($3.74 from $14.99 until 1/5)
Pumpkin Jack ($7.49 from $29.99 until 1/5)
Puzzle Bobble/Bust-A-Move S-Tribute ($8.99 from $14.99 until 1/5)
Rainbow Skies ($12.99 from $19.99 until 1/5)
Rogue Glitch Ultra ($9.59 from $11.99 until 1/5)
Rytmos ($6.00 from $15.00 until 1/5)
SENSEs: Midnight ($9.74 from $14.99 until 1/5)
Sephonie ($9.99 from $19.99 until 1/5)

Slaycation Paradise ($3.99 from $19.99 until 1/5)
Spells & Secrets ($20.99 from $29.99 until 1/5)
Spelunky ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/5)
Spelunky 2 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 1/5)
Super Mabus Mania ($3.15 from $7.89 until 1/5)
The Bridge Curse: Road to Salvation ($19.49 from $29.99 until 1/5)
Time on Frog Island ($6.24 from $24.99 until 1/5)
Truberbrook ($1.99 from $29.99 until 1/5)
UNBOX: Newbie’s Adventure ($2.99 from $29.99 until 1/5)
Vaporum ($2.49 from $24.99 until 1/5)
Venba ($11.24 from $14.99 until 1/5)
WarriOrb ($1.99 from $12.99 until 1/5)
Working Hard Collection ($2.49 from $4.99 until 1/5)

That’s all for today, friends. This is where I would normally say that I’ll be back tomorrow with the remaining releases of the week and such, but to be frank, I’m not sure if I will be or not. I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow and I might end up being hospitalized again, and if that happens, I won’t be back again for a bit. I sincerely hope to be writing for you all tomorrow, though. Have a thrilling Thursday, and as always, thanks for reading!

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