Old-timers may recall Montezuma's Revenge, the famed 8-bit action/adventure game that graced home computers in the mid-'80s. Now Montezuma Max is back, sporting an all-new 3D look and dozens of hours of gameplay. Exploring Aztec ruins from a first-person Quake-style perspective, you battle tigers, dragonflies, giant rats, Aztec warriors, and more all without the aid of a weapon. There are no guns and no blood in this game, so you'll have to rely on your fists, your reflexes, and your quick thinking to solve the puzzles and get out alive.
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The year is 1348 and the Aztec war is near an end. King Montezuma's army has been defeated by the invading Spaniards and his empire has crumbled. (Editor's note: Yes, we know the Spaniards didn't come to Mexico until 1502. We've sent a note to WizardWorks.) Montezuma hides his treasures deep beneath the ground under the Aztec grand temple. In desperation, he assembles his greatest sorcerers together and instructs them to place a curse upon the land which contains the treasure. From that day and for ten thousand years forward, anyone who set foot on this ground would be stricken with the wrath of the curse.
Flash forward to 1998: The adventurer, Max Montezuma (the only surviving direct descendant of the legendary Aztec king), returns to the land of his ancestors to claim the treasure as its rightful heir.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
Montezuma’s Return is not your typical first-person game. It is not a shooter, but instead a true adventure game with some action thrown in. It reminds me of Mario Brothers with better graphics and a more realistic environment. You can expect to do a lot of jumping and not much fighting. Some of the puzzles can be downright tricky.
Controlling Max can be a chore sometimes because he does not want to go straight. If you have a tendency to hold a joystick at an angle, you are in for one frustrating game. He also likes to run a little further than he is supposed to. But that is what makes the game so interesting, because when you are going down a slope we all know that you cannot just stop on a dime and do a double lindy off the edge. It makes the game more realistic in that manner.
When fighting the monsters in the game, I found it was best to get behind them and then kick them in the rear end. If you go toe-to-toe with these guys, expect to get stomped on because this game does not have any weapons for you to use. Only your two hands and feet are going to get you through this adventure.
The graphics for Montezuma’s Return are the best I have seen in a game since Unreal. They are simply amazing even in the software mode. If you have a graphics accelerator card, you will be pleasantly surprised as to how much detail was put into this game.
The torches give off a beautiful glow and everything seems to shimmer from it. The reflections off some of the metallic surfaces made me think I was actually looking at a real chrome piece.
The thing that really impressed me about the graphics was the fact that my computer never bogged down once the whole time I played. And believe me, my son and I have been playing this game a lot!
The music for the game sets the correct mood and definitely enhances the gameplay. It reminds me of Ricky Ricardo on steroids. You have the bongos and all the other Caribbean-style tunes pounding out a beat.
Room For Improvement
We all know that there are very few games without room for improvement, and Montezuma’s Return is not one of them.
There is no save game option. There are times when the game gets pretty hairy and you are not really sure how you got through the last room. Being able to save where you are would save a lot of time in that you wouldn’t have to start all over again. Then again, if you did have a save game option, the game would only have taken me a few hours to complete, so I guess WizardWorks did the right thing by not putting one in.
Another thing that would have been nice to have would be a difficulty setting option. I myself had a blast playing the game at the current level of difficulty, but my five-year-old son is having a bit of a problem beating some of the monsters in the game.
Pentium 133, Windows 95/98, DirectX compatible video and sound cards, CD-ROM drive, 16 MB RAM, 25 MB hard drive space, mouse
The documentation for Montezuma’s Return is adequate. The game is easy to set up and play, so I feel that the documentation really isn’t a factor at all.
The first time I played Montezuma’s Return, I expected it to be like any other first-person shooter. Boy, was I wrong! This game is simply the most entertaining game my son and I have ever played together. If you are looking for a game that is not violent and a lot of fun, this is the game for you. There are plenty of puzzles and action to attract people from different genres as well. If you can spare about $20, own a computer and have a pulse, this is a must buy.
Now if I can only talk Santa into bringing me a second computer for my son so I can get back to playing on mine...