Monuments of Mars (DOS)

Monuments of Mars DOS Title


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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39505)
Written on  :  Aug 13, 2009
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

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Visit Mars in all its four-color glory

The Good

NASA has sent a series of astronauts to explore the mysterious monuments of Mars, but the astronauts have not returned, resulting in failure of the mission. NASA wants to know why, so they send you to discover the secrets of the monuments and find out what happened to each astronaut.

The Monument of Mars plays the same as Apogee's two other CGA games, Arctic Adventure and Pharaoh's Tomb. Your character has to go through 80 levels, spread over four episodes, making you way to the exit and shooting aliens with your pistol. The pistol has a limited amount of ammo, so jumping over enemies is necessary in some situations. (Retrieving an red ammo pack gives you three more shots.)

Controlling the character is easy; from the menu, you can select from a series of control methods, finally selecting the one that feels sits comfortably with you. One of the enemies looks like a Yorp, a tribute to the first three Commander Keen games. But unlike its CK cousin, this one is deadly.

There are some amazing features built into the game, like both horizontal and vertical force fields, which you have to turn off using their respective switches; exit doors that require a keycard to open; and blocks that fall down and trap you or help you get to platforms unreachable by foot. These features add to the challenge of the game, and make you get through the level much longer than two minutes.

The way you have infinite lives is a useful feature in this game, since it means that you do not have to save when you get to a new level, and restore if you are about to run out of lives. This can only happen if you get trapped.

The graphics in some levels look good. The stars and planets suit the theme of the game, and I can imagine what this background would look like if Monuments ever gets a remake. The animations of your character, the enemies, and obstacles are smooth.

I discovered a bug, but it was a bug that proved much useful to me. Every time I saved on Level 14 of each episode and load it again, I warped right back five levels but this time I had 255 shots. It was easy getting through the levels again because I memorized how I completed each one before. I am not sure whether this bug appears in most versions of the game; it appeared in the version that I downloaded from the 3D Realms site.

The Bad

Sometimes when you shoot one of the alien creatures you tend to fire two shots at once, even if you press the fire button only once.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, The Monuments of Mars is a game that plays similar to Apogee's first two CGA games, but different features have been implemented, such as force fields, locked doors with card slots built into them, and blocks. Like the other games, you can easily get trapped in the level if you are not careful. Also, you have infinite lives, so there is no need to save and restore all the time. Monuments appeals to anyone who has found both Arctic Adventure and Pharaoh's Tomb not challenging enough.