Back in 2009 the Spanish group Mojon Twins released Uwol, Quest For Money for the Spectrum 128K and made the full game and source code freely available for download. Later, in 2010, Shiru released a Sega Genesis port based on Mojon Twins’ code.
Now (June 2016) Imanok releases an MSX2 version. This is the one this review is about.
The main character is Uwol, a chubby mole not unlike Monty (from the Monty Mole series). He learns that a mansion known as Storm Palace is full to the brim with gold coins that are part of the fortune of a rich former thief, and decides to go and steal as many coins as he can. However, this won’t be easy because Storm Palace is inhabited by several monsters that will get in Uwol’s way (Vampy, Franky and Wolfy) and a ghost that will chase him whenever he runs out of time (Fanty).
The game is a fast-paced platformer. The purpose is to pick up all the coins in each level while evading the enemies. Uwol is greedy and wants to leave with no less than 255 coins.
The first time Uwol touches an enemy he will lose his shirt, and he will die if he touches an enemy again while shirtless. Fortunately, as long as Fanty hasn’t appeared the shirt will drop somewhere in the map, allowing Uwol to pick it up again.
When the timer runs out Fanty will appear and chase Uwol all over the screen, making things much more interesting.
Uwol can move outside of the game screen from either side. Moving ouside to the left will make him appear on the right side of the screen, and vice versa. He can use this to distract Fanty, or also to reach areas of the screen that would be unreachable otherwise.
Picking up all the coins in the level kills all the enemies (except Fanty) and opens two exits on the floor: one leading to the left and another to the right. Using these exits Uwol can navigate through the mansion. This is important because he will need to run through the mansion at least two or three times in order to gather enough coins to leave. Fortunately, our cute mole doesn’t need to clear the rooms that he already completed in an earlier run. He can proceed directly to the exit while avoiding Fanty, who will still be there.
Graphics, sound and movement
The graphics are simple, but very colorful and beautiful. They’re also consistent throughout the game, with nothing feeling out of place. The PSG-only music is also very animated and fun to listen to. Different areas of the mansion not only have different graphics, but also a different song.
Movement is fast and very smooth (both the player character and the enemies), making it very fun to play, especially when Fanty is chasing us!
Hardware requirements and game media
The MSX2 version of Uwol, Quest For Money requires an MSX2 computer (or higher) with at least 128KB of RAM and a floppy drive (or some other kind of mass storage interface). It is written in NestorBASIC, and because of that it requires that the computer was booted while holding the CTRL key in order to free memory for BASIC programs.
The game comes in a 2DD floppy disk with a clear jewel case and full-color cover (with the instructions in Spanish) and sticker. The final product feels very professional.
This is a very fun and very addictive game that will keep players busy for hours. The difficulty level is high and some levels will take lots of practice. There’s also a lot of replayability value because of the many different paths we can take inside the castle. It will take quite some time to see all the levels!
In short, this is very good game.
How to get it
Uwol is currently being distributed by the AAM. The cost of the physical copy is only 10 euro, and all the revenue will be used to fund the MSX user meetings in Barcelona.
Note that there’s a limited number of physical copies, so order quick if you’re interested in one. Once they run out, a downloadable version will be made available for free.
Thanks to the following people for their support for this review: