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The Ministry of Silly Games: Monty Python’s Curious Foray into the World of Video Games

The Ministry of Silly Games: Monty Python’s Curious Foray into the World of Video Games

 

control!” (CC BY 2.0) by Mark Bonica

Movie and TV show tie-in games can mean big business for game developers, giving them access to some of the biggest characters in pop culture. And there have been some great games based off of popular movies. These games stood on their own two feet, blending aspects of the movies and great gameplay together to create a unique experience. For example, take 2009’s Ghostbusters: The Videogame. This is a game that marries oddball comedy and crazily high production value to produce a real gem. In fact, so much detail and effort were put into the game that Dan Akroyd dubbed it as “essentially the third movie”, which is a pretty big accolade.
Another legendary comedy series that made the leap into the gaming world is Monty Python. This bizarre, slapstick but still cerebral brand of comedy has lead to the series being celebrated by critics. Monty Python and the Holy Grail has been voted the funniest movie of all time, according to Screen Rant. But how well did this humor translate into the gaming world?

Monty Python’s Complete Waste of Time
Monty Python’s Complete Waste of Time was a point-and-click style PC game that saw players adventuring through a brain. It was released in 1994. The story took players through 6 different brain lobes in an attempt to find “The Secret to Intergalactic Success”. In typical Monty Python fashion, the game was full of bizarre segues, clips of off-kilter Python sketches, and Terry Gilliam’s trademark graphics and illustrations the series became well known for.
However, the game relied very heavily on repurposing old Monty Python content, and it didn’t really present a story or deep gameplay. Instead, the main bulk of the game simply involved players trying to find hidden mazes and clues, in a surreal Where’s Waldo type experience.
Monty Python’s Flying Circus: The Computer Game Loosely based upon on the Monty Python’s Flying Circus movie, this game is certainly full of quirks. The game was released in 1990 for PC, Amiga, and Commodore 64.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus: The Computer Game is a platform game and came at a time when that genre was very popular, with titles such as Super Mario and Sonic. The main playable character is a Gumby, one of the series’ most popular characters. The game follows the Gumby as he battles his way through multiple levels, fighting enemies like The Spanish Inquisition and explosive cats as he tries to recover parts of his brain. There are added goodies to collect on the way, such as cans of spam, which help players get higher scores at the end of each level. The game is full of non-sequiturs and typical Python humor, and is one of the strangest games to grace the platforms it was released on.
Monty Python Spamalot Slot
“Spamalot” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Toni Birrer
This is another unexpected game in the Monty Python arsenal. This digital outing is a video slot game based around the Spamalot musical comedy. Spamalot hit stages in 2004, adapted from the seminal Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie. The Monty Python Spamalot Slot, which is carried by popular gaming vendors like Sun Bingo, includes characters like Sir Robin, Lancelot, Galahad, and the Lady of the Lake. At its most basic, the game is a standard match and win slot.
However, there are 5 bonus levels which involve playing through classic Holy Grail inspired scenarios, such as warding off killer rabbits and battling the Black Knight. It also features plenty of win lines and wildcards, which makes it possible to nab big wins, all whilst enjoying the witty quips and peculiar mannerisms Monty Python are known for.

Monty Python’s Cow Tossing

Monty Python’s Cow Tossing was the comedy troupe’s first venture onto mobile devices. At its core, the game is similar to physics puzzlers like Angry Birds, which has been one of the biggest gaming hits of the 21st Century, generating developers Rovio huge amounts of money in the process. Within the game, players catapult cows into structures as they try to repel an invasion by English knights.

Monty Python has had an interesting relationship with the video game world. Their games have always been weird, wacky, and sometimes downright weird, which is what is to be expected from a Python themed game. Not unlike the rest of the Monty Python offerings, these games are lighthearted and easy going, rather than fully fledged and polished offerings. If you’re looking for some vintage, tongue-in-cheek Python comedy, check out one of the games on offer above.

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