They are many obscure games available for Philips infamous CD-i console. In this instance by 'obscure' I do not mean 'crappy' but 'almost totally unknown'. It is nearly unthinkable that a game based on anything as famous as the English comedy group Monty Python will belong to this category. But yet it happened, the CD-i game, Monty Python's Invasion From the Planet Skyron, really exists ... though information on it varies from very hard to find to practically non-existent.
I was glad I found this game since I'm a huge fan of Monty Python. For those of you who don't know them, here's a quick lesson: Monty Python is the collective name of the creators (among them Eric Idle, John Cleese, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliams) of Monty Python's Flying Circus, a British comedy sketch show that first appeared on the BBC in 1969. The show was hugely inspired by pioneering artistic trends like dadaism and surrealism. This resulted in a lot of controversial humor. Some of their full-motion pictures are controversial even by today's standards. Especially the 1979 film Monty Python's Life of Brian (a parody on the life of Christ) and Monty Python's Meaning of Life are still able to shock some conservative people. The humor of the show can also be considered as the predecessor of controversial (South Park) or wacky (Spongebob Squarepants) animated series.
Invasion From the Planet Skyron tries to integrate the sketches of the show with a gaming element. You play a group of Pythons (or 'Lost Boys' like they refer to themselves) which wander around typical Monty Python animated landscapes. With them walks a sheep in which the score is presented. Just like other Monty Python games (e.g. The Quest for the Holy Grail on the PC) the 'gameplay' is totally random. You just have to click on random elements and maybe something happens, maybe not. Perhaps the score on the sheep will increase, but it's also possible it will decrease. Sometimes a sketch of the show will turn up. If you do nothing for a while, it's also possible a sketch appears, or you are taking to a new area, or all kind of Monty Python creatures pass the screen. If you gained enough points you can click on the score sheep and is it possible to "buy" a new sketch for an amount of points.
Though sometimes a bit slow, the animated characters are well done and in the tradition of Terry Gilliams' classic Monty Python animations. It is totally unclear what to do, but they are a lot of sketches to be seen though some seem to repeat themselves too often. The game starts out at a different random place each time, which is great since I had no clue how I could reach another area in the game expect by chance.
It is supposed to be possible to save uncovered sketches somehow, but I just couldn't figured out how. Which is a big letdown, because I would like to watch them again and not only at random. Besides for wandering around and randomly clicking, the player will discover some mini-games based on the series. There is memory, 'guess who said it', 'guess the sketch' and a lot of similar mini-games based on sketches in which points can be scored or lost.
Like other Monty Python games Invasion From the Planet Skyron isn't a game you can play for hours on end. It is a nice play for ten minutes to see some wacky animations and uncover another sketch. Perhaps it is even arduous of speak of a real 'game' here, since it's more like a Monty Python gadget.
As said, due to the dominant randomness it's hard to call any Monty Python game a real game. I also don't think this method of humor works as well on a "game" as on the show. It becomes a bit tiresome after a while to just randomly click around.
If you only want to experience some of the Monty Python's funniest sketches again, you are better of buying the DVD collection. But if you're a huge Monty Python fan and happen to own a CD-i, this package will definitely be your taste and a lot of recognition will be your share. If you are one of those fellows who can't appreciate Monty Python's style of wit you better leave this alone and finally try to get some sense of humor. Overall, Monty Python's Invason From the Planet Skyron was a nice addition to the wide range of odd games available for the CD-i library.