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Yeh I used Blitz ages ago, always found it a really pleasant tool to use. I did mess around with an isometric engine, but was limited by Blitz with how far I could go. I think I came up against a brick wall when trying to figure out how to get fast access to bitmaps in order to process masks. These days I use Monogame, and simple shaders for the masking grunt work.

I'm using MX2 which is derived from Monkey2. plus a couple of shaders as well - to get the spectrum single color effect - that way I only need to do the next 16 color graphics :)

Neat.  Yeh I was thinking of using a shader to recolour stuff, not sure yet.