The Micro User1st March 1987
Published in The Micro User 5.01
If you enjoyed Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy, get your teeth into Miner Willy's latest escapade, Jet Set Willy II.
In order to control the little man, the new game follows the same left, right and jump method as its predecessors, but that's where the similarity ends.
As you wander around you'll find the odd familiar room
general the house is entirely different.
Owners of Manic Miner will be familiar with the strains of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" keeping you company as you play. JSW II serenades you likewise: A built-in sound on/off facility soon proves a godsend.
In JSW I the layout was a sprawling house in which the way to move from room to room was fairly obvious. The map of version II is in four separate parts, and the methods of getting between them are nothing short of arcane. It took me quite a long time to find the teleport.
According to the inlay card, Return restarts the game. In fact it doesn't, but repeated pressing of Escape does the trick.
One feature I found extremely irritating - and after a while downright unfair - is that when you lose a life you restart in exactly the same position. When you lose a life in JSW I you restart at the point where you entered the room: Not so JSW II. It's all too easy to get a long way into the game, make one small mistake and suddenly lose all seven lives in quick succession.
In this respect JSW II is less playable on the BBC Micro than JSW I. Software Projects, the original publisher of the Miner Willy games, intended that all conversions should remain faithful to the Spectrum version, simple graphics and all.
If misguided loyalty to the Spectrum original is the only reason for this loss of payability, the programmer should be shot. These passing gripes aside, I find the game great fun. Addicts of the previous versions will probably jump at it.
If you're after pretty graphics, Jet Set Willy II isn't for you. If you like platform games, with puzzles that can be solved only with split-second timing and pixel-precise positioning, grab it: You won't be disappointed.