Manic Miner (Software Projects) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing


Manic Miner
By Software Projects
Amiga 500

Published in Zzap #61

Manic Miner

Miner Willy is back! The superstar collier who became a millionaire in the mines of Surbiton - and subsequently starred in Jet Set Willy - has been sent back down the pit for Amiga owners. Once again, he must explore the goodie-packed caverns built by a long dead, superior civilization. To complete a cavern, Willy must grab all the objects in it before his air runs out. Besides asphyxiation, Willy can die from falling too far, touching a robot baddy, and hitting a poisonous object, such as a bush or spike.

There are two versions of the game: one is identical to the original C64 classic, while the other is an Amiga upgrade. In the latter, only a small proportion of the cavern is shown, with the much bigger sprites jumping around a scrolling cavern. As you'd exepect, the graphics are much more colourful and detailed, but like a colourized black-and-white movie, they seem to have lost much of their charm along the way. The music is also disappointingly banal.

Nevertheless, the old, hair-pulling-out gameplay remains. The Amiga upgrade is significantly harder with tighter time limits, slightly different alien attack patterns, and the inability to see the whole cavern - this makes the C64 version useful to practise with. Oldsters who raved over the original could well be tempted by this, while younger players could yet be enthralled - if they're prepared to accept mediocre graphics and the limits of the still classic gameplay.