Manic Miner (Software Projects) Review | Beebug - Everygamegoing


Manic Miner
By Software Projects
BBC Model B

Published in Beebug #32

Manic Miner

Manic Miner is one of the few truly classic computer games. First written for the Spectrum, this Beeb version sticks closely to the original.

Your task is to guide miner Willy around the newly discovered abandoned mines of a past civilisation to find the inevitably treasure trove. Each screen displays a room fraught with obstacles and nasties to obstruct Willy. He has to collect all the keys scattered around the many levels to move on to the next room.

Manic Miner was the first of the now numerous games combining adventure elements with arcade action. It has worn very well. The graphics, based as they are on the Spectrum original, are not of the usual excellent Beeb standard. However, the displays are amply good enough to serve their purpose. Most other Beeb games would abandon graphics altogether in favour of the vast quantities of data required to describe Willy's underground world.

Because of all this data, the cassette takes ages to load. The piracy protection doesn't help either. With the cassette insert, there is a printed table of colour codes. At the start of the game, you are asked to type in a particular set of codes from the table, and so don't know the codes, and the game won't start. Effective, but very tedious.

However, despite this, Manic Miner is deservedly a classic. The humour of this game means that, while it is very challenging to play, it is captivating as well. Buy it now!

Geoff Bains

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