Manic Miner (Software Projects) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

Manic Miner
By Software Projects
Commodore 16

Published in Commodore User #33

Manic Miner

Whilst waiting for the game to load, I passed the time refreshing my memory of this game reading the inlay card. It all came flooding back.

Miner Willy, while prospecting down Burbiton Way, stumbles upon an ancient, long-forgotten mineshaft. On further exploration, he finds evidence of a lost civilisation far superior to our own, which uses automatons to dig deep into the earth's core. Actually, all the information you need to know is shown whilst the game is being loaded anyway.

I don't think there can be anyone who enjoys computer games, who doesn't know how to play Manic Miner, but I will explain the basic idea of the game just in case.

You control Miner Willy and the idea is to collect the flashing objects from inaccessible places, avoiding the inevitable nasties like poisonous pansies, spiders, slime and manic mining robots. Conveyor belts and jagged pieces of rock also hinder your attempts to conquer the game. Fall heavily and you lose a life, and don't forget there is only so much air in the cavern so time is of the essence. The only pro is a bonus for fast completion of a screen.

The game starts off in the famous 'Central' cavern, where you have to collect all the keys, whilst avoiding the mining robot and thistles. Once Willy has collected all the items, he has to go to the portal to be transported to the next screen. My favourite screen is the Abandoned Uranium Workings, Miner Willy has to jump from ledge to ledge collecting the keys as he goes. Just get one foot out of place and it's a long way down. I can get as far as Eugene's Lair, and that is my lot. And oh, how I've tried and tried to get past it.

The quality of graphics on these screens are excellent, well done Software Projects, this conversion works really well. The only criticism I have is the sound, or lack of it. When the famous Manic Miner tune has gone, the only sound you hear is when you die or collect objects (and even then it's only a click), perhaps a cheer would be appropriate.

Also the game starts playing automatically, so if you want to play you have to lose all of your lives, so you can start your game. It would have made life a lot simpler if you could have just pressed Fire to start.

Having said that, Manic Miner is a fast and addictive game, you just have to have one more go, until you are up half the night trying to conquer it. Manic Miner is not the most original game in the world any more, but I cannot imagine my C16 collection being complete without it.

Let's hope that Software Projects convert Jet Set Willy and Jet Set Willy II in the not-too-distant future as well.