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Manic Miner

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Released: 1983

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: Commodore 64

Publisher: Software Products

Developer: Mastertronic

Submitted by: Jamie Morgan

Manic Miner was a fantastic little platformer which was realeased on many different computers including the ZX Spectrum, Commodore Plus, MSX, Amiga and the Commodore 64 which is the version I have and still play. This game was released back in 1983 by Software Products. It was a quick loading game which was great for its time. You play as Miner Willy who was also used for the Jet Set Willy games. This game is a single screen platformer and a good one too. The graphics are great and bright with very few sounds during play. Miner Willy did not have any weapons and the enemies could not be defeated in any way. All he could do was walk and jump. Miner Willy stumbles upon an ancient, long forgotten mine-shaft which you must explore. In order to move to the next chamber, he must collect all the flashing keys in the room while avoiding enemies from Poisonous Pansies to Spiders and worst of all, Manic Mining Robots. Collecting the final key on the screen will open up the Portal which when flashes he must enter. Sounds straight forward, but I found this game very difficult. I have only got to about level seven or eight. You lose lives by making contact with the baddies, falling from high distances or your Air bar running out. When its game over, you see a Monty Python moment which sees our hero Manic Miner being squashed with a giant foot, nice. The levels are not very big levels but they are challenging which is what I like. I do still play this game but I will never finish it as it was too difficult for me. The title screen was a great moment too which included a large piano playing a few short songs. The Commodore 64 version was the only version I have played and I am still proud to still own such a Classic platformer. I recommend this game if you have not played it before.

Manic Miner

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Released: 2002

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: Game Boy Advance

Publisher: Jester Interactive

Developer: Jester Interactive

Submitted by: Gnome KD

Behold the finest platformer your ageing GBA (and not so ageing DS) can play: Manic Miner. Yes, the Manic Miner, and it's been fully updated to SNES audiovisual standards, comes with 10 brand new well-designed levels and turns the lonely experience of being punctual into a fun activity. What's more, and as gamers have turned soft(er), this version also comes with a nice password system and a score of extra lives to keep the frustration levels down. Other than that, it's a pretty faithful affair (with very slight -barely noticeable- changes in enemy movement patterns and platform heights) and you can even choose to totally ignore those new levels.

You can pretty easily grab the cartridge, for generally modest prices too, over at eBay and Amazon.