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Nintengod
09-11-2007, 12:44 AM
Manic Miner - Commodore 64 (Released 1983)

Time once again for a classic review. Now I appreciate that many of you had not been born when this game was released way back in 1983.....but you can't keep a good game down!

Manic Miner is a platform game (before even Mario), featuring a miner called Willy. The objective is ever so simple. Collect all the keys within the set level (which is all based on one screen) and once this is completed, head to the exit. Simple yea? Er no. This game is notoriously difficult. This game is so challenging that without cheats I am not sure it CAN be completed. Some poor soul, with their 3 lives, must try to navigate the dozens and dozens of levels, avoiding the many traps and enemies....

....these enemies include : spiders, aliens, flying toilets, telephones, toasters, ghosts....etc. So many things for Willy to avoid, and boy is it hard. You have to know their exact movements, otherwise you die. You have to be wary of the loose platforms, you have to measure the jumps to the N'th degree. Manic Miner is a frustrating, hair pulling, crazed inducing game - and thats part of its genius. It's so addictive, you just have to beat that level, and you know you must be able to do it, but it will take you attempt after attempt to do so. Without the cheats, this would involve going back to the start of the entire game many times!

Fortunately, with emulators, this game is widely available, and well worth tracking down. Emulation also means little-to-no loading times. I remember this game used to take an age to load via tape - it was painful. Most of the ROMs for this have also been cracked, so you can have infinite lives which is essential to keep you sane. Yes, its nearly a quarter of a century old, yes it looks rubbish, and yes i've just told you that this game will probably make you lose your marbles.....but boy is it something when you reach that final key and get through that portal - ON TO THE NEXT LEVEL!!!!

Score : 8/10

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/07/ManicMiner.jpg

http://www.siggraph.org/publications/newsletter/v32n2/contributions/images/collins3.c.jpg

http://et.gamersnation.co.uk/images/core/upload/Manic_miner_intro.jpg

Nintengod
09-11-2007, 12:54 AM
Review is over, so this is NOT a double post....

This game pretty much features on every platform on earth. I reviewed the C64 version as it was the one I grew up with (still have the tape, with the box with the amazing boxart of a green slimey telephone!). I also recently used the emulator.

admin
09-11-2007, 11:11 AM
No kidding though, one of the most psychedelic games of all time, written by probably an actual boy genius prodigy, Matt Smith. I had some email correspondence with Matt a long time ago (10 years maybe), hoping to get the rights to produce JSW t-shirts. He told me he'd just sold the rights to Jester Interactive for their GBA version of Manic Miner. Yes, there was a GBA version!

If you miss the good old days of pixel-perfect timing and rubber keys, you really should check out JSW online. It's absolutely great fun... when it launched about 6 months ago you'd get up to 20 people playing against each other. These days very few people seem to bother with it, which is a shame...

Still, you can find it here: http://jsw.ovine.net

Nintengod
09-11-2007, 12:05 PM
No kidding though, one of the most psychedelic games of all time, written by probably an actual boy genius prodigy, Matt Smith. I had some email correspondence with Matt a long time ago (10 years maybe), hoping to get the rights to produce JSW t-shirts. He told me he'd just sold the rights to Jester Interactive for their GBA version of Manic Miner. Yes, there was a GBA version!

If you miss the good old days of pixel-perfect timing and rubber keys, you really should check out JSW online. It's absolutely great fun... when it launched about 6 months ago you'd get up to 20 people playing against each other. These days very few people seem to bother with it, which is a shame...

Still, you can find it here: http://jsw.ovine.net

For those unsure. JSW = Jet Set Willy. The sequel to Manic Miner!

I'm not surprised there was a GBA port of the game.....that machine has literally all the classics, and a game like that would be perfect on the move, as it kills hours of time!

Lightning Strike
09-11-2007, 12:44 PM
I remember a game like this, it was called jet back guy.. or something.. its been a few years, but it was for win 98 and it was like this one, and it was great fun. This looks like a great review Nin, and cmon, you cant go wrong with a game with flying toilets

admin
09-11-2007, 01:09 PM
BTW, not sure.. but I think manic miner is achievable, can be completed... JSW was impossible though due to a glitch on one of the screens. It was fixed in either the Spectrum 48k version or the C64 version, can't remember which.

Looking forward to the Quazatron review... Highway Encounter.... ;)

Nintengod
09-11-2007, 01:28 PM
BTW, not sure.. but I think manic miner is achievable, can be completed... JSW was impossible though due to a glitch on one of the screens. It was fixed in either the Spectrum 48k version or the C64 version, can't remember which.

Looking forward to the Quazatron review... Highway Encounter.... ;)

Yea, I am sure Manic Miner is indeed possible if the routes and timing is planned to perfection, as there doesn't appear to be any "impossible" levels. What makes it nigh on impossible though is the fact its so easy to die, and so few lives are given out.

My next classic review will be on Way Of The Exploding Fist, followed by Bombjack! :D Nah, probably not!

Talentz
09-11-2007, 08:26 PM
Wow nice review,looks rubbish,but ''don't judge a book by It's cover''
I'll check Into It more

Nintengod
10-11-2007, 01:24 PM
Wow nice review,looks rubbish,but ''don't judge a book by It's cover''
I'll check Into It more

Oh no doubt, it looks dreadful, and to some extent is, in many ways....but I don't see many games that frustrate you so much yet you want to beat the game so badly. Manic Miner is one of the few games that has that.....another example of this is Super Mario Kart on the SNES with the time trials....just to shade 1/100th of a second off your fastest time can mean many broken SNES control pads thrown in anger....but when you nail it, oh wow, that makes it worth the high mark.