Ah, 1984... Madness reigned supreme in the charts, alongside Bucks Fizz and Modern Romance, and Maggie Thatcher was in her second term of office. The year also saw the release of one of the most eagerly-awaited computer game sequels ever - Jet Set Willy, the follow-up to the classic Manic Miner.
Despite being riddled with more bugs than the Kennedy clan's bedrooms, Jet Set Willy was the first ever arcade/adventure, with the player controlling the nouveau-riche ex-Miner, Willy, as he collects the glasses from around his house after an almighty binge.
Now, after eight years absence from our screens, JSW has been converted to the Amiga, with the extra screens its sequel contained added as a bonus.
In converting Jet Set's predecessor Manic Miner to the 16-bit formats, Software Projects hedged their bets by including both the dated Spectrum original and a smart new version with flash scrolling and numerous other bells and whistles.
Oddly enough, the original won the most fans, so it's a great surprise to note that the sequel only contains the updated version. The main problem with the graphic style that Software Projects have opted for is that somehow the games just aren't the same.
Whereas Manic Miner was originally a series of single-screen levels, the updated version went for scrolling screens, and the flick-screen mansion of JSW has been dumped in favour of a scrolling building - losing a lot of the game's character in the process.
One of the nicest things about the original was that its rooms were revealed gradually as progress was made. Hence, rooms such as 'The Attic', 'The Sewers', and 'The Garden' became catchwords among fans - sadly, the names have been lost in the transition and, although this is the extended version, a few of the 133 rooms are conspicuous by their absence.
Although this sounds rather damning, fans of the original will instantly be at home with the layout of the rooms, and the weird selection of nasties have all retained the traits of their forerunners. In addition, the actual gameplay stands up quite well, with intricate puzzles requiring pixel-perfect positioning and timing.
In all, the Amiga version of Jet Set Willy, whilst not the game perhaps I was hoping for, is still a playable affair. However, I can't help but wish that Software Projects had put the original version on the disk, too, then everybody would be happy.