Manic Miner logo

SOFTWARE PROJECTS £9.99 * Joystick

One day the poor but happy Miner Willy discovered a long-lost mine under his back garden. With pound signs in his eyes, he ventured into the mines to see what treasures he could find.

Unfortunately he took a wrong turn: now he has to collect enough objects to make the trip worthwhile and negotiate the twenty treacherous caverns that lie between him and safety.

The caverns are inhabited by automated creatures that have long since given up their tasks and march up and down in long worn tracks. Miner Willy must avoid these creatures otherwise it's off to the big coal-face in the sky!

The Amiga version of Manic Miner features a direct clone (!) of the original 8-bit game along with a 16-bit upgrade. The upgrade features scrolling screens and colourful animated sprites in place of the single-screen single-colour originals.

Unfortunately the scrolling means that you have to be pretty au fait> with the original to get anywhere, since you can't see what's coming or plan your routes accordingly.

Timing is the essence of the game, but as the suped-up version's sprites trundle out of view frequently it gives the mining novice quite a challenge to get this right. Fans of the original are in for a disappointment: the feel has been warped to extremes. The timings are off, the methods barely work and the conveyor belts don't act as in the original, so that screens like 'Miner Willy Meets the Kong Beast' are now virtually impossible.

It would have been nice to play Manic Miner again just for a bit of nostalgia, but this version has none of the spark that made the original fun.

Manic Miner logo

Anno 1983 erschien dieses Game schon mal für den C64; jetzt wurde es eins zu eins (!) für den Amiga umgesetzt. Auf der Disk befindet sich zwar auch eine aufgepeppte Version, die spielt sich allerdings noch schlechter!

Die Story: Willy, unser Held, hat eine verlassene Mine voller Schätze entdeckt, die er natürlich abräumen will. Dummerweise tummeln sich dort unten noch ein paar alte Arbeitsroboter, die auf Willy überhaupt nicht gut zu sprechen sind.

Seine drei Leben werden außerdem durch tödliche Pflanzen und etliche Gefahren mehr bedroht. SO weit, so gut, dachte ich mir und ließ erst mal die Urfassung auf mich wirken.

Eins zu eins kann man dazu bloß sagen - Grafik, Sound und Handhabung sind wirklich genauso wie anno dazumal. Lediglich die Motivation erhält vielleicht einen klatze-kleinen Nostalgiebonus.

Aber es gibt ja noch Teil II! Hier sind Grafik und Sound tatsächlich besser, nun sieht das Ding schon fast wie ein richtiges Amiga-Game aus. Leider ist es um keinen Deut besser zu handhaben, vor allem die Kollisionsabfrage ist ein mittlere Katastrophe - für Leute mit einem angegriffenem Nervenkostüm besteht akute Lebensgefahr!

Dazu muß die verbesserte Grafik mit einem verkleinerten Bildschirmausschnitt teuer bezahlt werden, was ja nun auch nicht so ganz das Wahre ist. Als Tester ist man ja Kummer gewöhnt, aber wem ich dieses Spiel empfehlen soll, weiß ich bei besten Willy, äh, Willen nicht. Ein sicherer Kandidat für den "Mülleimer des Monats"! (mm)

Manic Miner logo

Software Projects £9.99

Miner Willy is back! The superstar collier who became a millionaire in the mines of Surbiton - and subsequently starred in Jet Set Willy - has been sent back down the pit for Amiga owners. Once again he must explore the goodie-packed caverns built by a long dead, superior civilisation.

To complete a cavern, Willy must grab all the objects in it before his air runs out. Besides asphyxiation Willy can die from falling too far, touching a robot baddie, and hitting a poisonous object, such as a bush or spike.

There are two versions of the game: one is identical to the original C64 classic, while the other is an Amiga update. In the latter, only a small proportion of the cavern is shown, with the much bigger sprites jumping around a scrolling cavern.

As you would expect, the graphics are much more colourful and detailed, but like a colourized black-and-white movie, they seem to have lost much of their charm along the way. The music is also disappointingly banal.

Nevertheless the old, hair-pulling-out gameplay remains. The Amiga upgrade is significantly harder with tighter time limits, slightly different alien attack patterns, and the inability to see the whole cavern - this makes the C64 version useful to practise with.

Oldsters who raved over the original could well be tempted by this, while younger players could yet be enthralled - if they are prepared to accept mediocre graphics and the limits of the still classic gameplay.