TIME is never enough of it. Some days, as I re-read H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, I ponder on the possibility of time travel, of the paradoxes, of what one could do if the past was mutable.
I was in one such mood of quiet contemplation when he who must be obeyed gave me an innocuous 3.5in disc and said: "Review this, Earthling".
Gratefully clutching his manna from heaven, I scuttled off to the corner and donned my cap on which the word Reviewer was writ large.
The disc drive whirred, the screen flickered into life, and something strange started to happen. Light blurred, colours streamed, time slowed, stopped, and then began to run backwards. The years rolled back, my midriff shrank to an acceptable size, a hairline receding faster than a Brazilian rain forest sprang forwards with a vengeance.
The year was 1984, with all its Orwellian connotations. The Olympics were starting in the city of the angels, it was the 169th anniversary of Wellington stuffing Napoleon at Waterloo, and the Great God Spectrum ruled the Earth.
Ocean Software had worked some arcane magic and brought me back all those years to play New Zealand Story, a conversion of a Taito coin-op.
You are a small fluffy chick out to cross the islands that make up New Zealand and rescue imprisoned poultry along the way. The chickens you are rescuing obviously aren't in a battery farm - there's only one victim per cage. Blimey, you could jam at least 50 more in there.
Anyway, you are that small fluffy thing leaping around those platforms, that is a bow and arrow you are carrying, the defenders of the coup are armed in a likewise manner, and you do lose a life ever time you get hit by one. It's more than the opposition gets though, so you should count your lucky feathers.
Leap from platform to platform, head for the cage before the timer runs out and your pecking pal ends up as six Chicken Mac
Thankfully the first two levels of these things are pretty easy, always making sure you don't get barbecued by running into an electric fence.
Every animal you kill is transformed into a piece of fruit, the collection of which boosts your score. Great for you, not so good for them. Occasionally you'll hit an animal that leaves behind a new weapon. The first one is an unlimited supply of bombs, which explode with a crispy crunch.
Just in case you were thinking this was all leapy-
The excitement is, of course, immense. This is state of the art platform action, with no colour clashing either. But then, as the disc flopped out of the drive, as I sharpened my piece of charcoal ready for the scribing to follow, Father Time started to catch up with me.
The Tories won another election, the release dates for Star Trek came and past, the hair fell apologetically on to my writing slate, empty beer cans appeared from nowhere, the belly resumed its previous portliness, and I was sadly back in 1989.
But you can take that trip back in time, back when Manic Miner was king. Be warned though, time is a previous thing, there never is enough of it.