Manic Miner


by Matthew Smith
Bug-Byte Software Ltd
1983
Crash Issue 64, May 1989   (1989-04-27)   page(s) 30

Manic Miner must be one of the only rerelease games that has never been reviewed in CRASH. This occurred not because the lads couldn't be bothered, but because this classic platforms- and-ladders game appeared before your fave mag hit the streets. Miner Willy is the star and it is his job to travel the underground caverns of Surbiton(!!) and collect the treasure which lies twenty screens to go through, and all the treasure has to be collected on a screen before you progress to the next. Opposing your progress are such bizarre opponents as penguins, performing seals, dancing rabbits and kangaroos. And there's a time limit too.

Although Manic Miner is one of the oldest games to be rereleased, it's also one of the best. The graphics are sharp and attractive, the in-game tune attractive and playability as addictive as it's frustrating. This is an essential purchase.

Then: N/A Now: 92%


Overall: 92%

Award: Crash Smash

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Spectrum Issue 01, January 1984   page(s) 48,50

Pathos, however, is unlikely to raise its tragic head in the case of Manic Miner from Bug-Byte; it's more a case of frustration and panic as you guide Willy the miner through the underground caverns to the surface, and riches. Starting off in the central cavern, he has to be helped past numerous obstacles on his way to the next. As ever, though, it's a case of one step forward, any number back, as you master the first hazard only to fail dismally at understanding the complexity of the second.


Overall: Not Rated

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Crash Living Guide Issue 01, February 1984   page(s) 52

Producer: Bug-Byte, 48K £5.95
This is the best platform game around, in fact it's probably the best arcade game for the Spectrum. From the moment the full colour title blasts onto the screen accompanied by what sounds like the massed Coldstream Guards band, it's all wonderful. An amazing demo mode takes you through endless levels to whet the appetite. Control keys are simple: left/right/jump, and it seems incredible that Bug-Byte managed to pack so much animated detail into one 48K program. You must take Willie the Miner through the warrens of a long abandoned robot-worked mine beneath Surbiton, collecting keys at each level in order to proceed to the next. Jumping up the platforms is easy - avoiding the slime, poisonous pansies and manic mining robots is not. Some platforms collapse when you tread on them, but forward planning let's you use these on your way back down to the portal. Excellent quality all round and top notch value. Highly recommended.


Transcript by Chris Bourne

Crash Living Guide Issue 02, March 1984   page(s) 54

Producer: Bug-Byte, 48K £5.95
This is the best platform game around, in fact it's probably the best arcade game for the Spectrum. From the moment the full colour title blasts onto the screen accompanied by what sounds like the massed Coldstream Guards band, it's all wonderful. An amazing demo mode takes you through endless levels to whet the appetite. Control keys are simple: left/right/jump, and it seems incredible that Bug-Byte managed to pack so much animated detail into one 48K program. You must take Willie the Miner through the warrens of a long abandoned robot-worked mine beneath Surbiton, collecting keys at each level in order to proceed to the next. Jumping up the platforms is easy - avoiding the slime, poisonous pansies and manic mining robots is not. Some platforms collapse when you tread on them, but forward planning let's you use these on your way back down to the portal. Excellent quality all round and top notch value. Highly recommended.


Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 21, December 1983   page(s) 49

INVENTIVE CAVERNS DESERVE MORE SUCCESS

MUTANT telephones, killer penguins and caverns of ice are all part of Manic Miner for the 48K Spectrum. The game includes some impressive graphics routines which you will encounter when you take your player-character, Willy the miner, through a series of caverns inhabited by all kinds of strange creatures.

To exit from a cavern you have to pick up a series of keys hung from various parts of the ceiling or from bushes which are deadly if you touch them. To reach those keys you must jump on to ledges which are situated at various heights and you must jump in the correct order or you will fall back to earth again.

If you are not careful you could bump into a patrol robot, shaped in various guises, which will take away one of your lives.

The other killer is a fall from one of the ledges which disappears as you walk along it. If the ledge is high a life could be lost.

The game is very inventive and a great deal of thought must have gone into creating the many screens full of colourful characters. It is one of the few games on the market which deserves to succeed automatically because of the effort put into it. It has the depth of concept and quality of sound and vision to make it an instant winner.

If you cannot pass all the caverns and discover the secret of the game in the last sector the author has included an excellent taster routine which runs automatically at the start of the program. It shows the various caverns as they can be seen in the game.

Manic Miner should keep anyone, child or adult, enthralled through the long winter evenings. It costs £5.95 and can be obtained from computer branches of W H Smith.


Overall: Not Rated

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Computer & Videogames Issue 23, September 1983   page(s) 131

PENGUINS MAKE LIFE PERILOUS!!

There's humour, horror and wholesome addiction awaiting the intrepid hero of the marvelous Manic Miner.

From perilous penguins to ferocious phones, this Bug-Byte game is filled with the most unlikely villains trying to thwart your progress through to the next cavern.

Miner Willy must explore the underground caverns and collect the keys which open the door to the next cavern.

Miner 2049'er, which runs on an Atari, is considered a big game with its 12 screens. Manic Miner has 20 and each is a game in itself.

The designer of this game has come up with some highly original scenarios; my personal favourites include Attack of the Mutant Telephones and also the man-eating toilets. The bank scene is very clever, but don't get caught by the bouncing cheque!

Although the game is not written for use with any particular joystick it should run on those which allow the interface to be programmed to use certain keys.

I found the movement keys quite easy to master and have so far managed to reach level four. A secret message awaits you if you successfully complete all 20 levels and Bug Byte promise a prize to the first such person.

Timing is the key to success. Once you have mastered a screen, you will usually have little difficulty in clearing it every time. Some levels, though, take a long time to solve especially as you have to start at screen one each time your three lives run out.

One of the qualities which make a game a winner is whether you'll keep coming back for more. Manic Miner scores well here, as it will take some time to complete.

When the impressive title frame comes up, you are told to press a key to start. If you don't, the game will cycle through all 20 screens giving you a short preview of each.

Impressive graphics and good sound, Bug Byte have produced a challenging game with long-lasting appeal.

Manic Miner runs on a 48k Spectrum and is well worth the £5.95 charged by this Liverpool software house.


Getting Started: 9/10
Graphics: 9/10
Value: 9/10
Playability: 9/10

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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