Manic Miner

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Download Manic Miner Remake

It is not often that a rip-off is better than the original, but it’s generally agreed that that’s the case with Manic Miner online.

Originally it was programmed on the Atari and called Miner 2049er, and your job was to explore the numerous caverns of a disused mine.

The idea was then… well, er, copied for the Spectrum and sold by Bug Byte as Manic Miner, which has proved amazingly popular. This game has 20 screens as opposed to Miner 2049er‘s dozen, and, as well as some rather clever programming, there are some funny and original ideas in there.

Each screen is different, and features such hazards as Man-eating Toilets, Mutant Telephones, Bouncing Cheques and the like.

Now, after a few delays, the hit game is available for the Commodore 64. It’s marketed by Software Projects, headed by its author Matthew Smith, who, I’m told is really big in programming.

I found the movement keys in the game quite easy to master. A secret message awaits you if you successfully complete all 20 levels. 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.

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