Friday, January 18, 2013

Games that remind me of my childhood Number 17 : Manic Miner (Commodore 64)

Working in a school has its benefits - namely an increased chance of having a "snow day" after a small shower of the white stuff.  This has meant that I have had a day off work, which has given me plenty of time to play some retro games whilst the children are out in the back garden, throwing snowballs at Mum...
Anyway, one game I have been playing today is a classic that I am sure you all know.
Ask anyone my age to name the first level of this game, and I'm sure the majority will immediately answer "Central Cavern"!
I suspect that anyone who had an 8-bit computer in the 1980's probably had (or heard of) Manic Miner.  Released in 1983 and originally programmed by the very talented Matthew Smith, it was the first game to feature Miner Willy.  Willy of course would re-appear in several sequels, namely the Jet Set Willy series of games.
The game is your simple platform affair.  You control Miner Willy, and must negotiate each of the twenty caverns, collecting all of the flashing objects before Willy's oxygen runs out.  Once all objects have been collected, a flashing portal appears which then allows Willy to move on to the next level.

Numerous enemies stand in your way, namely Poisonous Pansies, Spiders, Slime and Manic Mining Robots!  Willy can also die if he falls too far, meaning that many jumps need to be done with perfect precision.
Many afternoons after school were spent playing this gem of a game, and it's still great to play today, although I still find some of the later levels near impossible!

The cover

The tape

The map (Click to enlarge)


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