Saturday 25 February 2012

Miner 2049er - Commodore 64 - 1983

An early platform game and apparently an inspiration for Manic Miner, Miner 2049er takes place over 10 levels set in Nuclear Ned’s abandoned uranium mine.  The plot involves your character, mounty Bounty Bob, searching the mine for a murderer called Yukon Yohan (they love these double initial names).  To progress through the game you need to ‘claim’ each platform on each screen by walking over it, thus making it a solid colour.  Once you have walked over all the platforms on the screen you progress to the next level.  There are creatures roaming around the platforms which kill on contact and various items to collect.  You can pick up the items for bonus points and once collected they cause the creatures on the screen to smile for a short time.  While they are smiling they can also be picked up for further points.  As well as losing a life by touching the creatures, lives can be lost by falling too far or running out of time – the time limit can be quite strict on some of the levels.

Definitely a playable, sometimes frustrating game that has stood the test of time although as with most games of this era you need to look behind the basic graphics and sound.

The final level.....or is it?

Just a quick word about something that really, really irritates me with games like this and with this game in particular. Well, not so much the game itself but the plot that was written for it.  In the instructions you are given a back story and a goal.  You get through the 10 levels to complete the goal and what happens?  Do you get a congratulations screen? A short animation? Bonus points?  No, you get unceremoniously dumped back at the first level again.  What happened to Yukon Yohan?   What’s the point of going to the trouble of writing a plot for a game and how to complete it if it’s never ending and can’t ever be finished?  I was seriously pissed off when I ran over the last piece of platform on the final level and expected something to happen.  Grrrrr.

The whole game......


  1. This game reminds me of Mr. Robot and His Robot Factory. I had a lot of fun with that game as a kid. You'll probably get to that during next year's games though.

    There is one game I'm hoping you'll cover: Mabel's Mansion. I realize that these are your favorite games, but the lack of information on the web regarding anyone playing this game saddens me. Even though I couldn't get very far in the game, I've been meaning to play through it again eventually.

    1. Unfortunately I won't be playing any Apple II games. I'm not even sure the Apple II was available this side of the pond. If it was it didn't make a big impact and I've certainly never seen any games being available for it.

    2. Oh, but both games came out on the C64. I guess you didn't play them though. Looking through the Datamost game list on wikipedia I remember playing Thief, Aztec, and Ankh (this might have been on the C64 as well). I just remembered another game, Realm of Impossibility (aka Zombies), and that game was very difficult.

      I don't see any release info for the Apple II outside the US, so you're probably right.

      Sorry for getting so off topic; I appreciate a place to reminisce about these old games.

  2. No worries. I've just had look at the Datamost list and haven't heard of any of those games. I'm guessing they were just distributed in the US and didn't have publisher in Europe.

    As it happens, Realm of Impossibility is on my shortlist for 1984 but I haven't played it yet. It will appear here if I like it.

  3. Cool, I'll look forward to it. I'd suggest you take a look at Mr. Robot at least, the others are probably more dated. I liked it for the game, but I think it was one of the first games I played that came with a level editor.