Sunday 19 February 2012

Manic Miner - Sinclair Spectrum - 1983

Manic Miner is an early, fun platform game notable for its ‘wacky’ humour.  The object of the game is to make your way though 20 caverns.  In each cavern you have to collect all the flashing ‘keys’ then make your way to the exit before the gradually diminishing air supply runs out.  You lose a life if you touch any of the ‘enemy’ sprites, fall too far or if your air supply becomes exhausted.  There are also collapsing platforms and moving ‘conveyer belt’ platforms to make your life difficult.  The ‘enemy’ sprites move along predetermined paths and feature among other things penguins, amoebas, burning barrels and toilets(!).

The game has simple controls, just left/right/jump, and starts off easy enough.  The learning curve gradually gets steeper culminating in the Solar Power Generator room which I found particularly tough being under pressure from both the time limit and the pixel perfect timing for the jumps to head towards the exit. 

The sound is quite good and with a tune playing throughout and decent sound effects.  The graphics are also pretty good with the platforms being placed so that attribute clash isn’t much of a problem. A very good game and one of the best platformers on the Spectrum.

There is also a 'Kong Beast' in later screens
This screen was surprisingly easy
The whole game

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