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Software Projects 9.99

M Manic miner iner Willy is back! The superstar collier who became a millionaire in the mines of Surbiton and subsequently starred in Jet Set Willy - has been sent back down the pit for Amiga owners. Once again he must explore the goodie-packed caverns built by a long dead, superior civilisation.

To complete a cavern, Willy must grab all the objects in it before his air runs out. Besides asphyxiation Willy can die from falling too far, touching a robot baddie, and hitting a poisonous object, such as a bush or spike.

There are two versions of the game: one is identical to the original C64 classic, while the other is an Amiga update. In the latter, only a small proportion of the cavern is shown, with the much bigger sprites jumping around a scrolling cavern. As you would expect, the graphics are much more colourful and detailed, but like a colourized black-and-white movie, they seem to have lost much of their charm along the way. The music is also disappointingly banal.

Nevertheless the old, hair-pulling-out gameplay remains. The Amiga upgrade is significantly harder with tighter time limits, slightly different alien attack patterns, and the inability to see the whole cavern this makes the C64 version useful to practise with. Oldsters who raved over the original could well be tempted by this, while younger players could yet be enthralled if they are prepared to accept mediocre graphics and the limits of the still classic gameplay.

Zzap, Issue 61, May 1990, p.48