Manic Miner is a platform game originally written for the ZX Spectrum by Matthew Smith and released by Bug-Byte in 1983 (later re-released by Software Projects). It is the first game in the Miner Willy series and among the early titles in the platform game genre. The game itself was inspired by the Atari 800 game Miner 2049er.It has since been ported to numerous home computers and video game consoles.
Placed 25th in the Your Sinclair official top 100 games, this was quite a challenge! This was accentuated by the fact there are several superb remakes of Manic Miner available. Indeed, it was seeing the version by Retrospec’s Andy Noble that prompted me to start coding remakes myself!
So why did I do it? Well, while Andy Noble’s version is superb, it doesn’t add anything to the game – it is a 256 colour version of the same game with the same resolution. Indeed, trying to find a high resolution version is whole different ball game to just trying to find a remake. The one high res version I did find trebles the size of the graphics, but also trebles the movement, so everything seems a little jerky.
With this in mind, I wanted to write a “true” high resolution version, starting from the ground up. Some things had to be altered slightly – pixel perfect jumping, for example, is not really feasible – trying to find the exact moment to jump when the playing area is only 256 pixels wide is achievable (if tricky), but when the playing area is trebled in size, it becomes practically impossible. Because of this, numerous parts of the game became my interpretation rather than a perfect copy.
Finally I wanted to add some extra features – new levels, 3 speed settings, and 3 graphics settings, for example. Hopefully the final article is a fitting tribute to this superb game.
* True high resolution graphics and gameplay *
* Fantastic new sprites by Minion *
* Crumbling platforms with debris *
* Four sets of levels – 80 caverns in all! *
* Three speed settings, from retro to modern *
* Three graphics sets, including the original retro look *
* Simple, addictive, classic platform action *