Review from Dragon User magazine, December 1984
Manic Miner, Software Projects, The Bear Brand Complex, Allerton Road, Woolton, Liverpool L25 7SF. Price: £5.50
One of the most popular games to be released for the Spectrum was undoubtedly Manic Miner; now Roy Coates has converted this game to run on the Dragon and it looks to be just as good on this machine. The only real difference from the original version is that the graphics are all black and white. This was a necessary drawback to maintain the same resolution as used on the Spectrum.
The object of the game is to guide miner Willy through the 20 screens, collecting objects as you go. The various screens include conveyor belts, rampaging toilets and bloodthirsty telephones. The sound effects are adequate and there's continual musical accompaniment, but as this is the same tune played over and over there is, thankfully, an option to turn off the music.
The only controls you have are left/right and jump, the keyboard is used and is unusually responsive; however, not including a joystick option these days seems rather strange.
This is a faithful reproduction of the Spectrum version and the fact that the graphics are black and white doesn't detract from the real appeal of this game - one for the colIection.
Re-review from Dragon User magazine, June 1985
This game never made an appearance in the arcades. The original (written for the spit, Spectrum) was written by Matthew Smith and has become one of the biggest selling games EVER released.
The recently released sequel, Jet Set Willy, is better than this game, and this game is of a very high standard indeed!!
The object of the game, for those who have been fortunate enough not to come into contact with a Spectrum for prolonged periods, is to help Miner Willy through 20 caverns (actually, the Dragon version is rumoured to have two extra screens, but I have never reached them!), collecting a variety of keys, dials, snow-shoes, and other silly objects whilst avoiding a set of equally silly creatures (the most famous of which are the man-eating toilets).
The game would be good value with four or five screens; with 20 (22?) screens it's ridiculously good value.
But those amongst you (myself included) who can go from start to end on the Spectrum version, will find a much more difficult task on the Dragon. The game, whilst undergoing translation, has been made faster and more responsive. This, coupled with the fact that old Spectrum timings and patterns do not always apply, makes it almost like playing a new game!
The game. like its excellent successor, is almost sure to become a classic, and its sales on the Dragon show that Roy Coates has taken Matthew Smiths formula and implemented it as well on the Dragon, as the latter did on the Spectrum.
Manic-Miner cheats, the officiaI version - Dragon User, July 1985
Roy Coates gives the authorised cheat method
When Manic-Miner was written it was envisaged that many people would give up trying to complete the game owing to some of the more difficult screens such as the warehouse. Because of this a cheat routine was written into the game which may be accessed as follows.
- 1 - Set the game running on the Central Cavern.
- 2 - Press the "P" key to Pause the game.
- 3 - Very quickly press the "P" key again; this will re-start the game and will be taken as the first letter of the password which is "PENGUIN".
- 4 - Now enter the rest ot the password "ENGUIN". If you have been successful a boot will appear at the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
- 5 - At any time whilst you are playing the game you may access the cheat. All you have to do is press the "BREAK" key. The game will freeze. Now press a key in the range A to V to select your screen.
Please note that there is only one version of Manic-Miner and so this cheat will work on any valid copy of the game. For those of you who wish to make a permanent copy of the game with the cheat enabled and with unlimited lives read on.
Switch your Dragon OFF and then ON again ensuring that any cartridges are removed. Type in the BASIC program given below, carefully checking that the DATA statements are entered correctly. RUN the program and when prompted to press the ENTER key place a blank tape in your cassette player, press the ENTER key and the machine code routine held in the DATA statements will be served to tape.
Again switch your Dragon OFF and then ON again, place your Manic-Miner tape in the cassette recorder and load the game with the command:
When this has loaded type in the following POKES.
These POKES will enable the cheat routine and give unlimited lives. CLOADM the program that was saved from above, place a blank tape in your cassette recorder and when ready to record type
A new version of Manic-Miner will now be saved to tape and may be loaded in the same way as the original.
Finally, my thanks to all the people who have written to me regarding Manic-Miner and Jet Set Willy, your letters are very much appreciated.