Pathos, however, is unlikely to raise its tragic head in the case of Manic Miner from Bug-Byte; it's more a case of frustration and panic as you guide Willy the miner through the underground caverns to the surface, and riches. Starting off in the central cavern, he has to be helped past numerous obstacles on his way to the next. As ever, though, it's a case of one step forward, any number back, as you master the first hazard only to fail dismally at understanding the complexity of the second.
Miner Willy stumbles on the riches of a lost civilisation while prospecting in Surbiton. Your job is to guide him back to the surface avoiding poisonous pansies, spiders and slime, and worst of all, the manic mining robots. Willy must also collect the keys which are vital to his escape to each of 20 lethal levels.
The game has excellent graphics, and keyboard control gives you plenty of choice as to which keys are most convenient for you to use. There is lots of wacky humour, too from the penguins in the cold room to the ferocious toilet seats in Eugene's lair, a witty side-swipe, no doubt, at one of Imagine's star programmers. Satire on other games also creeps in - Pac-Man lookalikes are to the fore in the processing plant and there is a Kong Beast and a Return of the alien Kong Beast. Not to forget the Attack of the Mutant Telephones - do not ring us we will ring you, eh, Llamasoft's Jeff Minter?
Games like this certainly make the average micro user of the paucity of imagination that less dynamic software houses are stricken with. What is the point of buying one game if so many elements of different arcade games can be so effectively combined? The animation is excellent. With games like this Bug-Byte will be laughing all the way to the bank - which occurs, in Manic Miner, on the 15th screen.
All information in this page is provided by ZXSR instead of ZXDB