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SummaryRoy Coates' loving adaption of the classic game, and not before time!
The GoodWell its Manic Miner, iconic game of the 1980s, and it was finally available on the Dragon in 1984. For those not familiar it is probably the poster child for platform games developed for the home computer, most versions being approximately 20 screens of fiendish but highly addictive and slightly otherworldly fun. Roy Coates' version was a masterful adaption- he was a great writer for the machine for many years and an enthusiastic contributor to Dragon User magazine, and the adaptation being done by someone who genuinely loved the machine clearly shows through. Frankly Dragon owners were desperate for many of the games their mates had on the more popular machines and would have bought anything regardless of quality, so it is a real boon to find that the game has been put together so well. Despite the lack of memory compared to the 48 K Spectrum, Roy actually manages an extra couple of screens. Hi Res mode is of course black and white only for the PAL systems, but it does look beautiful. It works just as well on NTSC artifacted systems, and the sound effects are highly effective, almost as good as the Commodore 64 version. The collision detection is excellent, the gameplay smooth and the game is damn near flawless.
The BadAs ever with Miner there is an ability to lose all your lives at once, a common flaw to almost every version I have played (although I have not played them all). I would have liked the monochrome green mode to be a colour option, and of course it came with dreaded and fiddly software protection.