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Cult hero Matthew Smith followed up Manic Miner with a seminal platform game. Having struck it lucky in the first game, Willy now owns a lavish mansion with over 60 rooms linked together, and must tidy it all before his housekeeper will let him sleep.

Unlike in Manic Miner, here all the rooms can be freely traversed from the start. Each room has its own hazards, such as spikes, guardians (ranging from demonic heads to giant penknives), and ropes which can be climbed and grasped in mid-air. Touching a monster or a stationary hazard, or falling a great distance, causes instant loss of a life and places Willy back at the room entrance.

The route through the house must be navigated carefully, due to the multiple entrances to some rooms - this is perhaps the first action game where mapping is an advantage. Another innovation, to the chagrin of players everywhere, is manual protection - a sheet of colour-coded numbers.


Jet Set Willy Amstrad CPC Doesn't every home have a nightmare room?
Jet Set Willy BBC Micro First Landing
Jet Set Willy BBC Micro Knife approaching you
Jet Set Willy Dragon 32/64 Loading screen

Promo Images

There are no promo images for this game

Alternate Titles

  • "La Casa de Jack" -- Spanish title
  • "Jetset Willie" -- Alternate title (C64 media)

Part of the Following Group

User Reviews

The quintessential ZX Spectrum game ZX Spectrum Jamie Mann (19)
Its JSW, lovingly converted with extra screens on less memory Dragon 32/64 drmarkb (112)

Critic Reviews

Personal Computer Games ZX Spectrum May, 1984 10 out of 10 100
Sinclair User ZX Spectrum Jun, 1984 9 out of 10 90
GamesCollection ZX Spectrum Mar 03, 2011 9 out of 10 90
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Commodore 64 Dec, 1984 9 out of 10 90 (UK) ZX Spectrum Oct 25, 2007 9 out of 10 90
The One for ST Games Atari ST Feb, 1992 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
Atari Gamer - XL-XE Game Review Edition Atari 8-bit Dec, 2013 5 out of 10 50
Commodore User Commodore 16, Plus/4 Jul, 1986 4 out of 10 40
Happy Computer Commodore 64 Jul, 1984 Unscored Unscored
Happy Computer ZX Spectrum Jul, 1984 Unscored Unscored


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1001 Video Games

Jet Set Willy appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Amstrad version

The Amstrad version of Jet Set Willy was the original official expansion of Jet Set Willy by Software Projects. This expansion was written by Derrick P. Rowson and Steve Wetheril, and contains 132 rooms. This expanded version is the basis of Jet Set Willy II: The Final Frontier.


The author of Jet Set Willy wrote the game and its predecessor Manic Miner before he was 18.

Copy protection

As ZX Spectrum games were distributed on audio cassettes, piracy was a major concern. Jet Set Willy was the first game in the world to feature copy protection, in the shape of codes (printed on a coloured card) which had to be typed in after loading the game.

Game patches

The original release of Jet Set Willy was buggy - entering The Attic led to memory corruption, and the game would crash if the player subsequently entered The Kitchen! Initially, the publisher claimed that this was a feature, but later released a fix, making Jet Set Willy one of the first commercial games to have a patch produced.


Approximately a year after Jet Set Willy was released, the computer magazine Your Spectrum published a type-in which added an extra room to the game. This was perhaps the first third-party mod ever released for a commercial game.


The music playing in the background is If I were a Rich Man from the US Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof, first performed in 1964.


Circa 1989, Paul Taylor and Carl Whitwell worked on an Atari ST conversion of this game for Software Projects -- late enough in the title's life that the painstaking port (disassembled code read off the Spectrum's monitor and typed into the Atari's keyboard, screen data dumped as hex and dictated to a typist) was never released to the commercial market. During the same period Shahid Ahmad worked on an Amiga port that met a similar fate of obscurity.


  • ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment)
    • February 1991 (issue #41) - Included in the list Greatest Games of all Time, section Platform-based Games (editorial staff choice)
  • Happy Computer
    • Issue 04/1985 - #3 Best Game in 1984 (Readers' Vote) (Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum version)
  • Retro Gamer
    • October 2004 (Issue #9) – #7 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
    • May 2007 (Issue 37) - #6 in the "Top 25 Platformers of All Time" (poll)
  • Zzap!
    • May 1985 (Issue 1) - #5 'Ten tackiest top-sellers'
Information also contributed by PCGamer77 and Pseudo_Intellectual.

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Contributed to by B.L. Stryker (23445), tcooke182 (4130), Sciere (772087), Kabushi (257509), Martin Smith (78234), subjugator (644) and Игги Друге (46318)
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