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Feb 052018

It’s just another Manic Miner (woah-ooh-woah)

Thanks to the efforts of Rob Sprowson, there is a new version of classic game Manic Miner available, benefiting from fixes that allow it to be run on both 26-bit and 32-bit RISC OS computers, up to and including the ARMv8 Raspberry Pi1.

Dating back to the early 1980s, Manic Miner is a platform game featuring twenty increasingly difficult levels, and was responsible for plenty of wasted time (and in my case, missed games lessons at school – although it wasn’t the only game that contributed to that!)

The player controls Miner Willy, moving him left or right, or making him jump, which enables him to move from one platform to another, avoid the monsters, and reach the keys – all of which need to be collected on any given level (or ‘cavern’) in order to progress to the next.

For added difficulty, each cavern contains only a limited amount of air – so spend too long trying to work out how to get past that strange robot, poisonous plant, or other monster, and poor Willy could run out of air and suffocate.

The game was originally written by Matthew Smith for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, with conversions soon produced for a number of other 8-bit platforms. It was unofficially ported to even more platforms much later, with Darren Salt having brought it to RISC OS from source code by Andy Noble.


  1. The game plays on RISC OS in either screen mode 13 (320×256) or, optionally, mode 49 (320×480) – a mode that, being taller than it is wide, is clearly designed for sufferers of Vertical Video Syndrome. Sample mode definition files are provided for both modes, though depending on your monitor you may need to adjust these slightly to make them usable.