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Derrick P. Rowson
Arcade: Platform
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Chris Bourne
Chris Bourne

IT IS EIGHT months late, and Matthew Smith had very little to do with it. Nevertheless, it's here, and Miner Willy rises from the grave in the final part of the Manic Miner trilogy.

If you can clear the clouds of nostalgia for a moment and look at the game objectively, it also seems to be the rip-off of the year. Jet Set Willy II is, in a nutshell, Jet Set Willy with about 70 extra screens.

The plot is the same - Maria the housekeeper won't let Willy go to bed until he's cleaned up the house. Unfortunately, builders have been to work. Rooms are not always where they were.

If you're puzzled by all this, Jet Set Willy was the ultimate ladders and levels game, launched in 1984 and one of the biggest selling games ever.

This expanded version continues in the same vein under the coding of D P Rowson, with rooms such as Maria in Space and Beam me up Spotty. Games attacked include Alien 8, and Tribble Trouble.

Jet Set Willy II is probably as tough as the original. The Banyan Tree is as vile as ever, as is the Wine Cellar. Graphics, which amazed us all at the time, now look dated, and the music does not improve with age. Movement is considerably faster, although the infinite death traps, where you cannot escape losing all your lives in quick succession, have multiplied.

If you already have Jet Set Willy, and have waited for the final game for a year, you'll probably be a little upset. If you never saw the original, then the sequel is the one to buy, and represents very fair value for a one-time classic.

Chris Bourne

Publisher: Software Projects
Price: £6.95
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Kempston