Atari 5200 Review: MINER 2049ER

by Big Five Software

Miner 2049er Pic 1
Miner 2049er came out in over 15 different formats, mostly from newer and smaller companies like Tigervision and MicroFun. Big Five also falls in both of these categories. Since Big Five's head honcho, Bill Hogue, originally created Miner on the 5200 and Atari Computers, it comes as no surprise that the SuperSystem version (which is identical to the Atari computer version) is the best one available. The game has ten different screens, and is arguably the ultimate climbing game.

In Miner, you take control of Bounty Bob, who is searching through all of Nuclear Ned's abandoned mines for the treacherous Yukon Yohan. Bob must claim each section of each mine by running over it. There are radioactive creatures to avoid, but Bob's most difficult task is the precision jumping necessary to claim the entire mine before the time runs out.

The beauty of this game is that each of the ten screens has been carefully thought out. On some screens there is only one way to complete the screen, and it may take dozens of plays to figure out the proper way, unless the player pauses and carefully studies a screen before playing it. Even then, the correct path is not always obvious. Some critical jumps are only one pixel out of reach. The game play is never boring because proper timing of jumps is still very challenging even when the correct rout is figured out. If that isn't enough, there are ten different skill levels, with the highest level being absolutely inhuman in its difficulty!

Miner 2049er Pic 2
Most of the screens have special features. Slides, Star Trek-like transporters, moving platforms, a moveable hoist, and a cannon are only some of the surprises in this multi-faceted game. Although the graphics of Bob and the radioactive creatures are nothing to write home about, the prizes that Bob must grab to vanquish the creatures are beautifally rendered. The prizes range from axes, to dynamite and martinis and everything in between. The special effects are also excellent. If Bob becomes contaminated he is fried into a radioactive pancake.

This game has it all. Tireless, entertaining, consistent game play; above average graphics and sound effects; an original reworking of an established theme; and a darn good sense of humor. Even the 5200 controller works reasonably well with this game. Miner 2049er for the 5200 gets the highest recommendation, and is, without a doubt, in a class above other great climbing contests like Donkey Kong and Space Panic.

Test your mind and reflexes with one of the deeper games from the classic era.

Title Miner 2049er
Publisher Big Five Software
System Atari 5200 SuperSystem
Graphics 6
Sound 6
Gameplay 9
Overall 8
Reviewer Keita Iida

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