Amiga Power1st March 1992
Published in Amiga Power #11
Jet Set Willy II
Hard on the heels of Manic Miner comes Software Projects' second attempt at converting a long-lost Spectrum classic. Sadly though, in a blow for nostalgic reviewers everywhere, this time they've not bothered to include the original, crap-graphics version. What you get is a beefed up 1992-style conversion, not of Manic Miner's hugely popular Jet Set Willy, but of Jet Set Willy 2, which was a little-known (and not especially successful) 8-bit sequel which was essentially the same as the original Jet Set Willy game, but with about 60 new rooms inserted into the game map.
In the Amiga game the screen scrolls and the old room names disappear from the screen, but the platform layouts, baddies and movement patterns are more or less indentical to the original.
The graphics have obviously been tarted up to be suitable for the Amiga, although they're still far from state-of-the-art, and the music, in common with the 16-bit version of Manic Miner, is unspeakably awful, far worse than even the old Speccy used to manage. But enough technicality, how does the actual game stand up after seven long years?
Pretty well, as it happens. This is still a great game, but I do have doubts over whether there's enough action in it to satisfy hardened 80's gamers. JSW was never the fastest game in the world, and in this version too there's a lot of wandering around without a lot going on to keep you interested.
The bigger graphics make it harder to get a clear idea of how the different areas of the map relate to each other too, which robs the game of some of its atmosphere. Then again, Willy's mansion is still a fascinating place to explore, and it'll take you a hell of a long time to find your way into all its hidden nooks and crannies.
To be honest with you, I'm not entirely sure how to take this one. For old JSW fans like myself, it's a refreshing and highly enjoyable blast from the past, but the more sophisticated tastes of today's game players might find it all a bit lacking. It's at a budget price, though, so why not try it out?
Just this once, risk a tenner and find out for yourself.
The Bottom Line
A better buy than many other ordinary budget games, so you have to say in its field it's something of a success. Worth having, if only as a historical artefact.