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Third Award: Andrew Broad, for Manic Miner: Neighbours – Allana Truman

This is another retrospective award which I have been meaning to do for some time!

Manic Miner: Neighbours – Allana Truman is a 2004 game for the obsolete but formerly very popular Sinclair ZX Spectrum home computer.

It is a new version of Matthew Smith’s classic 1983 early platform game Manic Miner. In fact, more technically it is a re-definition of the rooms of Manic Miner – the original game is still underneath, but the graphics and level designs have been altered. This means that it is can still be played on original hardware, or (more likely) via an emulator. This is also absolutely fundamental to the nature of Andrew Broad’s practice. He has a special genius for designing extremely challenging and interesting rooms, which can sometimes only be completed by exploiting quirks and glitches of the original game engine – in fact, you are unlikely to get very far with any of his more challenging MM games unless you carefully read the tips and suggestions provided in his extensive README files. The README files also provide context for the level designs and gameplay and form an intrinsic part of the full experience – hints to aid your imagination in building the strange world of Ramsay Street as filtered through Manic Miner and Andrew Broad.