Manic Miner for the Spectrum and MSX
It was released for many other platforms
with many variants

Manic Miner is one of the classic computer and video games of all time.

It was released on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum and for many other platforms with many variants, releases and editions.

But as it stood in late 2020, it appeared that those variants, releases and editions were not documented in any one place.

Collectors love variants and so PopeyMon Games and Fun wanted to perform this service for the gaming community and the Spectrum community.

The series of articles on Manic Miner for Collectors is based on the research by a collector and expert source, seen by many as the authority on Manic Miner versions and passionate collector of all things Manic Miner.

Their research was reviewed over many years by a great many people on the Central Cavern Facebook group. PopeyMon got the expert’s permission to use and edit the articles, and to publish them on the web, with his photos. Before these articles were published, the expert reviewed them for correctness and completeness (see footnote *).

The articles deal only with the Sinclair ZX Spectrum releases of Manic Miner. The articles do not look at the internals of the game itself – only the inlay, cassettes, boxes and covers and the variants of these in the editions and releases for the Spectrum.

Part 1 of the Manic Miner For Collectors series is about the First Edition, First Release on Bug Byte – the so-called “Whistler” version. See Footnote*.

Part 2 was on the First Edition, Second Release that was also from Bug Byte, the so-called “Lantern” version. See Footnote*.

Part 3 is about the version that was released on the Software Projects label, the “mutant telephone” release.

The game was released on many other platforms, including the MSX (er… pun intended for this platform game!), as shown in the photo above. These articles do not look at those platforms, although there might be updates in the future.

I have had a request to do a series for the Horace games. Look out for that soon! 🙂

PopeyMon Games and Fun


Please note that every effort has been made to check the information in these articles. They were reviewed by my expert source and altered to update them, before publication.

During a review of the articles on the Central Cavern Facebook, and when published via Twitter, there was a lot of very positive feedback from fans. When asked originally, no evidence was provided to contradict the information in these articles during those reviews.

However, there is still considerable debate about the order of Manic Miner releases by Bug Byte. It could well have been that the order was different to that presented here, but the only evidence supporting that has been adverts in computer magazines. To counter this, there is counter evidence about the way Bug Byte operated. Please see the comments below this article.

Please note that these articles are published to fill a gap in knowledge for collectors, and are provided in good faith. If you believe that you have evidence that there are inaccuracies, please get in touch at the contact details here.

It is good to have a constructive debate and discussion about this much-loved classic game, Manic Miner.

PopeyMon Games and Fun.


  1. This is exactly wrong – Lantern was first. See the Your Computer adverts – the Lantern cover is shown on the earliest one in Aug 83 (published July 83) is the first cover and Whistler doesn’t appear until the December 83 issue.

    1. Thank you. I was very aware when I wrote the articles that there is considerable debate about the order in which different inlays were used. As is clearly stated, Adrian Grubb provided his collection and views in good faith.

      I am also aware that some people believe that magazine adverts are incontrovertible evidence of the physical order of releases by Bug Byte. Clearly you are one of those people. But others disagree.

      The comprehensive Crash review of Bug Byte releases believes the opposite to what you believe and Richard Burton’s excellent and well-researched article agrees with what Adrian Grubb has suggested and in which I have stated on the PopeyMon website. Sorry that you don’t agree, but that’s your opinion.

      There is no undisputable evidence that I have seen that either view is correct. Why?

      Because the research that I have conducted has found that Bug Byte releases – and not just of Manic Miner – were somewhat unpredictable, with batches produced in different ways, not necessarily sequential with overlapping of releases for sale, and not even with catalogue numbers that made sense or in any order. Some releases did not even have any catalogue number.

      Thanks again for your comment though. It adds to the debate. And perhaps, the mystery…

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