|Diamond Mine II's loading screen|
Format reviewed: Acorn Electron
Developed by: Blue Ribbon
Year of original release: 1985
Also available on: BBC Micro, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 16, Commodore Plus/4, MSX
Available now on: Nothing
Mining and diamonds seem to be a common theme in computer games of old. Games like Boulder Dash for example and, er, um, Manic Miner. Not too sure we saw Miner Willy doing any actual mining in it though. I suppose you could count Jet Set Willy too as it featured the same character. Oh well, maybe mines and diamonds aren't that common a theme. Perhaps the black backgrounds that were a feature of many 1980s computer games made me think they were all set in mines, and I suppose diamonds were fairly easy to draw so they also seemed to pop up quite a bit in old games.
|When this screen is moving, the box of colours changes and|
moved inwards from the outer edge. Psychedelic!
As its title suggests, the idea of Diamond Mine II is to mine diamonds. And like many games in the 1980s, the mines takes the form of maze-like levels. You simply have to clear the diamonds from the paths in the mazes. You do this by guiding a pipe through the level. If you touch your own pipe or attempt to go backwards on yourself, you lose a life. You can however retract your pipe, a necessity to get through the game. The pipe retracts for however long you hold down the relevant key, which is Return in the Electron version.
|I was mining in a mine one day. In the very merry month of May|
|Remaining energy becomes points at the end of each level.|
|There are diamonds on this level. They just happened to be|
blue when I took the screenshot.
Nothing too exciting but they do the job. The Blue Ribbon corporate loading screen is followed by the game's name, writer and copyright info on background of changing colours.
The game is colourful and it's clear to see what's going on. The diamonds are just dots of changing colours, while the game's only sprites, somebody bouncing at the top of the screen and the mutant eyes, are well-drawn.
Suitable sound effects with a short melody when you start the game.
Easy to pick up, hard to put down. Fun to play without being overly frustrating.
A great little Acorn Electron arcade style game, something to return to again and again.
Mining for Diamonds elsewhereDiamond Mine II wasn't an Electron exclusive. Oh no, not at all. It also made appearances on some other home computers too, although for some reason didn't make it to the Spectrum or C64.
|Level one Amstrad CPC-style|
|While over on the Commodore 16, we have this.|
|Wishy washy colours on the Commodore Plus/4|
The BBC Micro version is the best of the bunch with the trusty Electron version a close second.