Here's another one for the oldschool gamers out there, especially those on the other side of the pond. Elite has just released Matthew Smith's well loved UK home computer platformer Jet Set Willy for the iPhone and iPad in the form of the emulator-based, standalone titles Jet Set Willy: ZX Spectrum [link] and Jet Set Willy: ZX Spectrum HD [link].

Originally released for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum in 1984, Jet Set Willy is a sequel to the similarly popular UK classic Manic Miner and involves guiding Miner Willy around his massive mansion (60 screens in all) in an effort to clean up the place, collecting various items strewn about it during a party the previous night so that his housekeeper will let him into his bedroom to get some much needed sleep.

The game was typically played via keyboard directional controls way back when, and on iOS devices is controlled via tap (below the action in portrait, overlaid in landscape), but with a bit more flexibility than the typical iOS D-pad touch game, thanks to Elite's customizable "iDaptive" control system. Both iOS versions of the game offer the standard play mode as well as an infinite lives mode for the weak.

In addition to these standalone versions of the game, Jet Set Willy will soon be arriving as part of a downloadable content pack for Elite's ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection [iPhone, iPad], as did Manic Miner [iPhone, iPad] following its standalone iOS release. TV-out is expected for all of the mentioned Elite titles in a future update.

Jet Set Willy, in all of its color clashing goodness, is certainly not much to look at today, but rendered out in those 15-colors are some insanely difficult platformer challenges. And, after the first few minutes, your eyes will stop bleeding, I promise.

  • Beethy Koelewijn

    Hell ... yes.....!!!

  • Acab

    hmmm play it for free 1st online...its hard an quite boring, i was going to buy it untill i played it again and realized how old and hard it was.

    • Anonymous

      You sound young.

      • acab

        haha no im 38 i played it the 1st time around and loved it infact, my friend was one of the 1st in the uk to collect all the pieces and complete the game, he went on to meet the maker of the game and was given gifts and a trip round the factory/studio etc.

        i was exited to see it come to ipad but when i played the game online i realised within 10 mins it wasnt so much fun and decided not to buy.:)

      • Anonymous

        Then you're probably like me -- either your hand/eye coordination isn't quite what it used to be, or we're looking at our erstwhile coordination through slightly rose-tinted glasses. Either way though I still enjoy playing the classics like this. I may not be as good at them as I used to (or used to think I was) but it's still a wonderful blast of nostalgia and the games themselves are still entertaining.

      • acab

        i think thats it, rose tinted glasses, in the past i had the same experience with movies and music i loved as a youth also, listen/watch now they are dated and old, not as kool as i remember.

      • Anonymous

        I think there's a difference there though. I can't quite put my finger on what, but even I feel that way. I used to love The Greatest American Hero when I was a kid. a few years ago I bought Season 1 on DVD and watched it -- and I couldn't stop cringing at it. It was so damn cheesy! Games, though ... somehow despite their age, I still enjoy every aspect of them.

    • Anonymous

      Oh sweet Jesus shut up. This is the #1 game of all time. The mind of Matthew Smith is like the most intense trip you could experience. Soldsoldsold.

      First game I ever played too, 3 years old. It's stuck with me ever since and only gets better with age. Touchscreen controls though?... an interesting experiment.

      • Anonymous

        Oh, but if you must play for free, try the remake "Jet Set Willy Online". There won't be anyone online but the single player is lovingly done and practically identical, with only a few edits in the name of bug fixing, a load of new rooms on top and smoother animations.

  • Anonymous

    Dunno why they're releasing it as a standalone first. I'd rather just wait 'til it's available for DLC in the proper emulator, since it'll be the same price and come with other games.

  • Anonymous

    I won't begrudge the Brits for their seemingly endless reruns of ancient Spectrum stuff, but I sure wish someone would bring back Vectrex, Odyssey 2, and more Intellivision and Atari memories. I want to like these Sinclair apps, but it's tough without any nostalgia for the machines.

    • Alexander Locasio

      I think we may see some vectrex stuff from llamasoft, if anyone does it.

    • Anonymous

      I'd love to see an Atari emulator show up, though I certainly wouldn't turn down Vectrex. I'm ambivalent about O2. During my classic console collecting years some years back, I had one with a whole mess of carts, and frankly it just wasn't that entertaining. For me, I never owned a Spectrum -- it was released briefly in the US as the TS2048 (through Timex) but it never made it to Canada that I'm aware of, and never sold well in the US anyway. Still, I got a Speccy emulator for the Atari ST in the mid-90s and I discovered a whole new popular system with some really fun games -- even if the graphics were tile-based and sound (on the 48) was a piezo buzzer. Still, I had a lot of fun exploring the many games for the system, so it's kind of nostalgia-by-proxy for me.

      • Anonymous

        You didn't like the O2 because you came to it later, without nostalgia or sentiment, much like I approach the Spectrum.

        My first home system was a secondhand Odyssey 2 with a stack of "master challenge" games like Pick Axe Pete, Freedom Fighers, Attack of the Timelord, and K.C. Munchkin. Awesome ... at the time ... to me.

      • Anonymous

        I dunno. I mean, I grew up during the O2's time -- owned an Atari 2600, Colecovision and Coleco Gemini, played on friends' Vectrex and Intellivison, even played an O2 back in the day. But the O2 just didn't really strike me the way the other systems did. I can appreciate a system even if I didn't grow up with it (like the Spectrum), but I think my problem with it was just that despite the keyboard, it just seems to have lacked a lot of the "magic" other systems did. I did like a few of the games, but on the whole I didn't really dig it.

  • Alexander Locasio

    $1.99 is a little steep tbh for a single emulated game

  • Dmarcoot

    Someone please bring Miner 2049'er and bounty Bob Strikes back from Big Five Software

  • oakleaf leaf

    > And, after the first few minutes, *you're* eyes will stop bleeding, I promise.

    Such a shame to see that kind of typos on my lovely toucharcade. Feelsbadman 🙁

  • o-b

    The original was literally impossible to complete due to a bug. Is this one?

    • Caiman

      The bug was easily fixed in the original, so I'm guessing (but can't confirm) that Elite would have implemented the simple fix for this release. It's not as though they have to perform a quirkafleeg or anything.

      • Guest

        By the looks of it, Elite have used the version of JSW that was on the compilation They Sold a Million, which I'm pretty sure had the bugfix applied. Unfortunately it also means the iconic ear-splitting rendition of If I Was a Rich Man has been replaced with the music from Manic Miner, In The Hall of the Mountain King 🙁

  • Acidbottle

    classic game but prefered jsw2, seemed a bit faster and easier to get into.

    also watched a documentary on matthew smith, poor guy is as spaced out as ya like. think he spent a looong time at a hippy commune in holland ..

  • Simon Windmill

    Do we have to enter the colour key before we can play? 🙂

    Kind of hilarious to think that this was any kind of protection just because color photocopying was so expensive at the time. I feel old.

  • Andy

    Back in the day I enjoyed JSW but a price of 1.99USD for an emulated game is pretty rubbish really...

  • psj3809

    This is a classic old game for the Speccy. Great to see it available, was always a very difficult game to play but back then as kids part of the thrill was just to find new rooms ! Going to be interesting taking my time to complete this game though properly.

    Legendary 80's Spectrum game, great to see is on iOS

  • Tom - mooedia

    Doubt any of you guys out there would of heard of an MSX but this was even out on that. Was an enjoyable game so may just give it a crack.

  • Da_Master

    "iPhone smashed by users" = + 135 % . C'mon , this game is beatiful as is difficulty. It's so fucking hard !!!