That's right, my retro-loving brethren, Bounty Bob has tunneled his way into the App Store thanks to Magmic's release of Miner 2049er [free] for the iPhone and iPad (universal).

For those unfamiliar, the original Miner 2049er is a platform game that was highly popular in the early '80s home computer scene. (See Owen Linzmayer's February 1983 Creative Computing review.) Released in 1982 by Bill Hogue through Big Five Software, the game puts you in the shoes of Bounty Bob on a mission to search through Nuclear Ned's abandoned uranium mines in search for the elusive Yukon Yohan. The treacherous mines, fraught with ladders, chutes and hydraulic scaffolds -- not to mention the radioactive creatures that roam the levels -- must be cleared by walking over every section of the platforms. There are 10 levels in all, which was quite a few, for its day. Miner 2049er was the inspiration for Matthew Smith's Manic Miner.

Magmic released a licensed, updated mobile version of the game in 2007, which received an IGN Editor's Choice Award and won the Best Revival category in the Best Of 2007 IGN awards. It features both a Classic mode with graphics similar to the Atari 800 original, as well as a vertically-scrolling Modern mode with new, rather more detailed visuals along with certain new twists, like an elevator fashioned from a girder dangling from a crane. Miner 2049er for iOS is an adaptation of that release, featuring tilt controls as well as several types of multitouch options.

Miner 2049er for iOS is a free download that includes 4 of the Modern mode levels, only. An in-app purchase of $0.99 unlocks the 10 Classic levels as well as all 10 of the Modern mode levels.

The game plays pretty much as you may remember it -- both in the Classic and Modern versions -- but with iOS controls, and there you have a number of options. The default control mode is tilt, which can be switched over to a touch-to-go-there mode or a joystick-left or joystick-right mode. The controls work about as you'd expect, but I find joystick-left to work best. Magmic indicates that a soon to be released update will tweak controls a bit and make joystick-left the default control mode. An additional 20 levels "at-least" will be coming in an update for users who have purchased the level pack, as well.

Unfortunately, I experienced a bug on my iPhone 4S test device that Magmic hadn't yet seen reported: at the App Store password prompt to buy the additional levels, the keyboard would not pop-up, leaving me unable to do so on that device. It worked fine on the iPad 2, however. It's unclear right now whether this is a 4S-specific issue but, at any rate, the folks at Magmic say they will look into it right away.

For fans of the original, Miner 2049er is an instant grab. But, then, it's free -- so it can't hurt to check it out if you're remotely intrigued. As mentioned, some things about the game are a bit shaky right now, but I feel that they will be worked out in short order, based largely on how responsive the folks at Magmic have been to my inquiries.

Miner 2049er developer Magmic also brought us The New York Times Crosswords Daily and Boulder Dash Rocks.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • http://twitter.com/stuartcarnie Stuart Carnie

    Oh yeah!

  • Anonymous

    Had the original on Atari 800. This looks visually updated of course, but the sound effects in comparison to the original are very much lacking. 

  • http://toucharcade.com blakespot

    See the February 1983 review in Creative Computing magazine, by Owen Linzmayer, author of 'Apple Confidential' among others. I just scanned it from my shelves.

    http://blakespot.com/images/miner_2049er_cc_review_feb_83.jpg

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the write-up Blake! I've finally got my own 4S set up and I didn't run into issue, however the development and QA teams are taking a closer look!

  • http://twitter.com/Miner_2049er Hans Franz

    When I played it some 25+ years ago on my Coleco Vision I nearly broke my joypad out of frustration because the game was so hard.You literally had to jump pixel perfect otherwise you had to start each level from scratch.
    I think I played it for at least a month just to finish the meagerly 10 levels if I remember correctly.
    If the difficulty is up the same level on the iPhone version I think I'll pass even if I really would get a new iPhone 4s.But not because out of frustration and insufficient self control ;-)

  • Loren Kaplan

    Wow...blast from the past.  I remember playing this one for hours.  The updated graphics are a bit too much though, I would have rather had some retro inspired graphics like GoatUp.

  • Anonymous

    I used to play this on an Atari 5200. What a battleship the 5200 was. It makes the original Playstation look small.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VRK27VQOZKDF4T5X45MK3XVHWE sdt33

    This is sweet. I hope they go all the way and do the sequels too. Bounty Bob Strikes Back is a tough cart to get for the 5200, would love to play that one again.

  • Erik Wilgenhof

    Bliss! Now please make it iCade compatible.

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Miner 2049er Lite Reviewed by Blake Patterson on . Rating: 3.5