If you had to choose one video-game character to represent the Sinclair Spectrum, chances are it would be Miner Willy. He first leapt onto our screens in 1983 as the hero of Manic Miner, negotiating his way through 20 underground caverns populated by a myriad of strange creatures. He returned the following year in Jet Set Willy, this time set in a sprawling mansion with 60 interconnected rooms and a cast of surreal inhabitants.

The game became a definitive title of the era and continues to inspire and intrigue gamers three decades on. At PLAY Expo Manchester, we are delighted to be hosting the UK premier of ‘WILLY: 48K About A Legend’, a beautiful short animated film by Italian director Paolo Santagostino, who will be introducing the screening. You can watch the trailer here - https://vimeo.com/251482173

Matthew Smith, the creator of Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy, will be joining us for a post-screening audience Q&A, hosted by Retro Gamer magazine regulars Paul Drury and Martyn Carroll. The event will also include a ‘Best Jet Set Willy mod’ award and a quiz with some very special prizes.

Make sure to join us to celebrate the 35th birthday of this most beloved of 8-bit games!

As part of the 35th anniversary of Jet Set Willy event at this year’s Play Expo, there will be an audience vote to decide their favourite mod of the game.

Paolo Santagostino, the director of the film Willy: 48k About a Legend which will be screened on the day, has shortlisted the following 5. Which do you think should win? Come along and have your say!

1) Maria's Revenge
Year of release 2004
Author: Mat Doughty

2) ZX Willy the Bug Slayer
Year of release 2002
Author: Geoff Eddy

3) Join the Jet-Set
Year of release 1985
Author: Richard G. Hallas

4) Jet-Set Willy (again)
Year of release 2005
Author: Philip Bee

5) Free Willy
Year of release 2001
Author: Vidar Eriksen

Matt and Paul

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