Miner 2049er arcade

An arcade version of Miner2049er has been a fantasy of mine for a long, long time. I’ve always felt like the game deserved an arcade release. I’ve even considered making my own fantasy arcade cabinet for it. I’ve searched high and low for even a rumor of an arcade version and came up with nothing.

Then, in 2020 I saw a post on Facebook from Steve Buckley in Canada showing off some of his recent arcade game marquee scores. Among them was a Miner 2049er marquee. The picture was pretty small but I immediately reached out to him to ask if he had any more details about it. He did not. I told him of my love for the series and he offered to give me the marquee for free since he did not have the same love as I. Of course I gratefully accepted.

I figured that this must be some home-made thing that someone with the same love for the game as I had. I figured they must have made their own arcade machine for the game and this was the marquee from it. However, the bottom of the marquee said “Nova Games of Canada” which is an actual legit arcade game maker. This made me wonder.

It took a pretty long time to finally get the marquee from Steve, but I finally did. Having it in my grubby hands made me want to dig more and find out if there was any way it could be from a legit arcade version. I scoured the internet to try to find a contact for Nova Games. I found nothing besides info about their other releases — Intrepid, Super Triv, Port Man, etc. No contact info though. On a whim, I searched an archive of my old emails. I turns out that I had previously been in contact with an actual Nova Games employee about another game they worked on — Spartan X2, a sequel to Kung Fu Master (Spartan X in Japan). I had an actual email address of someone from Nova! So I emailed them. Got no answer. Finally, I decided to try to look them up on Linkedin. That worked! The gentlemen’s name is Bruno Fontaine and he was very kind, and had some incredible answers for me.

Bruno: “…As for Miner 2049er, I completed the game development (Z80 Assembler) and it was, according to other staff playing it, great fun with the final version having 10 levels where some were horizontally extended (like the Bagman game) with smooth scrolling. These levels were not the same as the original 8bit computer game version. Unfortunately, I was told at the time that the agreement with the original author of the game fell through and we had to abandon the release at the 11th hour. I was never able to get my hand on my final prototype and many years ago, my previous boss told me that it was thrown away.”

Me: “Wow. Thanks for the amazing info anyway. So [was] the marquee I found originally on your game?”

Bruno: “Most likely. This is the same style as another game I developed 30+ years ago. An example:


This was developed at Nova Games.”

Wow, wow, wow. So this is confirmation that there WAS an arcade version of Miner 2049er in development!! And it is lost! But the marquee I got from Steve is surely legit! This is amazing. It makes me dream of what it must have been like, and I feel so lucky to have this marquee in the museum.

Hopefully some day Bruno or his boss will find more artifacts from this incredible lost treasure.

Miner 2049er Volume II bootleg – Atari 2600 – Canal3


Lately I’ve been checking out (and have a few) Brazilian bootlegs because I really like their crazy label designs and creative naming. While there are plenty of bootlegs from South America, there aren’t many of Miner 2049er. To date, even among pictures of the hardcore Brazilian collectors’ collections, I’ve only see one cart (from Pop Video) and a flyer for one from from Canal 3.

I’m pleased to report that I’ve found another Brazilian bootleg cart, this time for Volume 2 from Canal 3! This one is not branded Intellivision like the Volume 1 in the flyer but it’s still really cool to see one. Enjoy.

Miner 2049er bootleg prototype – Colecovision – Onyx


Bootlegs of games are not too rare. Prototypes are pretty rare. Prototype bootlegs? Now that’s something you don’t see every day.

This was recently found along with a stash of Onyx ColecoVision prototype consoles from Microdigital – a bootlegging company out of Brazil who is best known for the Onyx Jr, an Atari 2600 knockoff with a pause button and a military theme.

As the story goes, an ex-Microdigital employee, whilst cleaning his attic, came across some interesting treasures, and gave the whole kaboodle to a gentleman named Marcus Garret, who’s a bit of a video game historian (he wrote 2 books about Atari).

Marcus was kind enough to power up the cart by my request and found that this version is the same as the released version of the game. It’s almost certainly more of an internal Onyx company test cart than a true prototype. Still, interesting to see.

Miner 2049er bootlegs – Atari 2600 – Various


The Atari 2600 games market in Brazil in the 1980’s was very large and very active. However it was overwhelmingly populated by bootlegs and the bootlegging companies tended to play free and loose with American brand names. One such company, Canal 3, released most of their titles under the brand name “Intellivision” (same logo and everything) even though the games were for the Atari 2600. Miner 2049er was one of the games they bootlegged and is almost certainly the source of the (false) rumor that there was an Intellivision version of the game.

Another was released by “Pop Video”