CRASH Smash

EVERYONE’S A WALLY
(The Life of Wally)

Producer: Mikro-Gen
Memory required: 48K
Retail price: £9.95
Language: machine code
Author: The Mikro-Gen team

Screenshot

Herbert takes Wilma for a walk

After the success of Automania and Pyjamarama the third in the series is probably the most awaited game of the moment with the possible exception of Alien 8. Follow-ups are a dangerous route to take because comparisons are inevitable. Mikro-Gen seem only too aware of this and have taken pains to see that each one is better than the last. In Everyone’s a Wally this is certainly true, but they have also expanded the game play and introduced new characters so that Wally’s gang are themselves becoming possible future programs. The most notable introductions are Mrs. Week and Master Week. The missus is Wilma, a real dolly-sprite, and the youngster is Herbert, a menace on hands and knees who appears to have the freedom of Walliesville. The rest of the gang are Tom, Dick and Harry.

With the exception of Herbert (who is completely out of hand) the gang are all player-controllable, one at a time. Each of them is capable of undertaking different tasks, Dick, for instance, is the plumber. The gang has a list of tasks, most of which must be performed by the right person and with the right tools, often jobs depend on other tasks having been completed first. The overall object of the game is to collect all the code letters required to crack the bank safe to steal the money to pay the gang. The code letters act as objects to be collected and they must be taken to the bank in their correct sequence which you have to establish.

Screenshot

Swings and roundabouts for Wally and Wilma

As in Pyjamarama objects are scattered everywhere and are collected by walking over them which results in the carried object being deposited. Since all five player-controlled characters lead an independent life when not under control, this can become infuriating when someone wanders in and picks up an object you were just about to collect. Exchange of control is done when an uncontrolled character enters the same screen as your controlled character. You then just press the appropriate numerical key and control is exchanged. At any time, by pressing the key for the character you want to know about, a message comes up at the top which tells you where they are.

Like everyone else, the gang need feeding. Wilma’s quite good at shopping, which is just as well because although Wally will eat anything, the others are much fussier. As a consequence of all the variously inter-related actions, characters and situations, Everyone’s A Wally is actually a series of separate arcade/adventures within an overall arcade/adventure; and of course there are always the hazards lying around which are detrimental to energy. Pyjamarama had a Space Invaders game in the Video Room, Everyone’s a Wally has two little arcade games tucked into its innards — try a phone call, or cross town underneath the streets!

Another big difference between this and the other programs is that Mikro-Gen have included a free hit single on the reverse of the tape, recorded by Mike Berry and called — guess what?

CRITICISM

Cartoon

COMMENTS

Control keys: Q,E,T,U,O/W,R,Y,I,P left/right, 3rd row for exit screen (through doors, streets etc.), 4th row to jump, 1-5 select character keys
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair 2
Keyboard play: highly responsive
Use of colour: excellent
Graphics: excellent
Sound: very good
Skill levels: 1
Lives: endurance
Screens: lots (to be advised by readers)!
General rating: excellent.

Use of computer90%
Graphics93%
Playability94%
Getting started89%
Addictive qualities96%
Value for money96%
Overall93%

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