Automania – developed by Chris Hinsley for Mikro-Gen in 1984 – is the first ever appearance of the character Wally Week.
Wally Week went on to star in a series of games after this (Pyjamarama, Everyone’s A Wally, Three Weeks In Paradise, etc.), but this first encounter with the yellow Wally is a simple game of collecting car parts and assembling them, and avoiding contact with various moving meanies.
Although Automania was not a massive hit (I must admit I did buy it back in 1984, and really enjoyed it), it did set up both Wally Week as an interesting character, and Chris Hinsley, as a developer to look out for. And Chris‘s next Wally Week game – Pyjamarama (also released in 1984) – was the big hit that really put Wally Week on the map.
And now: some 30 years plus, after release, Wally Week is all but forgotten. A footnote in video game history. Unless someone’s attempted to bring him back via the magic of “homebrew”. You never know these days. Anything is possible.
More: Mikro-Gen on Wikipedia