Wallie Goes To Rhymeland is the third and final game in the “Wallie” series, designed and programmed by Andrew Challis, with graphics by his sister, Claire. The game was first published by Interceptor Software in 1984 for the Commodore 64 and it is mostly forgotten now. Which is a pity because the game has some charm; it was made by a brother and sister team, and it also brought joy to the lives of everyday gamers back in the mid-Eighties.
Playing as “Wallie” you must complete various tasks over five levels based on famous nursery rhymes. Each level is split into two parts. The first part is a simple Moon Patrol-style side-scrolling platform game with hazards to avoid. The second part is a single-screen Donkey Kong rip-off where you must collect objects and reach the top platform on the screen to win.
You’ll lose one of your four lives if you touch an enemy; touch a deadly hazard; or fall too far. Each section has a time limit too. Gameplay in Wallie Goes to Rhymeland is archaic, and probably the least interesting of the three Wallie games. The minigames are pointless and the game in general seems unpolished compared to its predecessors.
Wheelin’ Wallie, Trollie Wallie, and Wallie Goes To Rhymeland represent a snapshot of where Commodore 64 gaming was back in 1984. Which was: the games were still mostly primitive, had surreal graphics, jolly music, and bizarre gameplay, but managed to retain your attention by being humorous and competently programmed. Usually by kids. Commodore 64 gaming was weird back in 1984. Many games were amateurish because coders didn’t have much experience, and also because many of the games were made by kids for a laugh. Some kids occasionally making something special. Andrew Challis and his sister Claire were two computer kids who made three games over the space of one year, and people still play and remember them now. And in spite of the lacklustre ending to the series with this mal-formed game, I’d say that that was something special.