Mr. Wimpy, BBC Micro

The BBC Micro conversion of Ocean Software‘s infamous BurgerTime rip-off, Mr. Wimpy, was coded by Richard Kay and first released in 1984. And – without any hesitation – I can say that it is absolutely terrible.

The BBC version of Mr. Wimpy has one major problem that makes it awful; abysmal; utterly frustrating and unforgivably unplayable, and that is the the mechanic that governs moving off ladders onto horizontal platforms. It just doesn’t work properly, and you’ll lose life after life just trying to get off a damn ladder, so that you can resume dropping burgers. And this issue – as significant as it is – is not the game’s only problem. When you lose a life, you can easily lose another, and then another, because of how Mr. Wimpy re-spawns, and because the AI of enemies is so direct. The game doesn’t give you a chance and has none of the nuance that BurgerTime has.

As difficult as the original BurgerTime is, it does at least allow you to fool enemies by using your position and direction to influence their pathfinding. In this: the enemies will come at you directly, and if you’re lucky the random pathfinding algorithm might give you a chance, but don’t count on it.

I also read that the game is unfinished too, which doesn’t surprise me. Apparently, when you get to level seven there are no ladders leading up to the top level, so it is impossible to complete. Needless to say: I didn’t get that far because I’d had my fill of the game long before then.

BBC Mr. Wimpy is badly-coded, badly presented, amateurishly-produced, and insufficiently playtested, and is incredibly annoying to play. I don’t recommend it at all. Avoid it at all costs. In fact: you should play the original ZX Spectrum version – or any other version of Mr. Wimpy – bar this one, because it’s so irredeemably bad.

More: Mr. Wimpy on Wikipedia
More: Mr. Wimpy on

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