The fifth and final Wally Week game, Three Weeks in Paradise was published by Mikro-Gen in 1986, for the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC.
Herbert’s Dummy Run is the fourth game in the Wally Week series and was published by Mikro-Gen in 1985. It was written by Dave Perry and features Herbert Week – Wally’s baby son.
Star Trek, released by Mikro-Gen in 1983, is designer and programmer Derek Brewster‘s first commercial game.
It’s not a particularly good game – it has to be said – and is basically a copy of the infamous mainframe ‘Star Trek‘ games of the 1970s. Plus: it is highly unlikely Mikro-Gen actually took the trouble to get [ie. buy] an official license to use the Star Trek name (not to mention the use of USS Enterprise graphics), so the link to Star Trek in this game is highly dubious.
That said: if you can be bothered to learn how to play the game, it does hold some entertainment for a short while.
All games in Star Trek are randomly-generated, so are different each time, and are controlled using typed in keyboard functions. Without any instructions I managed to work out how to the play the game, and even blast a few Klingons. The commands IMPULSE, WARP, PHOTON and STATUS pretty much did it for me. And also: working out the 360 direction thing is crucial. It’s simple enough…
Star Trek by Derek Brewster – ZX Spectrum Commands
IMPULSE (then a number)
WARP (then a number)
PHOTON (then a direction, 0-360)
STATUS (to return type SHIP)
Chris Hinsley‘s 1985 follow-up to Pyjamarama sees the return – once again – of Wally Week. The mechanic turned mundane video game hero.
The unique thing about Everyone’s A Wally is that you can switch between five different characters and go about your adventuring business – two years before Maniac Mansion.
There’s big, yellow, colour-clashing Wally Week himself, who you start as. There’s Wilma, Wally’s cyan wife. And their friends Tom (the green punk), Dick (a magenta plumber) and Harry (a grey hippy electrician).
The aim of the game is to do a full day’s work for each character by picking up objects and solving puzzles. I don’t know about that. Seems like much too hard work for my liking…
Everyone’s A Wally even came with a promotional single by Mike Berry upon release. It might have even charted.
The game is well-remembered though, if a little bit archaic by today’s standards. The graphics and characterisation are pretty classic though.
Sir Fred is a wonderful little platform game originating from Spain and first released on the ZX Spectrum way back in 1986.
Graphically the game is colourful and characterful, with excellent animation on the main character. Gameplay-wise, Sir Fred is quite tough. Getting the timing of jumps correct is not easy, and it can take a while to get used to the feel of the game.
Sir Fred is also quite small, in terms of the total number of screens in the game, although getting through them and completing the game is a real challenge.
Definitely one of the better games to come from our European cousins, and one that is well worth playing, even now.
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.