Everyone's a Wally

by Chris Hinsley, Neil Strudwick, Graham Campbell
Mikro-Gen Ltd
Crash Issue 14, Mar 1985   page(s) 118,119

Producer: Mikro-Gen
Memory Required: 48K
Retail Price: £9.95
Language: Machine code
Author: The Mikro-Gen Team

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.

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?


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)!

Okay Wally, you've had it easy so far, so let's try and give you something a BIT harder to do. Just raid the bank to pay for the gangs' wages. Easy, right? Well there are a couple of tasks to perform like repairing the fountain and the gas main, and some of those vehicles you'll need are broken. BUT being a Wally you can't possibly do all this by yourself, so there are a few friends around to help out. As usual you've been placed in BRILLIANT graphics and there's a great tune - a Wally tune of course - before you start on your Wallyventure. Being a Wally, everything is so difficult it may take you some time just to familiarise yourself with your Wally surroundings. Well Wally, what are you waiting for? You've been set in the perfect game so make the most of your brill graphics, sound and friends and get cracking on your megadventure.

Continuing with the trilogy of Wally, the theme has been taken one step further; more characters have been introduced to the game and these add a new dimension to the playing techniques. The idea of expanding one character to five must be a major advance in the game idea. Each character, having its own task to complete, does make the game somewhat more difficult and adds more depth. The graphics are along the now traditional Wally line but there are more of them and they are more detailed; each of the main characters is very clear and distinctly personal. The only problem in this area is the usual attribute problem when more than two colours are used, but this is not too disturbing, and after a while you hardly notice it in any case. Animation is superb, and I especially liked baby Wally, who crawled very well. The Wally trilogy is going more into the adventure-arcade theme where both types of skill are required. All in all even a better game than Pyjamarama was. Another winner by Mikro-Gen.

Success seems to be going to Wally's stomach - he's putting on a touch of weight! Mind you, when you see the butcher's and the baker's you can see why. A map of the town in which the action takes place should be fun, but it'll take a bit of time to get round it. As usual the graphics are big and very colourful with tons of drawn detail. Attribute flashes when a character passes in front of something and re-colours it are there of course, put the painterly look of this game is hardly spoiled by such unavoidable things. Once again the mystery of what does when and how to get at it, where to leave it so you can get it again and so on, is the nub of the game. But the addition of other controllable characters makes everything much more complicated. Everyone's a Wally has to be a big hit, and I hope the pop single on the other side of the cassette does as well (although our preview copies did not have this on yet). Excellent value and great fun.

Use of Computer: 90%
Graphics: 93%
Playability: 94%
Getting Started: 89%
Addictive Qualities: 96%
Value for Money: 96%
Overall: 93%

Summary: General Rating: Excellent.

Award: Crash Smash

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 38, May 1985   page(s) 26

Publisher: Mikro-Gen
Price: £9.95
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Sinclair, Kempston

Everyone's a Wally continues Mikro-Gen's obsessive interest in this silly family.

Search through Wallyville for the scattered combination number of the Piggy Bank's safe in order to open it and pay the gang's wages.

Red herrings, empty oil cans, fuse wire and other objects litter the town and many are needed to perform tasks enabling you to discover yet more objects. You are required to play a few arcade-style games - found in telephone boxes - which uncover more secrets. It is an idea to note down locations of objects as each character can only carry two at a time.

Each family has a trade. You will need to make use of Wilma's shopping prowess and Dick's plumbing background. You take on the persona of each member of the gang to perform specific tasks.

It is easy to map the town and discover each location but difficult to get characters to perform functions, such as mending the fountain or building a brick wall. It is all a matter of getting the right objects to the right place with the right person.

The graphics make the game - colourful and stylishly drawn. It is a pity that the background is marred by colour overflow.

Like its predecessor, Pyjamarama, Everyone's a Wally looks good but it seems that more has gone into the graphics than the plot. For all that, it is an enjoyable game and frustratingly difficult to complete.

A dubious extra is Mike Berry's song on the reverse side - marginally less painful on the ears than the Piman's tunes.

Overall: 4/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

C&VG (Computer & Video Games) Issue 43, May 1985   page(s) 102,103

MACHINE: Spectrum/CBM 64
PRICE: £9.95

The adventures of Wally Week, videogame superstar, continue in the only game come with a "hit" single B-side!

Wally, star of Automania and Pyjamarama, introduces the rest his family and friends in this latest graphical extravaganza from the Micro-Gen programmers.

You'll meet Wally's wife, the lovely Wilma, plus Tom the Punk, Harry the Hippy, Dick the Plumber and Herbert the baby - Wally's pride and Joy.

Micro-Gen claim this is the first fully animated interactive arcade Adventure. You can control any one of the six characters - except baby Herbert - at any stage during the game.

The object of the game is to help Wally open the safe in the bank in order to pay the game some wages. In order to do this, certain tasks have to be done and certain puzzles solved.

Each member of the gang has different characteristics and abilities - and you must decide which one can solve certain puzzles and complete certain tasks as you play the game.

Each character has three lives to begin with - and you must keep everyone "alive" throughout the game to succeed.

The graphics are excellent. The characters are drawn in true "cartoon style" and the backgrounds are packed with detail.

As in Pyjamarama, Wally's latest Adventure, the game includes both arcade style shoot-'em-up screens as well as arcade Adventure sequences.

Everyone's a Wally will keep you busy for hours - and when you've solved it you can still admire the pretty graphics.

The song, by Mike Berry, will have you humming along too - but, beware, prolonged exposure to the music could cause a severe case of terminal whistling!

Graphics: 10/10
Sound: 8/10
Value: 9/10
Playability: 10/10

Award: C+VG Star Game

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair Programs Issue 31, May 1985   page(s) 15

PRICE: £6.95
GAME TYPE: Arcade Adventure

The Wally series goes from strength to strength. The follow up to the excellent Pyjamarama, Everyone's a Wally is even better, and even more difficult.

You move Wally, or Tom or Dick or Harry or Wilma around the screen, trying to complete their appointed tasks. There are roads and shops and houses and building sites, all drawn in wonderful detail, for you to visit. All these locations seem to be crammed full of objects, and doubtless the majority of these objects has a use, if you could only work out what it is.

The trouble is, the other characters will not stay still. For example, you may decide that the patch beneath the docks is the one way to stop the leak in the fountain . So you make your way to the docks, avoid the shark, and find that the patch is gone, and a massive book is in its place. It strikes you that you just saw Wilma leaving, so you track down Wilma, swap from Wally to Wilma, and find that she is not carrying the patch. However, when, by chance you walk into the house, there is the patch, where Wilma left it, but Harry is now carrying it.

As usual in the Wally games, everything is against you. Inanimate (or usually inanimate) objects, your friends, even the shuttle service across town is not what it used to be.

Everyone's a Wally is produced for the 48K Spectrum by Mikrogen, 44 The Broadway, Bracknell, Berkshire.

Rating: 88%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Computer Issue 4, Apr 1985   page(s) 45,47

Spectrum 48K
Arcade Adventure

"Everyone's a wally, a Charlie or a bungler or a berk" warbles Mike Berry on the "hit single" recorded on the flip-side of this cassette. The song will drive you bonkers marginally quicker than actually playing the game which, it must be said, has excellent graphics and demands great perspicacity.

Mikro-Gen, with games of the quality of Pyjamarama, have carved themselves a niche in the market that is as distinctive in its way as that of Ultimate Play The Game. Both companies produce games that may have clear goals for players to achieve but whose appeal lies in leaving it to the player to deduce methods of attaining these goals.

The complexity of this game lies in the facility to transfer control from the central character, Wally, to other members of the gang, Wilma his wife, Dick the plumber, Tom the punk mechanic, and Harry the hippy electrician. There is also a baby called Herbert who just trips people up.

The aim of the game is to open the safe in the bank, to pay the gang's wages. The combination of the safe is discovered in the process of performing various tasks. Different members of the gang excel at different tasks. Male chauvinist pigs will be pleased to know that Wilma is best at shopping, for example. But her real job is to get three library books back to the library.

Each character's endurance level has to be maintained in the traditional way by eating food.

Overall: 3/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ZX Computing Issue 19, Jun 1985   page(s) 94


Mikro-Gen's Wally games seem to be taking on a life of their own and multiplying to form a whole series of games. However, if they're all as good as Everyone's A Wally, then I shan't be complaining.

Unlike any other arcade or adventure type game, this one allows you to control more than one character - you can choose between Wally himself, Thelma his wife and the rest of the cast of thousands (well, six actually). As all these characters wander around town they must figure out how to complete various tasks, eventually opening a safe to get at their wages.

The locations in the town are all well drawn, and contain some interesting surprises. On one occasion I took Wally into a telephone box and ended up playing some sort of Asteroids game!

The animation of all the characters is very good. They are all drawn in big chunky sprites and really do 'walk' rather than just wiggling their legs. The inevitable colour clashes occur, but the characters always remain clearly defined and solid-looking. To be honest, I've not made much of a dent in the game so far as the instructions don't give too much away. But this is intentional of course, for, as with Ultimate's games, half the fun lies in figuring out the mechanics of the game and what you are supposed to do with all the objects that you come across.

I understand that Mikro-Gen's next offering will be a game based on Wally's son, Herbert. I look forward to it with quivering anticipation.

Graphics: 5/5
Addictivity: 4/5
Overall: 5/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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