Replaying the classics part 1 – “The Adventures of Willy Beamish”

Replaying the classics part 1 – “The Adventures of Willy Beamish”

October 19, 2016 3:00 pm 1 comment

willyskating

 

I always loved graphical adventure games like “King’s Quest” and “Leisure Suit Larry.”  With the global adoption of the mouse, the old style graphical adventures gave way to the “Point and Click” adventure games like “Myst”, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, and one of my all-time favorites “The Adventures of Willy Beamish” (Dynamix, 1993.)  I spent hours getting this trouble-prone kid through his quest to get enough money to enter the annual Nintari championship.  Now with my shiny new FPGA computer (the Mist from Lotharek) I have a fully functional Amiga at my disposal with plenty of old games to keep me busy.  The first of my old friends I decided to revisit was my good buddy Willy.

First, let me say I’d forgotten how unforgiving these games can be.  I’ve run into situations where I die on one screen because I didn’t pick up a random item three screens before it.  I’m not complaining, I’m just amazed.  I’ve gotten used to having multiple ways to solve any problem.  To put it more plainly, new games have spoiled me.

Obviously, the graphics that felt so much like a Saturday morning cartoon in 1993 are muddy and pixelated by today’s standards.  The game mechanics hold up well for this type of game, and in fact “Willy” was one of the first games I played where you can get a fairly detailed description of just about everything on the screen.  Other than that, the traditional point-and-click methodology of clicking when your cursor lights up applies here.  Items are moved by dragging and dropping, so adding items to your inventory involves dragging them to your backpack.  Giving items to someone else would involve dragging them from your backpack to the other character.

leona_plumberThe story is good, but was definitely more enjoyable to the twenty-three year old me.  Born wise-ass Willy tries to stay out of just enough trouble to not get grounded while exploring ways to get the money to go to the aforementioned Nintari championship.  Complicating things are a drastic change to his dad’s employment status, having his Nintari taken away as punishment, a nasty older sister,  not to mention a dastardly plot by the villainous heads of a sweetener company and the plumber’s union.  Praise Tom Cruise, games don’t have to make much sense to be fun (or none of the Metal Gear games would have sold well.)

All-in-all, I’m having a blast replaying this favorite.  It may not appeal to younger players, as most of the pop culture references are so outdated they’d be lost on them.  For instance, the head of the sweetener company is a Leona Helmsley doppelganger.   Still, it’s fun for me.  I encourage anyone in the 40+ range who wants to take a walk down memory lane to find a way to play it.  If an FPGA is out of your price range, UAE for Windows will work.  Google is your friend.

Stay tuned, because I plan on revisiting “The Curse of Monkey Island” and the Indiana Jones games in the coming months.

 

recallbutton   By:  Recall, vintage entertainment enthusiast

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