Automania

Producer: Mikrogen
Memory required: 48K
Retail price: £6.95
Language: machine code

Meet a new hero — your average British Worker by the name of Wally Week. Wally Week is destined for big things — like a three percent wage rise next month. Wally works on a car assembly line, in fact he is the assembly line. In this highly original platform type game you must help Wally build a series of cars.

Screenshot

The game has two basic screens, starting off in the stock room. There are three platforms with a single ladder to the first level and two at either end from the second to the third. On the two upper levels are situated the six parts of a car. What you do is walk Wally along the floor, up the ladders and collect the parts, one at a time and then take them down and through the door to the assembly room. This contains a large hydraulic lift, and on its first level are some of the already assembled bits of a car. When Wally walks his collected stock part over the appropriate area of the vehicle the carried part is automatically deposited in its correct position. Then it’s back to the stock room for the next bit. Each piece has a time limit.

Sounds simple enough, even for your average British workman. But then, this is a computer game so nothing is as it looks! The factory is populated with robots and bouncing tyres which kill on contact, and from the overhead gantries in the assembly room, falling air cooling blades cause problems. Fortunately, Wally can jump. To add to his problems the gantries in the stock room keep moving in and out and in difficult positions are various static objects which are designed to tempt an honest man away from his work like teapots (mind the oil cans as well).

When (if) all six parts are correctly assembled, the car is driven off to be replaced by the rudiments of the next one. In all there are ten cars to build starting off with a humble 2CV and ending up with... ah, well that’s up to you.

CRITICISM

COMMENTS

Control keys: preset — Q/A up/down, O/P left/right, M to jump, but all keys may be user-defined
Joystick: ZX 2, Kempston, and almost any other via UDK
Keyboard play: very responsive
Use of colour: very good
Graphics: superb, with excellent animation
Sound: great tune (continuous) with well used sound effects — sound may be switched off
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 3
Screens: 2 but with 10 cars to build in each
Originality: very original use of traditional game components
General rating: very good to excellent, playable and addictive.

Use of computer92%
Graphics89%
Playability86%
Getting started83%
Addictive qualities88%
Value for money91%
Overall88%

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