AUTO-CUE FOR WALLY
MANIC MINER has set a standard which is very hard to beat and there are by now many variants on the split-level hazard avoidance game. Automania produced by Mikro-Gen, is one respectable version.
The scenario is a garage workshop where Wally, the rather untidy mechanic, is attempting to assemble cars. Wally must negotiate suitably automobile hazards to leave the workshop and enter the stock room to collect the next part for the car he is putting together.
On the ground floor tyres bounce along and must be jumped over to avoid instant termination. Ladders lead to the two other tiers. Those platforms have moving gaps. If Wally falls he is killed. There are also various items littered about which must be hurdled. The hazards change after each car is completed and become progressively more difficult, though the format is essentially the same. That results in a repetitive quality which, if you're not overkeen on the scenario, can seem monotonous after a while.
The graphics are bold and colourful and Wally responds well to the controls, though he strolls along at a leisurely pace to make jumping more hazardous. There is a full demo mode, high score facility and timer. Mikro-Gen also offer a £100 prize for the month's highest score. Although the alternative title on the insert is 'Manic Mechanic' this program, whilst difficult and well-made, does not have the range of screens of Miner Willy's nightmare world and loses out by inviting comparisons.
Joystick: Kempston, Interface Two