Herbert's Dummy Run

by David Perry
Mikro-Gen Ltd
Crash Issue 18, Jul 1985   page(s) 116,117

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

Now you should all remember Herbert. He's the little chap from the Week family whose ineptitude became world renowned in Everyone's a Wally. In this game Herbert has become separated from his Mum and Dad during a visit to the local department store. It is up to you, the player to guide him back to his parents who are waiting for him in the 'LOST AND FOUND' department.

The game begins with Herbert in the toy department at 1 pm: the store closes at 5.30 and you have four and a half hours to reunite Herbert with his parentals, since the game is played in real time. In both style and presentation Herbert's Dummy Run is similar to Everyone's a Wally, which is not surprising as it's the third game in the Wally trilogy! Dummy Run is a graphical adventure game that calls for a high degree of arcade skill as well as a degree of lateral thinking. The opening screen is typical of the game: Herbert finds himself standing on a box in the toy department; you notice at the top of the screen a series of shelves loaded with a wide variety of toys. How can Herbert reach up there? Well of course the box he's standing on is a Jack-in-the-box, and when the key has been fetched the spring action will propel him up onto the shelf.

As with the other Wally games, many of the screens take the form of well known arcade games. One screen can only be solved by dismantling a wall, 'Breakout' style - if you manage this the resultant pat on the head is well deserved.

The game would be too easy if you could pick up and carry every object that you came across. Only being able to carry two objects at a time forces you to do a little forward thinking. At the top of the screen you are reminded of what objects are in your possession - the one that you have had for the longest is automatically exchanged for another 'collectable' piece as you walk past it. As you explore the store looking for the ways and means to solve the game you are under constant pressure from a wide variety of mobile 'thingies'. You have three lives and when you come into contact with some of the nasties your energy, shown by a large tear that fills up, will be reduced until you escape the meanies, or lose that life. A few mobiles kill immediately on contact so you will have to learn to identify them quickly. You are able to reverse the drain on your energy by eating the sweets found scattered around the store.

For his efforts, Herbert is rewarded with his favourite jelly babies, and the closer he is to finding his parents the more he will get. All told the game extends for over twenty-five screens, but don't expect Herbert to get fat on jelly babies too soon!


Control keys: Q,E,T,U,O/W,R,Y,I,P left/right, Z-M to jump
Joystick: Sinclair and Kempston
Keyboard play: good
Use of colour: very good
Graphics: excellent
Sound: good, nice opening tune
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 3
Screens: over 25

I have mixed feelings about this game, on the surface it is an excellent program but I feel that Micro-Gen may be repeating the formula once to often. If you don't mind that, then Herbert's Dummy Run may be worth having. The graphics are excellent, even better than those in Everyone's a Wally, the sound is reasonable and the colour is used well. The game is as infuriating as it's predecessor and should please the arcade/adventure addicts. Those horrible colour attribute problems are still with us but they really can't be helped, after a while you tend to ignore them. I think the asking price of £9.95 is a little steep - I feel the game would be much better value at £6.95. Overall it's a very good program if you don't mind more of the same. I hope Micro-Gen's next game is graphically as good but with a substantially different game format.

Herbert's Dummy Run contains graphics which are well up to Micro-Gen's high standard. They are both colourful, large and detailed. The game is fun and very addictive and contains many mini games within its overall structure. While these mini games are nothing than fairly simple shoot-em-ups they add to the overall peril of the game. Herbert is destined to be another Micro-Gen star. At this rate I don't think the Wally trilogy is ever going to stop, with all those characters to choose from. I'm glad they've only got one character in this one - let's face it, when you've got five characters all stealing the object you need next, infuriating isn't the word!

Staying on the same lines as before - Herbert's life while he grows up in a wildly strange place - Herbert's Dummy Run is set in a large department store. Graphically it seems to be far better, perhaps it's the use of more colour, or even more detailed characters. One room that I liked particularly was the one with a huge bed and lots of 'Z's floating around. Plenty of arcade sequences are included in the game, which follows on from the general idea of the previous Wally games and requires some thought to enable you to progress with it. I only wish that Mikro-Gen had included some other characters that wander about, as in some of their other games, but sequels are based on on the fact that the production is better in some way than the last game. Overall I think that this is another winner for Micro-Gen.

Use of Computer: 90%
Graphics: 90%
Playability: 89%
Getting Started: 83%
Addictive Qualities: 90%
Value for Money: 82%
Overall: 90%

Summary: General Rating: More of the same excellent stuff.

Award: Crash Smash

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Spectrum Issue 17, Aug 1985   page(s) 47

Ross: Herbert last showed his face as the little nipper crawling around biting ankles in Everyone's A Wally. But now he's been elevated to appear in his own adventure.

And hasn't he grown! Herbert's now an inquisitive toddler and he's wandered off unattended into a large department store. Of course, being 'wallies', his folks Wilma and Wally have deposited themselves in the 'Lost and Found' office and are awaiting Herbert's return. Herbert, on the other hand, has quite a journey on his hands - as he searches all over the various departments in the store for his parents.

When you first start the game, the colourful background and smooth sprite movement will impress you the most. Herbert is made up of quite a small graphic, but he's only a youngster and he does move well! The little chap has three lives and he can carry up to two objects at a time; picking up objects is done in the time-honoured tradition of walking over them.

Herbert can move more or less anywhere he likes in the store, but if you want to get on you'll have to give some thought to matching up the various 'finds' along the way. Some of the screens require jumping and timing skills whereas other screens are much simpler for instance, one screen reminds me of Breakout.

Of course, overall, the humour we've come to expect from MikroGen wins out. I'd have no problems recommending this game... 5/5 HIT

Dave: The usual high-quality graphics and a standard MikroGen storyline. Great if you like all the others. 2/5 HIT

Roger: I knew they'd do it eventually - at last we've got an arcade game set in a shopping arcade! Wally fans will love it. My only complaint is that it wasn't all set in Mothercare. 4/5 HIT

Dave: 2/5
Ross: 5/5
Roger: 4/5

Award: Your Spectrum Ross//s Rave of the Month

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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

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

The wally-lovers at Mikro-Gen continue their researches into suburban sub-culture with a visit to the department store in Herbert's Dummy Run. Herbert is the nappy-clad offspring of Wally, hero of Pyjamarama and Everyone's a Wally.

Herbert has become separated from his father, and must make his own way to the exit of an enormous department store. Being a toddler, he cannot always reach many of the objects he needs to escape without assistance, so plenty of thought and backtracking is required to complete the arcade-adventure.

Graphics are extremely colourful and pleasing, in the same style as the previous games. Colour clashes do still occur, but in general the cartoon-style decor of the store is sharp and clear. Mikro-Gen programmers seem to enjoy filling up the screen with furniture and decoration, and the department store setting suits that style very well.

Clever touches include the addition of several rooms with arcade-game sequences, satirising Daley Thompson's Decathlon, Bomber and Breakout, among others. Herbert should also proceed with care in the lift - if he forgets which floor it is at, he develops a parachute and floats down the shaft.

Although representing no great advance on the programming techniques and style of Everyone's a Wally, the game will nevertheless delight fans of the series and provides plenty of humour and excitement for the arcade-adventure brigade.

Overall: 4/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

C&VG (Computer & Video Games) Issue 46, Aug 1985   page(s) 24

MACHINE: Spectrum
PRICE: £9.95

Herbert's Dummy Run, the new release for the Spectrum and the Commodore 64 from Mikro-Gen, is a continuation of the mishaps and adventures of the Wally family.

This time the youngest member of the family, Herbert, has got himself lost in a department store and has only four and a half hours to find his parents before the shop shuts for the evening.

Like the previous Wally games, Herbert's Dummy Run is an arcade adventure with numerous arcade game screens included within it. Unlike the others, it is relatively easy to complete as long as you've had plenty of practice, according to Mikro-Gen that is.

Your aim is to find your way through the exciting and dangerous shop trying to find Herbert's parents in the lost and found department.

Instead a percentage score to tell you how far you have reached in the game, you get a jelly baby score - different, I suppose!

There are various objects in the game which you must find and use to their advantage. The tennis racket is obviously used for playing tennis, as you'll find out if you play the game. Although the uses of certain other objects, the bomb for instance, are probably not as straight-forward as they might appear.

The game is packed full of interesting, amusing and fairly difficult tasks for you to complete and riddles to solve.

Mikro-Gen are one of the few companies who consistently release better and better software. Herbert's Dummy Run is no exception.

Don't be a dummy - get to your local department store and buy it now!

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

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair Programs Issue 34, Aug 1985   page(s) 15

PRICE: £9.95

With a name like Herbert's Dummy Run you know that this game has to be another Wally release.

Wally and Wilma have lost their son Herbert in the department store. They are waiting in the lost and found for him, with a supply of jelly babies. The better his progress, the more jelly babies they hold.

Like Pyjamarama and Everyone's a Wally, Herbert's Dummy Run combines arcade and adventure with a series of large, clear and distinctive graphics. Herbert can carry two objects at a time, and will automatically pick up an object as he passes over it.

As usual there are a whole series of interrelated problems to be solved. To light up events in the dark room you need the torch. When you find it, though, the torch is broken, so it must be taken to the lighting department for repairs. Once you have found out what is going on, you need a weapon. The popgun maybe? Well, find a cork, load it up and go and see.

Bound up with the animated adventure are a series of arcade games, most of which need special equipment to play. The game of Breakout, for example, requires the tennis racquet. Of course, having the correct equipment is not all you need. Skill is all-important. And, surely, not all games of Breakout involve the player having to dodge sprinting bricks?

Matters are made even more complicated by the department store being constructed on four levels. You can make your way from floor to floor by way of the stairs, or by using the lift. Being a Wally department store, though, there is only one lift. Walk through the lift door on the wrong floor and Herbert plummets down to the bottom of the lift shaft. Even using his nappy as a parachute is no use to him here.

A representative example of a Wally tradition, Herbert's Dummy Run is produced for the 48K Spectrum by Mikro-gen, 44 The Broadway, Bracknell, Berks.

Rating: 81%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Computer Issue 8, Aug 1985   page(s) 29

Arcade Adventure

Mikro-Gen's arcade adventures are witty in an Ealing comedy way, as opposed to the Raiders of the Lost Ark fun of Ultimate's games. Both software ranges use impressive graphics, undisclosed maps, and take time to master. Both software ranges are more expensive than the average Spectrum fodder, but as Rolls Royce will tell you nobody begrudges paying extra for quality providing they have the money.

Herbert's Dummy Run is a compendium computer game. A number of the rooms within the arcade adventure are mini arcade games in their own right. So for your money you get a lot of different games - a kind of Star Wars On 45. You have to find items that let you do things, like the tennis racquet which is used to hit the bouncing tennis ball. In this respect the game is adventuresque, but go-north, eat-food, bang-headers will turn their noses up at Herbert's babyish actions.

In fact, Herbert is a baby. Just to prove it, the game loads and starts playing "Baby Face" - if you can amplify your Spectrum's sound output it is worth doing so. He comes from a good family, being the child of Wilma and Wally Week, who you may remember from the previous Mikro-Gen games. Wally looks like a Tetley Tea man, but reminds me of Norman Wisdom.

The game is set in a department store; somehow Herbert has been separated from his mum and dad. His adventures on the way to the lost and found department are like a surrealists nightmare, maybe he just drank too much gripe water.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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