Three Weeks in Paradise

by David Perry, Nick Jones, Neil Strudwick
Mikro-Gen Ltd
Crash Issue 26, March 1986   (1986-02-27)   page(s) 138

Another issue of the magazine, and another Wally game to review. This time the title of the game has to rate as Mikro-Gen's worst pun yet. The game features three of the Week family on a tropical island so the title is Three Weeks in Paradise (gedditt?).

The main character in the game is the ubiquitous Wally Week and he's got the responsibility of rescuing Wilma and Herbert from the Can Nibbles tribe. The Can Nibbles are a nice bunch except for their predeliction for human flesh, Wilma and Herbert are on the menu. As with most Wally games the idea is to collect a number of objects and get Wally to use them in a cunning way to achieve his aims. As might be expected, Wilma and Herbert are both well guarded: Wilma is trussed upside down, hanging from a tree and guarded by a witch doctor, while young Herbert is sitting in cooking pot with two ferocious lions standing either side.

The controls are of a standard Wallyesque type with Mr Week being able to jump and move left or right. The A key is an interesting addition - its function changes depending on your location and inventory. The first use likely to be made of A is as an IN key. On some screens there are other ways of moving onto another screen, apart from the IN key. Some of the alternative exits are quite obvious or are labelled, others are a bit more obscure. The IN key is likely to cause big headaches to most map makers.

Wally is able to carry two objects at once with the items shown on a small window at the lower left hand corner of the screen with the keys 1 and 2 used for dropping or picking up the objects. Once picked up and inside a window, a small text description appears in case you can't quite recognise Mikro-Gen's visual interpretation of some objects. Also along the bottom half of the screen is a life counter, where each of the four lives is shown as a skull and crossbones. Next to lives are a couple of skeletons, having no apparent use at all - the only thing they do is tap their feet after long periods of Wally inactivity.

As ever with Mikro-Gen, the solutions to the problems in the game are of a devious but logical nature. On the beach it seems impossible to cross without losing a life because of the quicksand. However a pair of flip flops should help your dilemma, as once they are wrapped around Wally's feet the quicksand can safely be traversed. Most of the problems follow this sort of format.

You are not up against the clock in this game, despite the cannibal's hunger the only danger is from a variety of nasties flitting about on different screens. There are bats, lions and even snails to dodge. Also there's no energy bar, bump into a baddie and you'll lose a life. After all the lives are lost, the usual Mikro-Gen analysis of performance is presented, together with a percentage of the game completed score.

Control keys: O/P left/right, A in, 1/2 pick up/drop, 5 pause, Q to jump
Joystick: Kempston
Keyboard play: fast and responsive
Use of colour: ingenious attribute control minimizes clash
Graphics: the sinclair user who produced these pictures really is an ace art fiend and doesn't need any scolding
Sound: excellent spot effects, but annoying tune that can luckily be turned off
Skill levels: one
Screens: 31

'Wally's back again in style this time. With his hanky on his head, he tries to liberate Wilma and Herbert from the evil clutches of the natives. I loved this game. It was so playable and once you thought you had it made, another world was opened up to you. (Try jumping into a seaside scene). The graphics are very good and nicely animated and the sound is good. This would keep me happy for many a wintry night!'

'Five Wally games must be pushing it, I thought, as another superlative loading screen materialised - started on the game, all ready not to give it a good review. No. The game is good, very good indeed. The graphics are very 'Wallyish' and I loved them. A really nice tune plays as you scamper around the tropical locations. The packaging is colourful and neat and the instructions, while short, tell you all you need to know. The problems set in the game are PROBLEMS. My overall impression was that this is a professional package, containing another very professional game. Just don't do what I nearly did: dislike it because of the star.'

'Mikro-Gen's last release was a bit of a disappointment. Three Weeks in Paradise is the logical follow on to Everyone's a Wally. The graphics are excellent, just like the previous Wally games. This time the puzzles seem a bit more devious but I'm sure you brainy lot will have them worked out in no time whatsoever. In this game Mikro-Gen have included some nice features like the music on/off key and the colour on/off key which determines whether Wally merges with the background or not. All in all, this is another excellent Wally game which should appeal to most of you.'

Use of Computer: 92%
Graphics: 95%
Playability: 91%
Getting Started: 88%
Addictive Qualities: 94%
Value for Money: 91%
Overall: 93%

Summary: General Rating: Another game for Wally fans everywhere.

Award: Crash Smash

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 02, February 1986   page(s) 36,37


Prepare for a taste of Paradise - only trouble is the Weeks family is on the menu. But rather than make a right Wally of yourself, read Rachael Smith's review of Three Weeks in Paradise, the new feast from Mikro-Gen. Dinner is served!

Every year thousands of wallies go on their hollies, but there's only one Wally and neither he nor the mussis nor even Herbert, the nipper, come within that notorious 18-30 age range. So Wally, being wally, decided on a pleasure cruise... on the HMS Pedalo!

Eventually the gormless mariner was washed up on a desert island, and when the natives said come to dinner he was thrilled. But he didn't realise that the first course was to be Boiled Baby followed by Sautéed Spouse. And as Wilma's always been a game old bird they were keeping her hanging around first. Her parting cry was to call her hubbie a stupid pudding, but that was the last thing he wanted to be - and he was already hot-footing it into the jungle.

And that's where this episode in the Wally saga begins. You're helping him rescue his family and stopping him getting... sorry, becoming somebody's just desserts. You just have the man (man?) himself to control this time, but other features make the game an advance.

Instead of just swopping objects you can now choose to pick up and drop things as well as having to use them in the right places. That means Rambo-wally's rescue mission calls for even more ingenuity. There's also a nice selection of puzzles, from the fairly obvious to the maddeningly difficult, but they all depend on acute lateral thinking and horrible puns.

In return there's less of the arcade element this time with fewer things to dodge. But the thing I liked best about Three Weeks was its humour. There's a speech bubble Ouch as he rubs his behind. And look out too for the scrolling message line at the bottom of the screen that conveys some screamingly cryptic clues, as well as the family's cries of help.

And finally fed up with reviewers' constant grumbles about attribute problems, Mikro-Gen has included the option of switching off Wally's colouring. A word too for the music - it's great, and it adds a lot to the humour. A great game that just goes to show that even if he's too old for Club 18-30, Wally's not past it yet.

Graphics: 8/10
Playability: 9/10
Value For Money: 8/10
Addictiveness: 9/10
Overall: 9/10

Award: Your Sinclair Megagame

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 47, February 1986   page(s) 66,67

TIRED of the Weeks yet? No? Just as well, because you're about to be inflicted with Wally, Wilma and Herbert - and an assortment of truly awful puns - yet again.

Three Weeks in Paradise, Mikro-Gen's fifth in the Wally saga, continues the adventures of the computer world's most accident-prone family. What was supposed to be a holiday on a magic island has turned into a nightmare - Herbert and Wilma have been captured by the Can Nibbles - groan - and Wally must rescue them, build a raft and escape into the sunset.

The game seems simple enough at first. Rescue Herbert from a boiling pot, where he is guarded by two ferocious lions, and cut Wilma down from a tree. She is next for the pot and has been strung up by her heels to ripen - rather like a game bird.

The island, although jungle at first sight, has many landscapes - beaches, underwater scenarios, a frozen forest and a few others which are so well hidden it would be a shame to spoil your fun.

Patrolling the jungle is an indian chief - a malevolent little chappie who takes random swipes at Wally to kill him off. You never know when he's going to hit out, so the best idea is avoidance or failing that, to jump over him. Also on the jungle scene are bats, bees and butterflies - slow flying beasties and easy to avoid.

The game is played from to right and vice versa. Gateways in the signposted 'in' lead to further screens. So, viewed from afar, Three Weeks in Paradise resembles a series of layers, one in front of the other. Occasional screens may be hidden up and down so leave no stone unturned and remember, other things besides clouds lurk in the sky.

The idea is to explore the island thoroughly, making use of a diverse number of objects to solve the devious clues necessary for Herbert's and Wilma's release. The problem lies in the fact that you can carry only two objects and yet three or even four articles may need to be found and used in the correct order to gain entrance to a hidden screen, or to enable you to pass a statuesque guardian - like the stone lions.

If you're going to get anywhere, that means a logical thought process, and a twisted mind. For instance, what's the bowl of stuffing for? Why has the mint got a hole in it? Why is the crocodile grieving for its lost handbag? How do you sharpen the blunt axe? Those are just a few of the teasers.

To find out why the crocodile is feeling so snappy, you have to find the handbag which lies across a sea of quicksand. How do you get over the quicksand? - the answer lies elsewhere.

Three Weeks in Paradise is likely to drive you bonkers. All is saved, however, by the remarkable picture-book graphics. Colourful and superbly drawn, it is difficult to believe that David Perry, the author, has no design experience. No wonder the game took over six months to program, although apparently there are special routines for the graphics, programmed into another computer and then to the Spectrum to save memory.

You are given some help in the game. Scrolling messages appear under some screens offering a variety of sryptic clues. On the screen containing a hut and one of the Flintstone's cars lies the message, 'You've got to be a sharp cookie to understand this clue'. I was so sharp, I tried picking a flower and attempted to make a cookie over a fire, in a goldfish bowl, with oil and water. Needless to say, I was on the wrong track. The clue is telling you to sharpen the axe, but you'll need some ingredients to do that.

Think back to the tale of Androcles and the Lion for a clue to pacify that surly beast guarding Herbert. You'll need to draw out the thorn, but you'll want some tweezers. Go and speak nicely to the crab who may need some persuasion - hot water, for instance.

How do you get the Rain God to dance? Try burning ashes, but first you'll need to make a fire and something to blow it up. Check it out with the croc and search the well. The answer to Herbert's release lies in the clouds. Blow them aside and watch the sparks fly. Another trip to the well would be advisable at this point.

After working out how to cross the quicksand, go for a dip in the ocean - Wally's doggy-paddle is quite amusing. Dodge the fish and seahorses and locate Davy Jones' Locker, the key to which lies elsewhere, located through a hole in the wall and well-guarded. Pull the plug on the seabed and you'll find yourself in a strange volcanic region. More clues here, perhaps?

Back on dry land lies Old Faithful, a geyser. The geyser works like a toilet - find the creeper to flush it and the water starts spouting. An eagle's nest lies above the geyser, but to get to it you must first pay a visit to Davy Jones' Locker. Once in the eyrie, you might be able to play red indians.

The masking effect in Three Weeks is excellent. Wally will disappear completely behind some objects, so that if you were to pause the game, you would not be able to see him at all. Some objects are hidden in the same manner so search diligently. When you've found the mint, take it to the frozen forest and locate the hole - Fox's Glacier Mints might be a helpful clue. Once you've found the hole be careful not to lose it - it's a black sphere! if you place it in front of something black or drop it behind a column, you may never relocate it.

Other than the flying nasties and the indian, Wally can be stunned by any number of seemingly innocent objects. Each time he is hit, he slumps to the ground, stars revolving round his head and then gets up rubbing his backside, and saying 'Ouch!'. The repeat performance takes time and quickly begins to pall.

In previous Wally games, comments have been made about the colour clash surrounding the characters. To keep everyone happy, David Perry has written in an option whereby Wally will take on the colour of every object he passes, thus getting rid of the clash by merging into the background. Personally, I was quite happy with the small block of colour which follows Wally around - it doesn't detract from the enjoyment of play in anyway.

Music is another optional feature. You might be able to stomach the jingle for a couple of hours, but I found the silence easier to think in. If you do choose to turn off the music, you'll still hear Wally's footsteps as he patters about the jungle floor. At the bottom of the screen is a dotted outline of a raft. As you solve each problem, the raft fills in until eventually, at the end of the adventure, it is solid. By that time, Herbert and Wilma will have been rescued and you can set sail. The score is measured as a percentage and that also helps.

Two skeletons stand at the bottom of the screen, their only movement being a spot of impatient foot tapping if Wally pauses too long. However, their places are taken by Herbert and Wilma when they are freed by Wally. Next to the skeletons are four skulls. Each time Wally gets killed, one of those disappears.

According to Mikro-Gen, Three Weeks in Paradise is harder to complete than Herbert's Dummy Run, or Pyjamarama, but marginally easier than Everyone's a Wally. I found it hard enough The clues are devious, but not impossible, and once you know where certain objects belong, or what they do, you can look at the remaining articles and way of grouping them.

The graphics are large and colourful, the animation smooth. Three Weeks in Paradise is a pleasure to play I would recommend it to any Wally mad enough to buy it.

Clare Edgeley

Publisher: Mikro-Gen
Programmer: David Perry
Price: £9.95
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair


Overall: 5/5

Award: Sinclair User Classic

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 49, April 1986   page(s) 61

THE RUSH to bring out 128 software to coincide with the launch of the machine has forced a number of companies to cobble a few extra screens onto the tail-end of existing games. Mikro-Gen is no exception.

Three Weeks in Paradise - 128 version - is the proud owner of six new screens and three new objects. Those are fairly easy to find as you start off with the first one - fly paper - and the other two are very obvious.

The only tricky part of the new extended game is to find the screens. A quick exploration will show any of you who know the 48K version that there is only one place the extra screens could be lurking.

They are extremely easy to negotiate, provided you are carrying the right objects, and, due to the lack of warning given by Sinclair, they are distinctive in their simplicity and lack of blazing colour. The screens also differ in their content - instead of jungle, a space theme is prominent and aliens take the place of bats and indians.

Just saunter through the new screens, dodging space invaders, slow-flying bees, two monkeys and an electric charge and three screens of bouncing aliens. The axe lies in the last screen and you must collect that to cut down Wilma.

The music on the 128K version is the same as that of the 48K game but is much enhanced and can be controlled through the TV. I'm not surprised the sound has been left in its original state, the 48K version was excellent and those pathetic beeps even managed to sound tuneful.

As the new screens add an extra, if small, challenge and the price has risen by only one pound, I feel that the 128K version of Three Weeks in Paradise deserves to keep its Classic symbol.

Clare Edgeley

Publisher: Mikro-Gen
Programmer: David Perry
Price: £10.95
Memory: 128K
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair


Overall: 5/5

Award: Sinclair User Classic

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Computer & Videogames Issue 52, February 1986   page(s) 23

MACHINE: Spectrum
PRICE: £9.95

Everyone loves Wally. And when family (Wilma and little Herbert) are kidnapped by hungry natives while the Week family are on holiday in the Scillly Isles - where else? - everyone will want to help Wally rescue them. Won't they?

Sure they will! And Wally could win over yet more fans with this graphically impressive arcade adventure. Three Weeks in Paradise follows closely the Wally-game tradition. Wally has wander around the desert island finding objects, picking up and using them to solve many taxing problems and puzzles.

Wally himself seems to have added a few extra inches to his beer-belly and wanders around just a bit more slowly - but that won't bother you as there's lots to marvel at on every screen.

Graphics are as colourful and varied as ever - they appear bigger and bolder than previous Wally epics.

The jungle is populated by many animals - including lions, crocodiles, nasty insects and deadly bats. There's also the horrible Can Nibbles tribe who kidnap Wilma and Herbert and plan to turn them into TV dinners unless Wally can come to the rescue in time.

Below the main playing screen you'll find the objects that Wally is carrying - he can hold two items at a time, the number on Wally's left - you begin with four, the nibble-status of Wilma and Herbert plus a picture which gradually forms as you play which could end up showing something horrible - or nice. Let us know which!

For the first time you are able to change Wally's colour to avoid any nasty colour clash on the really colourful screens.

The graphics are the closest to the fabled "cartoon quality" yet to be seen on the good old Spectrum. The jungle screens are really impressive.

Animation of Wally and the other characters is above standard. The tune gets a bit irritating after a while - but you can switch it off and just listen to the sound effects if you like.

Graphics: 10/10
Sound: 7/10
Value: 9/10
Playability: 9/10

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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