Wilfred The Hairy, Olaf The Hungry

Publisher: Microbyte
Machine: Spectrum 48K

Published in Crash #5

Wilfred The Hairy, Olaf The Hungry

It is the age of the Vikings and you are Olaf (in blue), pitting your wits against Wilfred (in red), alias your Spectrum, in this game of ancient strategy. The basic object of the game is to conquer the known world, which includes North and South America, Africa, Europe and most of Asia. Your castle and home is situated somewhere on the site of where Winnipeg will one day be built, and the awful Wilfred has his sited somewhere to the north of Lake Victoria in Africa. Continents are entered and left via ports marked as green spots and conquering is accomplished by placing appropriately coloured flags in columns and rows throughout the country.

Plagues of rats and fleas are a problem for Wilfred and he often has to return home to delouse. Both sides have an ammo allocation which is depleted whenever one of the enemy's flags is replaced by one of your own. This is also replenished by returning home. It is not possible to enter a continent totally conquered by Wilfred if his ammo level is above 40. Occasionally enemy shipping approaches your sailing ship and a small area at the bottom left of the screen clears to reform as a view of the sea, crenellated walls and a cannon.

The enemy ships appear on the horizon and must be fired at by moving the cannon left and right and pressing key Z.

Movement is via the cursor keys, each army taking turns. A message screen at the bottom informs you of Wilfred's seemingly endless misfortunes, a lot of which have to do with the widely spread Wangu tribe of head hunters.


Control keys: cursors during main game, 6/7 left/right and Z to fire for the sea going cannon
Joystick: AGF, Protek
Keyboard play: very unresponsive
Use of colour: poor
Graphics: poor
Sound: very poor
Skill levels: none

Comment 1

'The inlay describes this as a game of High Resolution Action Graphics. If only that were true it might have just overcome the silliness of the program. Because you input the direction of travel, up, down, left right and nothing else, there's very little to do in this game. Then the moves are all very slow. And the game never wants to end. Even if you sit still and let Wilfred slowly turn the world red, it doesn't end the game when he succeeds. Other funny things happen - if Wilfred crosses your actual position, you turn red as well, at least until you make a move. Half an hour's play should convince anyone that they have successfully wasted their money.'

Comment 2

'The graphics hardly live up to the inlay's claim - blocky white suggestions of the continents on a blue background, red and blue flags, men and castles and green character blocks for entry/exit points. It all looks very primitive and there seems to be little point to the game anyway. The Wangu tribe are all over the place, so I suppose they are the real winners, having already conquered the world!'

Comment 3

'The game is not only hard to get into, but there isn't anything to see. It's full of things that happen beyond your control. Only the occasional attack on your sailing ship by enemy ships has anything like an action feel, but the cannon balls leave trails of uncleared pixels behind them. The instructions and graphics let this game down, but its main problem is the program itself. After playing for three quarters of an hour without any apparent ending in sight, Wilfred (at the time visiting my American home) suddenly began creating whole new chunks of land in a straight line downwards, joining the eastern seaboard of America from Florida to Brazil. Laying flags behind him, he swathed down through the South Atlantic, hit the message line and crashed with the report, '50% Out of Screen, 148:1'. Farewell Wilfred. '

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