Automania Review | Personal Computer News - Everygamegoing

Personal Computer News


Automania
By Mikro-Gen
Spectrum 48K

 
Published in Personal Computer News #075

Mani Mechanic

AUTOMANIA

Wally Week is here. No, it's not a week for wally activities, like the silly season in Fleet Street. Wally Week is merely the hero.

Objectives

Wally must put ten cars together, each of which has six components which he must collect from the store room and take to the assembly area.

In Play

There's an option of musical accompaniment, which sounds like the Laurel and Hardy theme. There's a demo mode which pulls up a credit screen: Lighting by Eddy's Son, etc.

Wally starts at bottom left of the store room. There are three levels and three ladders, one central at the lowest level, the other two at left to right leading from the second to third levels. The platforms forming the second and third floors are shown as two cross-hatched gangplanks whose ends move towards and away from the middle. As each different car is completed, the layout of the store room changes and Wally gains an extra life.

On the lowest level two wheels wobble from side to side, crossing at the foot of the ladder, while what looks for all the world like a hover-tele moves from left to right and back. Naturally, you must jump over these, as well as static items such as kettles and cans of oil which can fatally trip you up.

The first item to collect from stores may be, for example, something like the lower half of a nearside door, though sometimes it's difficult to recognise the part until it's fitted to the car. Collecting the first component involves climbing the central ladder, jumping right to one of the tricky moving gangplanks, and you're there. Moving over an item picks it up automatically.

With parts collected, it's back down the ladder to the assembly room where the screen is much the same. Additional hazards are cooling fans, pistons with swinging con-rods, nuts and bolts or learner plates which fall at random from the ceiling. It's best to avoid letting these land on you - the result is RIP and the loss of one of Wally's three lives.

In the assembly area, Wally takes the part to the car, leaping into the air to position upper parts. Each piece has a time limit, so those bits in the further regions of the store room are especially tricky.

Verdict

It's not an easy game, but the lack of variation will deter many from going for Mechanic of the Year.

Bryan Skinner