It's American, it comes on five disks, it can only be another stab at computer gaming's soft underbelly - the animated adventure cinemathingumy game. These can be either extremely good (Monkey Island, Cruise For A Corpse), or steadfastly average (most other ones). You know by now that if a game falls into the former category it gets a nice double page spread at the front of the magazine, and perhaps a mention on the cover. And if it's tucked away at the back, in an inconspicuous run-on spot, well, it's best not to get too excited...
The "Maddog Williams" referred to by the game's title is, as you might have guessed, the chap you control in your attempt to thwart some evil somebody or other. But while he's quite happy to sink five pints of beer without displaying any ill effects, and will cheerfully plunge headfirst into icy streams, he seems curiously ignorant of the concept of a bar fight. (He also wears a pink vest.) Still, he's your hero, and you've no choice but to move him around the screen using the joystick and issue commands through a simple text parser. It's just like the sort of thing Sierra were doing five years ago (but, if anything, cruder).
The graphics are really very amateurish indeed - lightyears removed from the current state-of-the-art - and it's mainly this that deterred me from probing the game's hidden depths. I mean, if they can't even be bothered to make it look nice on the outside, what chance do the innards stand? The puzzles I did encounter seemed fairly run-of-the-mill - just a case of guessing what needs to be done and finding the right combination of objects and/or commands to see it through. There are some sword-fighting bits too, but, well, um... Oh, and sudden deaths abound, so save regularly.
I didn't really like Maddog Williams much. (You can tell, can't you?) While it's clear that loads of effort has gone into it, it's effort of the uninspired, not-really-giving-it-100-percent variety, and that never makes for a great game.
If you really put your mind to it, you could probably enjoy this. Face it, though: there are much better ways of spending the money.