This is the latest in the long and successful Wally series of games from Mikro-Gen. Three Weeks In Paradise continues where Everyone's A Wally left off. Wally and the gang had to complete several tasks around town before going on a well-earned holiday. However Wally's idea of a holiday is to get lost on the high seas in a pedal boat with Wilma, his wife and Herbert, his son. They end up marooned on a desert island.
Wilma and Herbert wander off, only to be captured by the local natives, the Can Nibbles. Wally has to rescue them. You take the part of Wally. resplendent in yellow loincloth and complete with knotted hanky on head. In the jungle around you there are bats flying about. Like most other moving obstacles they are easy to avoid but drain your energy on contact.
The screen is divided into two parts, the play taking place in the top of the screen, with the bottom quarter telling you how many lives you have left, and showing you which objects you are carrying. As you haven't any pockets in your loincloth you can only carry two objects. In the bottom right of the screen are two skeletons, one for Herbert and one for Wilma, they show what your family will look like if you don't look sharp.
At the bottom of the screen is an outline of an object that will become more clear as you complete the adventure. There is no energy meter but you have a limited amount of resistance to creatures such as the bats, wandering natives, fish, and sea-horses before you lose a life.
The Mikro-Gen graphics are as cartoon-like as ever with a black outline around them so they stand out from the background. What is new is that Wally walks behind some things, grass. signposts, chests, pillars and in front of others. Another difference is that you can pick up objects and put them down anywhere you like. You can Use objects, rubbing two sticks together to make a fire.
Wandering around the jungle you encounter Herbert in a huge cooking pot, guarded by two lions. A plaintive "DAD!" scrolls across the bottom of the screen. Clues and comments often scroll across the bottom two lines, depending on which location you are in, Such as "Finders Keepers", "Help! its me, Wilma!!" from Wally's wife who is being hung from a tree by her heels and guarded by a native, or just "Ribbit!!" from the giant frog sitting outside a hut.
It's not all jungle screens, there is an underwater scene where Wally does the doggy paddle down to Davy Jones' locker, a temple, an abandoned trading post which is now the home of a lion and other signs of the previous inhabitants that have been eaten by the Can Nibbles.
The objects and their uses are usually straightforward; needing flip-flops before you can walk across the sand, but what to do with the bowl of stuffing or the goldfish? And what use is a blunt axe? The scrolling messages will provide slight clues, but a warped sense of humour is a greater help. In the jungle paths are conveniently signposted and you can go through the screen to a parallel pathway. Some locations are reached by odder means; try jumping into the seaside painting to get to the beach.
Mikro-Gen claims that the puzzles are a little easier than Everyone's A Wally, but much harder than Herbert's Dummy Run. Don't feel that you need to have played the other Wally games to enjoy Three Weeks. The variety of the locations and puzzles and the quality of the graphics make this a worthy buy. I particularly liked the way the giant frog's chest expanded when he croaked. Those of you who map games will be glad to know that it even connects up sensibly.