Future Publishing7th February 1992
Published in Ace #055: April 1992
The Adventures Of Willy Beamish, to give it its full name, is somewhat of a oddity. Dubbed an 'interactive cartoon', it's a sort of weird cross between The Wonder Years and The Simpsons. Willy is the typical all-American troublemaking pre-teen schoolkid, complete with grubby hands, pet frog and accordingly stereotypical family. Strange things are afoot in suburb of Frumpton, and Willy must investigate.
Willy is yet another of those games that sounds a whole lot better than it actually is. That's not to say that it's bad, but the gameplay is very trial-and-error, with luck often playing more of a part than skill or judgement. As such, more time is spent restoring saved games than actually playing (!), and it can get quite frustrating at times, especially when you have to sit through the comical set-piece for the umpteenth time.
As an interactive cartoon, it's excellent, with suitably stereotypical characters, some funny jokes and gorgeous visuals.
As a game it's compelling, but not in a way that encourages real addiction or involvement. You're unlikely to come back to it again and again.