reviews of willie's adventures  
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Reviews available:
1. Atari Computing (English paper magazine) - 2nd preview
2. Atari Magasinet (Swedish paper magazine) - 1st preview
3. Atari Times (English disk magazine) - 2nd preview
4. Maggie (English disk magazine) - 1st preview
5. Maggie (English disk magazine) - 2nd preview
6. ST-Computer (German paper magazine) - 2nd preview
Atari Computing
Review of Willie's Adventures - 2nd Preview
Despite the excellent gaming features offered by the Falcon hardware the number of games developed to take advantage of its capabilities is small. With the forthcoming release of Willie's Adventures New Beat intends to improve this situation.

New Beat Development is a group of four Swedes, Daniel Hedberg, Thomas Bergstroem, Anders Olsson, and Robert Cooke - all with many years experience of Atari computers. Anyone who has played the excellent Rayman on the next generation consoles will be instantly at home with Willie's Adventures and it's not all gameplay, this game oozes quality. To date the only other game of this genre, worth mentioning, is Double Bubble 2000, coded by the Reservoir Gods.

Surprisingly even the story is original, although the idea behind the game isn't. Willie is a painter who one day discovers his paintings coming to life. Eventually he gets trapped inside his paintings and has to find his way out.

Willie's Adventures are played out over giant smooth scrolling worlds, with each world consisting of at least two levels and watch out for secret bonus levels. Each world features different enemies and its own distinctive graphical style - the overall aim being to find the exit on each level. Here's a rundown:
  • Jungle world; many of the secrets of the jungle remain to be explored.
  • Water world; Willie swims around exploring the many secret deep down in the ocean.
  • Winter world; cold and snowy - watch out for those penguins.
  • Desert world; Willie has to be careful in his dealings with crazy cowboys and indians.
  • Spooky world; a twisted world where you can expect the unexpected.
The graphics themselves are well crafted, colourful and the animation is second to none. Willie can be controlled using the keyboard or an Atari Powerpad plugged into port A on the side of the Falcon. The Powerpad is undoubtedly the best option and the game makes good use of the extended functions available on the Powerpad.

Sonically, the game is impressive with sampled sounds punctuating a catchy background tune - which unusually didn't get on my nerves within minutes!

This is a sprawling game which should give even experienced gamers something to think about. It's very addictive and includes the magical 'one more go' ingredient. I can't wait to see the full game which should be available before the end of summer.

Writer: Colin Polonowski
Review of Willie's Adventures - 1st Preview
Daniel Hedberg och Thomas Bergström ifrån svenska New Beat Development håller på med ett mycket lovande Falcon spel.

Utvecklingsnamnet är Willie the Adventurer, så det slutgiltiga namnet kan bli ett helt annat. Det enklaste sättet att förklara spelet är att säga att det är en Rayman-kopia. Detta är naturligtvis inte helt sant men det ger en viss vägledning om vilken typ av spel det är. För er som inte har sett Rayman så kan jag säga att det är ett tvådimensionellt platformsspel fast med den stora skillnaden att huvudpersonens armar, ben och huvud inte sitter ihop. Det innebär att animeringen blir väldigt komiskt och underhållande.

I Willie the Adventurer går allting på en frame, vilket ger ett perfekt mjukt intryck. Både spelkänslan och animering är väldigt bra, bland det bästa jag har provat. Willie ger ifrån sig litet skrik när han hoppar och jag fann snart mig själv försöka få Willie att hoppa och skrika i takt med musiken. Detta är möjligt eftersom man kan själv kontrollera hur högt Willie skall hoppa genom att hålla nere hoppknappen olika länge. Animeringen är väldigt realistisk (trots avsaknad av armar och ben!). Till exempel när Willie går så gungar kroppen, när Willie hoppar så åker skjortan upp på nervägen och när han landar så böjer han på knäna (hmm, hur går det till utan några ben!).

Om man inte rör Willie på ett litet tag så har han lite hyss för sig. Till exempel så vinkar han och säger "Hello!", eller "Come on!". Även detta bidrar till att det blir lite extra "liv" i Willie.

Willie the Adventurer jobbar i 256 färgers-läget, men använder "endast" 64 färger för att kunna klara av "en frame"-kriteriet. Personligen trodde jag alla 256 färgerna användes så New Beat Development har klart visat att det går att spara på färgerna utan att det märks. Vissa skrämmande exempel på Falcon spel finns där man har lyckats klart sämre. Ingen nämnd...

I bakgrunden är det dubbla parallaxscrollande landskap, dock med mycket sparsam färgsättning.

Den preview (släpptes 4 februari 1996) som jag har provat är endast fem skärmbilder stor och det finns inga "fiender", så det är mycket kvar att göra innan det blir ett färdigt spel. Ljud fanns dock redan. En trevlig 4-kanalig truddelutt med 4 kanaler ljudeffekter spelades upp med hjälp av DSP:n. Det bästa med ljudet var helt klart "surround" optionen, vilken innebar att ljuden då inte panoreras enbart max höger eller max vänster utan placerades ut mer normalt i stereo-ljudbilden.

Jag kan bara gratulera New Beat Development till en på många sätt mycket imponerande preview. Men, en preview är långt ifrån samma sak som ett färdigt spel, så nu håller jag och säkert flera med mig tummarna på att det verkligen kommer att bli ett färdigt spel inom en inte allt för lång tid (release party på NAS 96?).

En preview finns ute på BBS:er, hämta hem denna och hör av er till Thomas eller Daniel på New Beat Development med kommentarer.

Om ni vill se hur Willie ser ut, så titta på omslaget till detta nummer! (PS)
Atari Times
Review of Willie's Adventures - 2nd Preview
Section - Author(s) - System Requirements - Writer
Preview - New Beat Development - Falcon 4 Meg, Colour - Colin Polonowski
Other Information
Supports Keyboard and Atari Powerpad
Web page:

The Falcon may be an excellent computer, but one area it is lacking in is decent games. New Beat Development hope to change things with their soon to be Willie's Adventures. Colin Polonowski takes an early look...

Anyone who has played the excellent Rayman on the next generation consoles will be instantly be at home with Willie's Adventures. In fact, Willie's Adventures is an excellent attempt at bringing the platform genre to the Falcon.

The story is, for a change, quite original even if the game itself isn't - Willie is a painter who one day finds his paintings coming to life. Eventually he gets trapped in them and must find his way out.

Willies Adventures is played over a number of large smooth scrolling levels each with its own enemies and graphical style - the overall aim is to find the exit on each level. Levels included in the final version are:

  • "The Jungle world"
    Many of the secrets of the jungle are yet to be explored.
  • "The Water world"
    In this world Willie will be swimming around and exploring the many secrets deep down in the ocean.
  • "The Winter world"
    Cold and snowy, better watch our for those penguins.
  • "The Desert world"
    Willie will have to be careful together with crazy cowboys and indians in this world.
  • "The Spooky world"
    Things are not what they use to be in this twisted world.
The graphics themselves are very well drawn and colourful, and their animation is second to none. Controlling Willie is acheived via either the Keyboard or an Atari Powerpad plugged into port A on the side of the Falcon. The Powerpad is undoubtedly the best option and the game makes good use of the pads functions.

Sonically, the game is equally impressive - the sounds are all sampled and the background tune is very catchy.

Willies Adventures is a very large game and will take a long time to complete. It is also very addictive and it has that 'one more go' factor!

I for one will be looking forward to seeing the full game - which should be available before the end of the summer for around 30 UKP.
Review of Willie's Adventures - 1st Preview
Willie the adventurer is a platform game for the Atari Falcon. And it looks absolutely gorgeous. Imagine the legendary Jaguar game "Rayman" making appearance on your favourite 32-bit computer and you will have some idea of how good Willie is.

New Beat Development are a Swedish group and they seem to be following in the footsteps of the most famouse Swedes of them all - "The Carebears". Yes, Willie is also reminiscent of TCB's classic "Enchanted Land".

The Willie The Adventurer preview begins with some text giving you the credits. You are then asked to chose your control method: Joypad or Keyboard. There is no Joystick support - this seems to be a trend sweeping games at the moment as the limitations of the joystick become more and more evident.

After we have picked our control method we are treated to a nice New Beat Development logo which is displayed in a high resolution (interlace). This fades off and we are into the game!

An immaculatey drawn foreground appears depicting a jungle type scene. No, it isn't Goldie and his Metalheads mates playing down at "Speed", nor it is Tony McCarrol and his "Natural Gas" project, but an environment laden with palm trees and wooden huts.

The screen is set into 320 x 240 in 256 colours. It looks bigger than this as New Beat use cinemascope to achieve a widescreen type format - the pixels stretch across both the left and right borders.

The main sprite looks similar to the dude in Rayman. It has no arms or legs, its feet and hands appear to float around it. This gives the animators a lot more flexibility. The character is one of the cutest to appear on the Falcon.

There are some very neat touches in this game. If you fall off a platform, the air appears to push up Willie's T-Shirt displaying his belly button in all its glory. If you hang around without moving Willie for a couple of second he will turn and wave at you and call "hello!". After a few more seconds he will get frustrated and urge you to "c'mon!".

At the moment, not much of the game has been implemented. There are no other sprites apart from Willie. You can explore the small level but you won't meet anyone else. Your jumping abilities are quite extroadinary and the longer you hold down space the higher you jump.

The scrolling in the game is marvellous. It uses the Falcon's hardware scrolling capabilities to move everything about in a silkly smooth way. As well as the colourful scrolling foreground there are 2 background layers of parallax scrolling. These are just 2 plane graphics blitted behind the main graphics but they work very effectively. Everything runs at a sparkling 50 frames per second, but it remains to be scene if this frame rate will be retained once all the other sprites have also to be displayed.

The music also deserves a mention. It is excellent with crystal clear samples and good composition. The main tune is a jolly up-tempo affair that really suits the mood of the game. The jumping samples and the snatches of speech from Willie also work well.

There is also a smart options menu which when activated plunges from the sky. On this you can alter the volume of the music and the sound effects and also toggle surround sound and interpolation on and off.

Willie the Adventurer looks set to be one of the great Falcon games. The presentation is immaculate. The graphics are fantastic. The music is ace. We await the completed version with bated breath.

( Words: Mr. Pink )
Review of Willie's Adventures - 2nd Preview
When we first saw Willie around a year ago we were all very impressed. It seemed like the Falcon was to get its very own Rayman style platform game. But, almost inevitably, things went very quiet and many started to doubt whether Willie would ever appear.

But as I well know, game development is a slow and meticulous process. Thankfully Willie is very much alive and well and New Beat have released a new preview version.

This preview begins with a hi-res full greyscaled portrait of Willie. Colour then gushes into him and some credit text flies up onto the screen. Bashing a key taking prompts a control request graphic to scroll up the screen. Once we have made our selection of Jaguar Joypad or Keyboard the game begins.

The first version of Willie showcased Thomas Bergstrom's excellent graphics and featured some silky smooth hardware scrolling. The sprite was amusingly animated and the sound was good. The whole game was steaming along at 50 frames per second.

Ah, we though, but they only have the main sprite on screen (admittedly made of several smaller sprites). When all the baddies and other sprites are implemented there is bound to be slow down!

How wrong we were!

Willie now features legions of exceptionally well drawn and animated baddies and still runs at a sparkling 50 frames per second. Result!

Lets take time to savour the superb background graphics. New Beat are using 256 colour mode, but everything still resonates with colour. There is a very neat 3 layer parallax scroll with 2 planes used for these background graphics. The scrolling is as smooth as Baby Spice's bottom.

The new enemy characters that have appeared in this version are great. There are some small colonial chaps, the archetypal British hunter complete with safari kit and droopy white moustache. These duck under your fire and then grumble at you. "Such impertinence!" they seem to say.

Also featured is a clumsy goofy teethed enemy. When attacked he turns round and chases after Willie then attempts to throw a punch. If finally killed he stumbles over, eyes bulging, and dies. Very comical.

There are also falling coconuts to avoid as well as some nasty glinting spikes.

The game doesn't just look nice, it is very well designed too. The level starts off in a quite straightforward manner introducing you to the technique of climbing, jumping, attacking and avoiding coconuts. As you get higher up in the jungle the enemies are more widespread and the coconuts more prevalent. Completing this level is rather tricky.

I must admit that I did swear at this game a lot as I was killed numerous times just before reaching the exit. But the good sign is that I immediately loaded up again to try and reach the goal. It definitely possesses that "one more go" property - it's already very addictive.

A word about the sound - it is crystal clear and the tune is well suited to the level. There are some also nice samples which punctuate the game, especially Willie clicking his fingers.

New Beat must have a real sense of humour as the game is full of comic touches which can't fail to bring a smile to the face of the player. The sprites are all excellently animated and have their own individual characteristics, they don't just moronically walk left to right like baddies in most games.

New Beat have a real winner on their hands here, a definite candidate for best Falcon platform game. I think it has the potential to be better than Rayman. Let's hope that the final version has lots of levels on it, because when you get hold of it you're not going to want to stop playing it!


Review of Willie's Adventures - 2nd Preview

Willie - der Rayman-Clone für den Falcon

Seit das erste Preview dieses Jump'n'runs für den Falcon vor etwas über einem Jahr erschien, ist die Spannung auf das fertige Spiel groß.

Um die Wartezeit erträglicher zu machen, rückten die schwedischen Entwickler "New Beat Development" Anfang April ein neues Preview raus. Da sich Willie ungeniert eines der renommiertesten Nextgeneration-Konsolenspiele, nämlich RAYMAN, als Vorbild genommen hat, ist die Erwartungshaltung groß. Und die neueste Demoversion verrät, dass die Macher nicht auf der faulen Haut gesessen haben.

Die Gameengine wurde nochmals neu geschrieben, um auch auf dem "normalen" Falcon weiches Paralaxscrolling (in alle Richtungen) zu realisieren und auch noch einen Haufen niedlich animierter Gegner auf den Schirm zu bringen. Und davon tummeln sich in der neuen Demoversion zwei verschiedene Typen. Willie kann nicht nur springen, an Lianen hangeln und sich ducken, sondern den Bösewichtern schon mal eins auf die Glocke verpassen. Auch die Grafik hat sich verbessert, sie ist sauberer geworden und sehr farbenfroh. Die Charakteranimationen geben dem Spiel erstaunliche Lebendigkeit, und den Helden Willie muss man einfach mögen. Zu allen Aktionen Willies gibt es auch schon passende Geräusche, und natürlich läuft im Hintergrund eine glasklare Musik. Obwohl sich "Willie the Adventure" schon sehr nahe am großen Vorbild orientiert, gibt es bereits in der Demoversion ein paar eigenständige Ideen der Schweden zu sehen. Im Preview noch nicht enthalten, aber für die Endversion geplant, sind natürlich auch herumliegende Gegenstände, die Willie behilflich sind, außerdem soll sich Willie mit allen bekannten Beschleunigerkarten vertragen. Auf einer SpeedRes. mit 20 MHz Bus- & Prozessortakt verrichtete die Demoversion klaglos ihren Dienst. Da Willie viele verschiedene Aktionen kann, wird kein "normaler" Joystick, sondern ein Jaguar- Pad unterstützt. Wer keines besitzt, beweist seine Geschicklichkeit an der Tastatur. Angenehm zu verzeichnen ist, dass Willie auch den VGA-Monitor unterstützt, was ja nicht alle aktionreicheren Games tun. Im RGB-Modus wird der Screen durch Overscan dann auch ein wenig breiter.