The Adventures of Willy Beamish
Description official descriptions
Willy Beamish is a kid who likes to goof off and have fun. Naturally, all the grown-ups get in the way by making him go to school, making him clean his room, etc. But now that's school's out for the summer, Willy is determined to have a good time and maybe even have his pet frog win the frog jumping contest. However Willy has a habit of getting into trouble, and naturally, that means it will be a challenge to get out of it.
The Adventures of Willy Beamish is a point-and-click graphical adventure. You play Willy Beamish, an eight-year-old kid who is just trying to get through life without losing his lunch money. But he'll have to deal with parents, teachers, babysitters, and bratty sisters. The player must solve different puzzles to ensure Willy can progress, get out of trouble and generally avoid ending up grounded.
The in-game time progresses even if no action is taken. This means many puzzles have to be solved in a certain time frame or rely on being in the right place at the right time. A special aspect of this game is the bar which shows Willy's relationship with his parents. It gets affected by the way certain situations are resolved, e.g. it increases if Willy refuses to play with his sister, and when it is full they send Willy to a military school and the game is lost.
The GOG release of this game for Windows includes both Floppy and CD versions of the game. The main differences are that the CD version has updated graphics, features animations and animated character portraits instead of static images, enhanced audio, and full voice-acting whereas the Floppy version doesn't feature any voice-acting.
- הרפתקאות ווילי - Hebrew spelling
Credits (DOS version)
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|Voice of Willy Bleamish|
|CD Art Director|
|Lead CD Artist|
|Lead CD Game Tester|
|CD Game Tester|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 69% (based on 28 ratings)
Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 78 ratings with 9 reviews)
This isn't your typical adventure game. In fact, I'm not quite sure how to describe it, since it reinvents every concept it aims at. You play a nine-year old troublemaker named Willy Beamish who, while trying to sort out his time between playing Nintari and dealing with babysitters from Hell (quite literally,) stumbles upon a corporate plot to sabotage the city's water supply. The humor in the game is equally bizarre, yet quite adult-oriented in spite of the childish atmosphere. The graphics, however, are stunning for their time. A lot of detail has gone into mostly everything. One of the game's better features is "stuff to do on the side that really has nothing to do with the plot or anything else." For example, if you have no real self-respect, you can go home late and piss off your parents or piss off your sister by reading her diary or messing with her scales. It's pretty much a do-what-you-feel kind of game. The puzzles were also strange, but the solutions always had interesting results. The reason I'm giving it five stars is because I believe that "Willy Beamish" is it's own kind of genre, and therefore, the best of its category. Plus, it ROCKS.
Some of the icons were way oversized, but it never made the game any harder to play.
The Bottom Line
There's some ninjas in it, the frog's name is Horny, and at one point, you get to blow up a toilet. I think this pretty much sums up the game.
DOS · by Macaroni Penguin (4) · 2002
In 1991, Dynamix/Sierra released Willy Beamish for the PC. It was a fresh game that, in spite of its difficulty, became fondly remembered by many adventure game fans. Then, in 1993, Willy Beamish was re-released on the then-new Sega CD. Because of the system's ability to play games off of CDs, which have high data capacities, the Sega CD Willy Beamish could have full in-game voices. There was a talkie version for PCs as well, but many gamers at the time didn't have CD-ROM drives for their computers, so if you owned a Sega CD, you could easily play the talkie version of Willy from the comfort of your couch, without having to spend money on an expensive CD-ROM drive for your PC. The idea sounds fantastic on paper, but the Sega CD version of Willy out and out stunk; partly due to the hardware limitations of the system, and partly because of the methods (or ignorance) of the programmers. The Sega CD version does have some improvements over the PC version, however. You can actually play Willy's Nintari now, instead of just watching him as in the PC version. In the PC version, Willy was playing a platform game called Monster Patrol. Now he's playing a game called Super Space K'Noidtrix. The game is a so-so shooter, but it's useful for letting off some steam built up in the sluggish main game. Also notable is the improved intro; Willy introduces himself and narrates until the first playable scene. The PC version just had a narrator begin the game, and you don't see Willy until the part when Horny jumps out of his backpack and takes the principal's toupee.
Let's start with the little things. The Sega CD/Genesis could only display 64 colors; a quarter of the 256 colors of the PC version. As a result, the close-ups of the characters are missing their value (the variations between black and white), and some other graphical lapses. Surprisingly, the backgrounds look fine; they have no major loss of detail. So basically, the color limitations don't really show that much. Next, some sequences have been cut completely, most noticeably the sequence at the very beginning where Willy daydreams about the Nintari championships in the middle of detention. With the sequence gone, we have to assume Willy was daydreaming when Ms. Glass says, "Willy Beamish! What did I just say?" Another minor cut is that there are not as many "poses" of the character close-ups in the game. In the PC version, the characters' faces change with almost everything they say. In the Sega CD version, the characters have one or two close ups, and that's it. Willy uses his "sarcastic" face when he's being sincere, unlike the PC version where Willy actually looks sincere when he's being sincere. A very big problem in the Sega CD version is the terrible, terrible, TERRIBLE loading times. The 1X drive in the Sega CD never becomes a problem except in the adventure games like Rise of the Dragon, The Secret of Monkey Island, and... Willy Beamish. Anytime you pick up something, select something, or do something, there's at least a 2-second wait. This doesn't sound annoying on paper, but a 2- or more second wait between EVERY SINGLE THING YOU DO can drive you over the edge. And sometimes there's not even any indication that the game is loading, like when you're in your item screen and you click "exit"; the game freezes for three seconds and then the window disappears. Even more infuriating is the terrible two second pause after every line of spoken dialogue. Now we come the absolute biggest flaw in this game: the voices. Although the voice acting is superb, the sound quality is H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E. You can barely understand the characters when they talk, and there are no subtitles. The thing I don't get is, why do games like Popful Mail and Snatcher have excellent quality voices, and in the same quantity as Willy, too. How come the voices in those games sound so fantastic, and the voice here sound absolutely horrendous? I would have strongly preferred a text-only Genesis cartridge version of this game if it were available. There would be no lousy quality voices, and no loading times. The music would be the same; it's generated by the internal Z80 sound chip- not Redbook audio. Of course, such a version would surely be cheaper than a CD version and may even slow down Sega CD sales: not a good business idea. So all in all, the game just has too many glaring flaws to be worth playing. If you want the best version of Willy Beamish, get the PC CD-ROM talkie version. It gives you almost exactly what the Sega CD version gives you, without the long, long loading times, and low-quality voices, and the cut material.
The Bottom Line
Willy Beamish was a great PC game that had to be heavily chopped up technically in order to run on the Sega CD. The long loading times, the removed content, and the disgusting voice quality add up to an game that isn't worth experiencing, but only on the Sega CD. I highly encourage you to play the PC version, and you can get it from the-underdogs.org. So unless you really, really want to play Super Space K'noidtrix, stay far away from this version.
SEGA CD · by zoinknoise (80) · 2004
I've always had a soft spot for this game. It's really silly, but not goofy, know what I mean? The graphics are nice, the music is nice, and the storyline is very engaging and fun. Finally, a game where you can piss off the principal and act like a complete brat, all from the comfort of your PC! The music got stuck in my head for long after I finished playing this game, and that's saying something since most of the music in games, even games this old, are pretty forgettable. If you're lucky enough to own the talkie version, the voice acting is great...not as great as some of the LucasArts games, but still better than most stuff made today, even.
It's too damn hard. I guess it follows in the Sierra adventure game tradition in that death is possible and quite easy to attain. It's way too easy to fail in this game, and some parts are so tricky the only way you'll get through them is to save at every screen. This game is full of the reasons the LucasAdventures were so successful- you couldn't die in them. The save button should be used as a tool, not a part of the gameplay (to paraphrase Ron Gilbert), and this game is simply too difficult to be played without a walkthrough by anyone but the most seasoned adventure gamer.
As if it wasn't enough that some parts are maddeningly hard, but some parts are actually buggy too! That's right....get ready to part with the hair on your scalp as well as some of the things sitting on your desk as you crush them in frustration!
Also, the quality of the voices in the talkie version is quite bad. Thankfully, it's not as bad as the Sega CD version, and you can turn on the regular text to use as subtitles (in fact, the talkie uses that setup by default). Also, in the talkie version, there's only one or two "poses" per character, like in the Sega CD and unlike the floppy disk version. But still, it can be forgiven for the great voices.
The Bottom Line
Don't let the big icons and colorful graphics fool you- this ain't a kid's game. The suggestive frog's name, the school nurse, and the occasional cuss word are also helpful clues to support that theory. If you're not a person who knows every Sierra adventure game inside out and probably most of the LucasArts ones too, find a walkthrough, 'cause you'll sure as hell need it. But once you overcome the frustration, the game is actually really, really fun. There aren't too many accurate simulators of a schoolkid's life (though the upcoming game Bully may fill that void nicely) and it's a great play all the way through. Definitely play it if you can; you can find copies on eBay all the time, and it's also on many abandonware sites. Or even better, get the talkie version; it's damn hard to find, but snap it up if you find it.
DOS · by zoinknoise (80) · 2005
At one point there were plans for a sequel that would have featured Willy as a teenager.
The CD version of The Adventures of Willy Beamish featured full speech while the floppy version did not. The CD version also contains some different cutscenes and different credits part.
The DOS and SEGA CD versions of the game used slightly different color palettes and contained small differences in visual details. In general, the DOS version featured a lighter color palette than did the SEGA CD release of the game. This can be seen in a scene of the school auditorium in the introduction of the game (DOS -- SEGA CD). Notice in the comparison not only that the auditorium seats have completely changed color but that the stage has a different design, such as the inclusion of floor lights in the DOS version, and that the children have appreciably different appearances.
Some boxes included four removable stickers featuring artwork of "Willy and Horny," "Horny," "Leona," and "Squad Monster" (from the Nintari game). Specially marked game boxes also included a free Willy Beamish LCD watch offer which required that players send in a coupon and the warranty cards. The watch was in-fact analog and depicted Willy Beamish's face in the center of a circle, surrounding the game title, with Horny the frog's webbed-prints representing the hours between 12, 3, 6, and 9.
The original game had a real wirebound notebook (32 sheets/college ruled, approx. size 8x5in/20.3x12.7cm) in crude childlike writing as its manual. The installation instructions were printed on the back of pinkish A4 sized "Pizzarama!" pizza menu (as visited in the game) complete with main courses, beverages, on the side items, desserts, and prices. The later CD-ROM booklet reproduced the notebook pages as b/w pages within a larger ringbinder, though the pizza menu instructions were excluded.
- Computer Gaming World
- November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #10 Most Innovative Computer Game
- Enchanted Realms
- January 1992 (issue #9) – Distinctive Adventure Award
Related Sites +
Download the DOS patch for Willy Beamish here.
UHS Hints for Willy Beamish
Helpful hints will give you nudges before the final solution is revealed so you can solve the puzzles yourself.
Video review of the system (WARNING: Language)
The Angry Video Game Nerd, James Rolfe, reviews the Sega CD and gives brief reviews of some games, including <i>The Adventures of Willy Beamish</i> for Sega CD.
Willy Beamish - FAQs & Guides
Walkthrough on GameFAQs
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by mclazyj.
Game added July 12th, 2000. Last modified October 1st, 2023.