Did you watch Saturday Night Live in the Late 80's and early 90's? Maybe you remember when Dana Carvey and Mike Myers were cast members. My favorite Dana Carvey skit was Church Chat. Maybe these lines will ring a bell: We like ourselves, don't we? Well isn't that special. Who could it be? Maybeeeeeeeeeee SATAN!
My favorite Mike Myers skit was Sprockets: You have grown tiresome. Touch my monkey. Touch him. Love him!
These guys also came together in a recurring skit that was a spoof of Public Access Television. The skit was Wayne's World. It was so stupid, I liked it. I even saw the first Wayne's World movie at a theater. I remember being rather underwhelmed by it. But a strange thing happened. After leaving the theater, I kept thinking about it. I believe I laughed more after the movie was over than when I was actually watching it. It was a weird experience.
Playing the Wayne's World adventure game was also a weird experience. Like the movie, I didn't laugh much while I was actually playing the game. Unlike the movie, I didn't laugh about it once it was over.
It's a traditional third-person graphic adventure game with no action sequences, and it comes with a “No Hurl Guarantee.” The puzzles are mostly inventory-based, and you have many conversations with the characters populating the game world. It was released sometime in 1993 on 3.5” floppies (5 of them). The production values are OK, but fall short of most other games released around that time. Not surprisingly (for a game stored on floppies), there is very little voice acting, and the player must read a lot of text. This really hurt the game, in my opinion. Most of the lines in a Wayne's World skit are funny only because of the performances given by Mike and Dana. Without their voices, the lines are just stupid. I tried to imagine how Mike and Dana would voice the things I was reading, but it just wasn't the same. The few lines that are voiced were just cut directly from the SNL skits; no special recording was done for the game. So, the only voice acting is for signature phrases like “schwing”, “no way … WAY”, “NOT!”, “as if”, “a sphincter says what?”, and “shyeahh, right!”
You know what? I've recently been getting into adventure games from the late 80's and early 90's. I've been enjoying these games, except for one thing: boot disks. It's an adventure in itself just getting these old games to run. I have 4 different boot disks that work with my oldest IBM compatible, and none of them work with Wayne's World. After an entire afternoon of “unsuccess”, I was about to place this game in my “oh well I just can't get it to run box”, when I had a bright idea. What if I did something silly like try to play it in a DOS window? While in Windows 95, I installed it, then started it. I made a mistake and forgot to start the game in a DOS window. I accidentally started it in Windows 95 by double-clicking the executable file through Windows Explorer. And it ran perfectly! Unbelievable. Here's a game from 1993 that won't run in MS-DOS (even with a boot disk), but runs perfectly in Windows 95. Whatever man.
On to the game. The public access television station that funds Wayne's World is out of funds. It's up to Wayne and Garth to raise $50,000 to keep their show on the air. They decide to hold a Pizza-thon fund-raiser thing. The first half of the game revolves around the preparations for the fund-raiser event. This part of the game is actually pretty fun, and some of the puzzles are quite ingenious. Considering the subject matter, the puzzles are somewhat devious. I was expecting a dumbed-down adventure, so the high difficulty level surprised me. OK, once you've successfully completed all of the pre-fund-raiser quests, a cut-scene kicks in and you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. During this cut-scene, things don't go so well for Wayne and Garth. An evil corporation (dun dun daaaaaa) called D. R. A. G. (Decency Referendum Against Grossness) interferes. This corporation intercepts the telecast and broadcasts material that brainwashes the people who were watching the fund-raiser. To make matters worse, Cassandra gets babe-napped! Cassandra is the Rock-n-Roll babe that Wayne is in lust with. One of the pre-fund-raiser puzzles is convincing her to perform at your event. Anyway, now you've got to find her (she will be mine, oh yes). Searching for Cassandra is also pretty fun. Unfortunately, you find out that Cassandra has been taken to a, um, to a, I almost can't say it, she's been taken to a …… sewer. That's right; the entire last quarter of the game takes place in a sewer maze. This sewer maze is just plain nasty. It's too difficult to explain why it's frustrating, so I'll just not even try. If you hate mazes, this will destroy the experience for you. It almost ruined the game for me. I actually started to put everything back in the box, but I can't stand to give up, after coming so far. Through sheer patience, I managed to finally beat that maze. It's really too bad that the designers relied on the “maze at the end of the game to lengthen the gameplay” trick. The puzzles that are contained in the sewer maze are actually quite cool. There's this one fun puzzle where you have to decipher the ramblings of a guard who is talking in his sleep, in order to learn the combination to a safe that's located in a different part of the sewer. There are several other fun puzzles in this section of the game, but they're contained in a darned maze! Darn it.
Oh, I almost forgot; you have the choice of controlling either Wayne or Garth at any time throughout the game. You can swap inventory items between the two, and some actions are unique to each character. This aspect was not fully developed (when compared to a game like Day of the Tentacle), but it was a nice surprise. If the game included voice acting, and if it excluded the sewer maze, I'd recommend it to anyone with a sensitive funny bone. As it is, I think this game is only for patient, Wayne's World fans – an unlikely combo.
Let's see, 45 “monkeys just flew out of my butt”, so the Sap-O-Meter registers only 55 “schwings” out of 100.
Doug “Retro Gamer” Millsap
Currently playing: Deus Ex; Bioscopia
Most recently completed: Creature Crunch; Guilty