Pyjamarama was part of the series of Microgen platform games, including “Automania”, “Everyone’s a Wally”, “Herberts Dummy Run” and “3 weeks in Paradise” that starred our hero Wally Week.
Playing the part of the sleeping Wally’s “dream” alter ego, the object of the game was to explore the many rooms of Wally’s house, find a key to wind up the alarm clock and wake Wally ready for work. Each screen featured a number of platforms, allowing Wally to navigate to different locations through doors linking the various rooms.
This involved finding objects which could be used to solve puzzles, unlock rooms, and exchange objects for other objects which would eventually lead to the key. Controls were simple, just left right and jump. The player could carry up to 2 items at a time, and picked up the items by walking over them. Puzzles in Pyjamarama were solved by using the right combination of items, and therefore the game became a memory test of what items were left where. This would necessitate manual documentation of the screen layout, something that gamers of the early 80’s will be intimately familiar with – rather than the system plotting where you have been with a helpful map screen. This lead to pieces of a4 graph paper being taped together to recreate the map when you ran out of space, or until you bought the latest copy of CRASH! magazine which often included a handy map for games like Pyjamarama.
To complicate matters, various enemies patrolled Wally’s dream world, and contact with them drained Wally’s “snooze energy”, and ultimately lead to a loss of life. Lose 3 lives and the game was over.
I had the Spectrum version of Pyjamarama, and was blown away by the large colourful graphics that seemed to avoid the worst colour clash that the Spectrum was prone to (only having two colours in any one 8×8 pixel portion of the screen at a time).
Pyjamarama was also released on the C64 and Amstrad CPC.