The Adventures of Willy Beamish is a graphic adventure game developed by Dynamix, using their newly-developed Dynamix Game Development System (DGDS). It was published in 1991 by Sierra Entertainment. The player takes on the role of nine-year-old Willy Beamish in a humorous graphic adventure that is somewhat of a parody of the adventure genre. The game pioneered the use of in-game graphics drawn to resemble classic hand-drawn cartoon animation. It was initially released for DOS and the Commodore Amiga, and was ported to the Sega CD in 1993. CD versions of the game complemented the in-game text with speech, and included a few other cosmetic changes.
Willy Beamish is introduced as a Millennial brat archetype of early 90s, being the middle child in a typical upper middle class American family, who is obsessed with science fiction, console games and hanging out with his gang in their tree house. His existence is not entirely idyllic, though; he is periodically tormented by a number of people. These include various staff members at Carbuncle Elementary School, a vicious teenaged school bully named Spider, and his two sisters, one of whom is a preschool prodigy and the other of whom is an angsty teen who undergoes a disturbing transformation midway through the game. His parents love him, but are at their wits end with his mischief, and are seriously considering enrolling him in military school. His adventures take place over the first few days of summer vacation, in the (fictitious) American town of Frumpton. He is occasionally visited by his grandfather's ghost.
As the game begins, Willy Beamish is sent to detention on the last day of school; his pet frog "Horny" disrupted the final school assembly by dislodging the principal's toupee. This initial scene is a good example of the game's array of choices presented to the player: Willy can stay in detention until it is over, but then he won't get home in time to pick up the mail and intercept the report card that shows a "C+" in Music Appreciation. To sneak out early, he must forge a hall pass and either avoid the school bully or pacify him by giving him something from Willy's inventory. It is ultimately impossible for Willy to keep the card out of his father's hands, but it is a good exercise in problem solving; Willy will later face challenges that cannot be avoided.
Willy's ambition is to qualify for the national "Nintari" (a portmanteau of Nintendo and Atari) competition. This goal is quickly placed in dire jeopardy: because of the bad grade, his video game privileges are revoked. To further complicate the situation, Willy's father unexpectedly loses his job, the babysitter is a vampire, a street gang terrorizes the town, and a plumbers' revolt is on the horizon.
Later in the game, the threats that Willy faces grow more serious, even lethal, in nature. They range from the brutal (having his arms and legs broken in a pizza parlor) to the ridiculous (being processed into artificial sweetener). In addition, both his frog and his father face mortal perils of their own. If Willy is able to keep everyone out of harm's way and save the town from a sewer system catastrophe, he gains enough money to attend and claim victory in the Nintari championship, which constitutes winning the game.