Wheel of Fortune


Review by Matt Paprocki


Game show

Graphics: 5

Sound: 5

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 7


What is the fascination of game shows? What's the point of watching OTHER people win money? Besides, we all know they just take it and spend it on things like credit card debt. What's the use of large cash payoffs if you can't spend it on video games? It's good to know we have things like Wheel of Fortune on the Game.com to let us simulate the experience, even if it doesn't lead to more games.

Once the game boots up, you'll get a nicely voiced intro with the classic "Wheel... Of... Fortune!!" chant. Then the shows theme song begins blaring through the tinny speaker of the of the console, overly digitized and sounding like it came from an 80's arcade machine. Up to three players can join in on the action by passing the console around.

Just in case you're not up to par on your WOF rules, it's pretty simple. You spin a wheel, pick a letter, if it's part of the word puzzle you earn money. If it's not, turn over. Should you figure out the puzzle, you solve and then win the money you've earned. The other players get nothing (barbaric, isn't it?). There are some hazards on the wheel too. "Bankrupt" and "lose a turn" are pretty deadly though other bonuses like "spin again" let you give it another go. The game is split into three rounds, the fourth being a bonus round for the money leader. Here you have a shot at a mega prize like a car.

The Game.com's touch screen is wonderful here. No more using a cursor to spell out words; it's all done with the stylus the system came packed with. The letter icons are a bit small and it's too easy to tap the wrong letter, but it's a minor compromise. The wheel is animated in a generic manner but it's a minor problem and one that will in no way affect the play of the game. The box states 750 puzzles and unless you're one of the developers, you're not in position to argue.

The game's only major disappointment is the lack of the hosts, more specifically, Vanna White. We can live without Pat Sajak, but no Vanna? They never even make an appearance in voice form. Other than that, this is a faithful rendition of the show it's based on. Obviously your enjoyment will vary based on your feelings of the show. Still, it's pretty hard to not enjoy this simple game on a car trip. This is the type of stuff the Game.com was made for.


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Last updated: Friday, September 23, 2005 11:36 PM