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Wheel of Fortune
Platform: Nintendo DS
Publisher: THQ, Inc.
Developer: Griptonite Games
Style(s): Game Show
Synopsis: The 2010-released edition of the popular game show title features more than 8,000 phrase-based puzzles, original "commercial break" mini-games, and virtual, big-headed versions of hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White. Wheel of Fortune is a word game in which players take turns guessing letters to gradually reveal the hidden phrase in a puzzle. The amount of money awarded for solving the puzzle depends on the values of the letters the player correctly guesses, determined by spinning a large, colorful wheel. The contestant with the most money after several rounds of play wins the game, and earns the opportunity to try for additional prizes in a bonus round. A flick of the stylus spins the wheel, and players call letters and fill in puzzle answers by tapping an onscreen keyboard. As many as three players can compete over a local DS wireless connection, with the computer controlling the additional contestants in single-player and two-player games. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide
Package Contents: Health and Safety Precautions Booklet
Wheel of Fortune games have been around for nearly as long as the syndicated television series, which is testament to how enduring the game show is (or how relatively painless it is to recreate on a computer, handheld, or console). Wheel of Fortune on DS earns applause for including over 8,000 puzzles, a touch-screen interface, and the ability to save and track your overall stats to one of six user profiles. The game also offers some nice design features to encourage players to keep spinning, including a custom character builder, achievements, and the ability to unlock various outfits to personalize the in-game characters. Unfortunately, the visuals of the game are so terrible that most of the design features are pointless. The developers opted for 3D character models with large heads (similar to the super deformed or Chibi style used in manga and anime). Alas, the 3D heads are more jagged than round, the clothing is blurry, and the background sets are a pixelated mess. The only thing that looks remotely passable is the wheel itself. The graphics are so off-putting that there's no point in using your winnings to purchase costumes, because they won't in any shape or form improve your character's look. The game otherwise plays true to the television show, with the exception of a small hitch after you initiate the wheel spin. Instead of letting you spin the wheel in real time, allowing you to adjust the amount of speed and strength of your spin based on "feel," you have to swipe the stylus across the screen and then wait for a momentary pause before the wheel begins its revolution. The resulting spin doesn't seem to take into account how quickly or forcefully you use the stylus, making the results you're getting feel random. Guessing a letter or solving the puzzle simply involves tapping the stylus on the letter display, either QWERTY or alphabetic, which is fast and fluid. Players can either challenge two computer opponents with adjustable difficulty levels and response times or up to two friends. Multiplayer games are limited to passing the system between your friends or family members, but each participating player can at least use his or her custom character and save winnings to separate profiles. Wheel of Fortune has the right ingredients in place to be one of the better renditions of the game show at the time of its release, but the presentation should be much, much better given the system. The excitement of unlocking new sets and "prizes" is taken away when each new graphics set is barely distinguishable from the previous one, other than blurry, blotchy colors. The limited multiplayer support also points to a game that was done on the cheap, but if all you care about is a functional, not flashy, rendition of the game show, you probably won't care. It's a competent release, but far from letter perfect. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
the game requires Joystick/Gamepad.