Video Game Cat Review
Date of Review: January 24, 2013
Format Reviewed: Xbox 360
Language / Country of Origin: English / United States
Online Capability: Play online with friends and post to online leaderboards.
Prequels: Wheel of Fortune (1986), Wheel of Fortune (1987), Wheel of Fortune: New Third Edition (1988), Wheel of Fortune: Junior Edition (1989), Wheel of Fortune (1990), Wheel of Fortune: Family Edition (1990), Wheel of Fortune Featuring Vanna White (1991), Wheel of Fortune (1992), Wheel of Fortune: Deluxe Edition (1993), Wheel of Fortune (1994), Wheel of Fortune (1997), Wheel of Fortune 2 (1998), Wheel of Fortune (1998), Multiplayer Wheel of Fortune Online (1998), Wheel of Fortune (2003), Wheel of Fortune (2009).
Equipment Needed: None needed.
Maintenance Required: None required.
There have been Wheel of Fortune games and video games before, but this version has to be the best yet. This edition puts you closer than ever before to feeling like a real contestant on the show, and that’s no exaggeration!
Each game starts with bobblehead renditions of Pat Sajak and Vanna White that walk in and greet you, just as they would in the real life show. Play then proceeds like on the show, starting with two “tossup” rounds, then a Jackpot Round, then a Mystery Round, then a Prize Puzzle and so forth. Every round of gameplay mirrors the actual TV show from start to finish (the game even pauses to take “commercial breaks”). Instead of calling out your answers like on the show, in this version you have to use the arrow keys on your controller to select your guessed letters. If you guess wrong (or land on a penalty wedge), play proceeds to the next person; again, exactly as on the show.
In this Wheel of Fortune, you’re provided with the option to play against your friends, computer players and even yourself. With the multiplayer option, three mini-games come into play that add extra competition and specific unlockables, and playing with a pal or two is actually required if you wish to obtain certain achievements. If you choose to play by yourself, your turns for each puzzle will be limited based on the difficulty you play on, which is a neat feature.
Not only does this Wheel of Fortune play true to the TV show, it looks like every bit as good as the actual show, too! You can tell the developers really took their time creating all the gorgeous graphics in this game. There are several themed sets to play on, from Holiday to Hollywood. In each new locale there are beautiful moving backdrops, special unlockable props, certain appropriate puzzles…even Vanna’s dress changes to fit the theme! You can also unlock clothing items to dress your own avatar in.
The only bad thing I can think of to say about this game is that you sure land on “Bankrupt” a heck of a lot more than you would in real life. It’s not uncommon to land on this space multiple times in one round or even in a row!
There is no plot to speak of for this title.
The game gives you plenty of time to spin, select your letter(s) and solve the puzzle using basic controls.
Cultural / Historical Value:
Wheel of Fortune has been a game show classic since 1983. Various Wheel of Fortune games have come out over the years; this is the first one for the Xbox 360 and other modern consoles.
Teaching / Learning Characteristics:
Seeing how fast you can solve the puzzles using limited letters definitely works the brain. You also need to know how to spell.
Tons of replay value. Not only are there plenty of unlockables (sets, props, concept art, funny videos, clothing), but you need to win at least 50 games to net all of the achievements. The puzzles don’t seem to repeat, which is important.
Suitable for Wheel watchers young and old. Others who like puzzles.