Wheel Of Fortune

a game by Gamtec, Gametek, and Sony Imagesoft

Platforms: PSXSega GenesisGenesisNESNESNintendo 64Nintendo 64GameGear

Genres: Board Games, Puzzles & Words, Strategy/War, Educational/Kids, Simulation

See also: Wheel of Fortune Games

If you're one of those people who spends their Wednesday evenings shouting things like "A bird in the hand!" and "King George, you witless morons!" then you're probably very strange. However if you do it whilst watching Wheel Of Fortune -previously hosted by the mildly annoying Nicky 'sacked from Radio l' Campbell and of late taken over by the extremely annoying Bradley 'devoid of charm and talent' Walsh - then it's understandable.

We've all done it at one time or another - shouted at the television whilst watching a gameshow where the contestants seem to have a combined IQ somewhere equivalent to a small tube of toothpaste. I know, in fairness, that it is a lot more difficult to answer questions when you're actually on the show in front of the cameras, as opposed to when you're munching your way through a microwave meal on the sofa at home. Still, it has to be said that Wheel Of Fortune contestants in particular do seem to be somewhat on the slow side, even compared to your average game show entrant (Fifteen To One notwithstanding - they're all mad geniuses).

You know the kind of thing. Host: "Okay Sue, it's a three letter word, you know the first letter is D and the last G. The clue is 'Wags its tail and barks'. Now can you solve it?" Contestant: "Okay Bradley, um... is it... um... is it... is it a cow?" Host: "Ooh, ever so close Sue! The answer we were looking for was 'Dog', but that was a great guess! Don't go away, we'll be right back!"

I'll Have А Р Please Bob

I admit, when I heard that Wheel Of Fortune was being turned into an N64 game, I got quite excited, after all, who wouldn't want Jenny Powell, the stunning co-presenter and one redeeming feature of the show, chatting in Estuary English with them in the privacy of their own front room? Disappointingly though, Wheel Of Fortune the game is based on the American version of the show, and so instead of the gorgeous Jenny, we get the American female host, Vanna White.

And disappointment follows disappointment. Take the graphics for instance - never mind a Nintendo 64, they'd look more at home on a Commodore 64! Aside from a couple of short panning shots, the majority of this game is fairly flat, as if filmed with a static camera, which is visually fairly unexciting.

The contestants themselves are particularly awful. They have apparently been digitised, but then someone seems to have knocked the scanner out of focus, so they become faceless figures with no detail and less animation than the contestants on the TV show itself. If you've ever played Lethal Enforcers on the Sega Mega Drive, then you'll have some idea of what to expect.

The host herself, Vanna White, appears on screen from time to time in a box (as you do) and those sequences are a little more polished. FMV on the N64 - make the most of it! She also 'walks the board' when you select your letters, although the animation sequence is basically just her walking from one side of the screen to the other, while the letters magically turn by themselves.

The game, for those of you who don't already know, has two main parts; spinning the wheel, and trying to solve a word puzzle. When you spin the wheel, different segments with values representing amounts in dollars flash past your pointer, along with various bonuses and hazards such as free spin tokens, miss a turn and bankrupt segments. Once a value stops on your pointer (assuming it's not one of the hazards) you then have to guess a letter for the puzzle, in much the same way as if you were playing hangman. If the letter is present in the puzzle, you get the money marked by your pointer. If more than one of that letter is in the puzzle, you get the amount by the pointer multiplied by however many times the letter occurs. You then get a chance to either spin the wheel again, or to try and solve the puzzle.

Play It Again Uncle Sam

I have to say that despite its simplicity (or perhaps because of it), I did find Wheel Of Fortune a lot of fun, particularly when playing against two human competitors. However, I've always liked word puzzles, and since that's what the game is about, if you don't like word puzzles then you won't like this.

I know that in America there are people who are obsessed with Wheel Of Fortune, who never miss a show, and who pride themselves on always getting the puzzles before the TV contestants, and I dare say there may be people who are the same over here. There's a word for you - it begins with 'S' and ends in 'D', and means 'the opposite of happy'. If you are one of those people, then you'll probably love this game. If you're not... well, it's a word puzzle game.

All in all, considering the import price, this game is only really value for money if you're a Wheel Of Fortune fanatic. Otherwise your money would be better spent getting a game that really utilises the N64's capabilities, and if you just fancy a word puzzle, then pop down to WH Smiths and get a whole book of them for about a quid.

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Wheel Of Fortune Downloads

Wheel Of Fortune download
  • Manufacturer: GAMETEK

If you've always wanted in on the action, here's your chance to spin for simulated cash and prizes. So real, you'll wonder where Vanna is.

reggie posted a review

You can't check out Jenny Powell's pins as this is the American version. As the Yanks might say, "this sucks."

reggie posted a review

Totally and utterly awful conversion of America's favourite gameshow. A turn-based monstrosity that often has you waiting for up to 15 minutes with absolutely nothing to do but stare at the vile shapes jerking about on the screen. A turd.

reggie posted a review

After making several 16-bit appearances, Wheel of Fortune rolls to the Sega CD. Fans of the TV show will be fans of the game because the CD almost exactly duplicates the show.

Buy a Vowel?

Wheel's concept is inexplicably popular. Unlike Jeopardy!, WOF doesn't test your knowledge -- it tests your ability to guess random objects or phrases.

ProTip: Hold down Button A until the spin meter goes green to get maximum spin on the wheel.

The CD offers 6000 simple word puzzles, and you spell out the answers. The controls are basic, and the strategy is minimal (basically, try not to buy vowels). Pat Sajak's not hosting, but Vanna White turns letters, just like on TV.

Merv Griffin, the show's creator, got rich from Wheel, but Sony Imagesoft probably won't. Whereas other gameshow CDs (including Trivial Pursuit) spice up things with video clips and musical selections, WOF plays it straight. No illustrative video clips, no musical numbers -- just Vanna, digitized players, a dicky wheel, and a board full of blocky letters.

The graphics and sounds aren't much, either. Vanna's digitized image and voice are omnipresent because she performs Pat's coaching duties as well as her own. She looks pretty good (though stiff), and her voice is clear. But the rest is so simplistic that the CD's sound and graphics potential is wasted.

The Wheel Deaf

As an accurate representation of the show, the CD does the job, which should please WOF devotees. But anyone expecting more from their Sega CD than what they get for free on TV will be disappointed. Let this Wheel roll by.

reggie posted a review

Overview

Fans of the Wheel, your game has arrived! Artech Studios and Hasbro have captured all the gameplay and excitement of the long-running hit TV show and brought it home through your Sony PlayStation! This version contains over 2,000 puzzles that were created by the actual writers of the original show. You can compete against human or computer opponents to win fantasy cash and prizes, with the game customized just the way you want it. It is a lot of fun to play, and is as close as you can get to the real thing without actually being there.

Gameplay

While this is one of the best video game duplications of a TV game show that I have ever seen, there is one major difference from the original: Pat Sajak is absent from the game and the lovely Vanna White has taken over the role as host. I really think Vanna does a great job here and would make an excellent replacement for Pat (should he ever decide to move on to something else). Charlie O’Donnell is the announcer, just as he is on the TV show. The game has most of the sights and sounds of the original, including the same music and sound of the wheel. The computer opponents even have personalities, and make human-like comments as they play against you. You can play with up to two other human opponents, yet you do not need to purchase a multi-tap adapter or additional controller; you just have to have two of the players sharing one of the controllers. The PlayStation version gives you the choice of playing in one of five different settings as the background scenery: Paris, Hawaii, Desert Scene, Holland or Las Vegas. You have the choice of playing a normal game or a solo game, where you spin the wheel and play by yourself. The goal in the solo game is to play against the clock to win as much fantasy cash and prizes as you can before time runs out. The standard game length is 15 minutes, but you also have the choice of playing a 10 or 20 minute game, or you can also pick between playing a game that consists of three, four or five rounds.

If your PlayStation is equipped with dual-shock controllers, your controller will vibrate each time you spin the wheel. To pick a letter, you simply use the directional buttons to move through the letter chooser. Letters that are available to be chosen will be highlighted in blue as you move over them. Letters that are not available will be darkened, and will be skipped when moving through them. Upon spinning the wheel, you have 20 seconds to pick a letter. If you allow more than 20 seconds to elapse, you automatically forfeit your turn to the next player.

The basic strategy of the game is to solve word puzzles in an effort to win money and prizes. When you correctly solve a puzzle, the cash and/or prizes in your bank are yours to keep. The other two players’ banks get erased. The winner is the player who has won the highest cumulative dollar value in both fantasy cash and prizes for those rounds played with the three players. The winner then gets to play the "Bonus Round."

Graphics

I thought the developers did an excellent job of re-creating the look and feel of the game, and the graphics are quite good. The wheel looks just like the one on TV, and the layout of the game is much like the original as well. The video segments were well done also, with many full-screen videos of both Vanna and the fantasy prizes that are given away. The video commentaries are both clear and quick, with very little delays. Many PlayStation games are notorious for slow loading times, but I felt that this game has done well to eliminate much of those problems. The only long wait that I experienced was in the initial loading of the game, where the data from the memory card was loaded along with the game data. I would highly recommend the use of a memory card for this game, which will prevent the same puzzles from being played over and over again. The memory card will keep track of which puzzles have been played, keeping the game fresh. With over 2,000 puzzles, it will be a long time before you will see a repeat.

Bottom Line

I found it very difficult to find anything wrong with this game. It is just like the original, except that the Sony PlayStation will not be capable of producing real cash or prizes any time in the foreseeable future. It is challenging and fun, so if you are a regular viewer you will not be disappointed with this game. Who knows? With enough practice on the PlayStation version, you just might be able to prepare yourself well enough to become a contestant on the TV show and bring home some REAL cash and prizes. If you do, don’t forget that you can always look me up at GameFabrique, and I’d be glad to share them with you!! Good Luck!!

reggie posted a review

This video game is based on a popular TV show, Wheel of Fortune, produced by Merv Griffin. The task is to resolve the letters that are missing in the given place, thing, person, or a phrase, etc. You are to turn the wheel for money, guess consonants, get vowels, and successfully the puzzle. But be careful...one unfortunate spin, and you might miss your turn. Or even go bankrupt. You can play either against human opponents, or the computer. Take your chance to win all those great prizes on the WHEEL OF FORTUNE!

Just like videogame Jeopardy!, this one has also had many releases. Each new version of the Wheel of Fortune has some alike features of Vanna White, the other host. And then the announcer Charlie O'Donnell's voice. These comprise a video game for some old Macintoshes. A Commodore 64’s version is one for the NES, released earlier than the overhaul of the bonus round through the "Big Month of Cash". Also a Super Nintendo Entertainment Systems, Sega Mega Drive version, such of Nintendo 64, some PC versions, and even an arcade version. Station.com offers some of the game’s version at no cost.

reggie posted a review
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