Wheel of Fortune

a game by Gamtec, Gametek, and Sony Imagesoft

Platforms: Sega 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

Sega Genesis 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

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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