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Game shows are fun to watch sometimes. However, watching them inevitably leaves many people wanting to actually play them. To that end, when video games started to become popular, some third parties began releasing video game versions of popular game shows. Among those games was a game that revolutionized multiplayer gaming by allowing three players to play, Wheel of Fortune.
Everybody knows what Wheel of Fortune is, even those people who don’t watch game shows. Its immense popularity, one would think, would guarantee video game versions of it to be popular as well, but such is not the case because most people who watch game shows were too old, at least during the NES era, to care about video games. My brother and I got this game the same Christmas that we got Family Feud, and this game easily overshadowed that one in terms of both quality and fun.
The graphics in this game are far from impressive, but they get the job done. The wheel spinning is not the most convincing, resembling a blurry circle more than anything, but that’s not a big deal. When it stops, it is easy to see that what was stopped on is the same as what the box said. Overall, the graphics were unimpressive, but they were good enough to get the job done.
The same can be said of the sound. The sound effects sound like not much time was put into them, and even the intro theme (which is the same as the intro theme to the game show), sounds like a half-finished job, higher pitched and shrill compared to the actual game show’s. Although unimpressive, it isn’t atrocious. I’d say consider muting this game and listening to a CD.
I’m going to spare you the lecture on how the game works, because I assume that anybody reading this is already a fan of Wheel of Fortune and thus already knows. Instead, I will just say that the letter choosing works fairly well, with letters chosen being removed from the list, if I remember correctly. The game will let you pick a vowel or consonant at any time, so mistakes there are possible.
When solving a puzzle, you will have about forty-five seconds to enter in every missing letter one at a time. Usually, this is fine, but if you solve a puzzle early, it can leave you a little cramped for time. Not a really big deal though. Also, if you spin the wheel and land on the free spin, you don’t have to correctly pick a letter to get it, which is different from how I ever remember the game show itself working. Also, you can land on the free spin spot multiple times, and you get a free spin every time. I wonder why they did that.
But the one thing I’m sure you’re all wondering is how three players can play with two controllers. Bearing in mind that in Wheel of Fortune players alternate playing rather than going at the same time, the makers of this game simply made it so if there are three players, the third player uses the first controller.
Overall, this game isn’t bad. If you play it enough times a puzzle will repeat, but it is a better effort at a game show made video game than some such games for the NES were, and it is worth trying if you can find it fairly inexpensively.
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|Written by Martin