Video Game Review (Posted on 09-03-2015)
After a few editions, it's time the record was straight: it's Wheel of Fortune featuring Vanna White
! No longer is the game featuring the woman as "the hostess," now her name has been revealed: Vanna White! What could be more clear?
Having reviewed the PC/DOS version of this game
, this NES variant is quite different from its DOS counterpart. From the introduction, you see a higher quality image of Vanna White herself. Although still 8-bit, it looks much better than the image shown on the DOS version. When entering your information, choosing a difficulty level and the like, there is no background music playing. And while I'm on the music, the intro music IS THE THEME FROM THE SHOW ITSELF! It's about time. After entering your information, you actually get to choose a character to represent you!
Besides the neat-looking graphics of the puzzle board, you actually have the option if you want to change the puzzle category simply by pressing the SELECT button when prompted to. If you're too slow or don't respond, the game continues on assuming you didn't want to change it. Now that it's time to play, of course, the first thing you do is 'Spin The Wheel.' Not only does your character clap constantly but your strength meter is indicated by four dots on the left and right, with the wheel value shown in between. The dots that light up near the middle, the fourth dot, makes a stronger spin of the wheel. Right away you can see the fluid, real time-looking spin of the wheel. I'm going as far as this: the graphic of the wheel reminds me of a cute, funny segment called "Squeal of Fortune" on Sesame Street
. Ah childhood memories.... Anyway, unlike the three other versions, the wheel on this game changes just like on the DOS version and the TV show itself! Because of the change and increases in values, expect high scores—money amounts—which makes playing and beating your opponent much more challenging.
The game play is very straight-forward, but like the other versions you'll be stuck in an endless package of sound effects. When you solve the puzzle correctly, a theme song doesn't play. Instead it's some quick, audible "wrap-up" sound that plays. Whichever player won that round still claps while the scores are being recapped. The one with the highest score goes on to the Bonus Round
! Yeah, you already knew that.
Simple prizes and you get to choose from the letters W H E E L
, similar to the DOS version and the TV show (nowadays, contestants choose with a mini prize wheel). Emulating that of the TV show itself, the letters R S T L N E
are chosen, then YOU have to choose 3 consonants and 1 vowel. You have an amazing 60 seconds to solve the puzzle. My first attempt wasn't great as I didn't solve the puzzle "Sacrifice Bent." The puzzles surely make you think but you have a chunk of time to try and solve. If you don't solve it, you see a funny "oh no! Darn it!" face from the character you chose with a "TOO BAD" text above the prize you were about to win (thanks for the insult to injury). If
you manage to solve and win, you hear the real voice of Vanna telling you "Congratulations!" That audio surprise, or "easter egg," might make you jump but you do hear her voice which is cool. After that, the game closes with its theme music then loops back to the beginning, giving you the option to play again with the same players or re-enter and play a fresh, new game.
The animation does make the game progress a little tedious than I like but it isn't too long either. Having the option to change the category of the puzzles is kind of strange, but the option is there if need be. The graphical animation of Vanna makes her move slow, but I'm guessing it's to realistically coincide with the fact that she's wearing high heels while walking back and forth to unveil the letters. At least she looks much better here than the previous versions of this game.
The characters and their reactions are hilarious and something you'll get a kick out of. I'm not sure how popular this version was, compared to the DOS version, but if this game somehow gets up on the viral gaming radar, don't be surprised to see these characters' faces on countless memes throughout the Internet. Then again, the drawings of the characters are uninspiring but it's the least of this game's overall play value.
All in all, this is the best version of Wheel of Fortune
you can get. Surely the other versions
have their own fans and a much faster game play (you can breeze through in less than 10 minutes), but this version has all the pieces that surely represent the TV show itself. Whether you prefer the DOS version or this NES version is up to you, but compared to the previous releases, let alone if you're a fan of the game show as well, this version should be sitting nicely on your shelves.
I also don't think you should pass up getting $5 off orders over $50 at the Warner Bros Online Shop
© 2008-2019 written and reviewed personally by Kris Caballero.
Video Game Ratings
Video Game Credits
Television program produced by Merv Griffin Enterprises, a unit of Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc.
1991 GameTek/IJE, Inc.
1991 Wheel of Fortune Productions, Inc.
Licensed by Nintendo of America, Inc.
Program: David Wiebenson
Audio: Imagitec Design LTD