Wheel of Fortune has been a fan favorite for people of all ages for many years, and within the show’s lifetime, we have seen countless videogame iterations. PSN recently got its own version of the game show, and despite some decent customization features, there certain aspects of the Wheel of Fortune experience that are flat-out missing.
Everyone should know the basics of Wheel of Fortune. You spin a wheel and hope to land on a (decent) dollar amount, then you try and guess a consonant. Guess correct, and you will receive the dollar amount multiplied by the number of consonants in the puzzle. You continue to guess until enough letters have been revealed for you to solve the puzzle.
The video game plays essentially the same. Before starting a match, you can go to the character selection screen and create your character. There are not a ton of options to customize, but there are enough to help your character differentiate enough from the others. Not only can you customize your character, you can also keep track of the total dollars won with that character and view your winning percentage.
Once your character is created, you can go ahead and choose your game type. There are two different modes in both single player, multiplayer and online. The basic single player mode requires you to play eight rounds, including the final puzzle. And there is also the road show, another single player mode which has you moving through a couple of locations, but competing with the same set of characters. There are still eight rounds for each event, and it really is the exact same mode as basic single player; it just allows you to go directly to the next event instead of returning to the menu screen at the end of each game.
The controls are very straight forward. During each turn, you’re given the option to spin, buy a vowel, or solve the puzzle. When you want to spin you press X, which brings up a power gauge onscreen; pressing X again will stop the gauge and your character will spin the wheel either harder or softer. That’s about as deep as the controls get during the entire game.
The sound effects that are here are very accurate, from the little clicks of the spinning wheel to the confirmation sounds of guessing the correct letters for each puzzle. But what’s shocking is that so much is missing from the game. First off, there is no spoken dialogue whatsoever. No Vanna White, no Pat Sajak, nothing. This is not a problem most of the time, but on occasion there seems to be an awkward silence. Also, the developers did not use the original theme song, and instead replaced it with a new repetive one. It was a very wierd decision on the developer’s part, and the missing character audio really does take away from the overall experience.
In terms of graphics, there’s nothing to write home about. Everything stays true to the actual Wheel of Fortune set, but the visuals are pretty basic and the character animation is weak and repetitive. But the overall appearance works for a PSN game, since most of you won’t be looking for a graphical powerhouse when picking up a game show title.
The online play is a welcomed addition, and the same game modes from single player make a return here. You can either join a single session, a road session, or host both. You also can set up private rooms so you and two friends can have the whole room to yourselves. But even without creating a private room, you can invite friends to whichever lobby you’re already playing in.
When it comes down it, though, this isn’t a very compelling title. Though the controls are simple, the animations are way off and the key game show hosts, Pat and Vanna, are blatantly missing. Even the game show contestants are miraculously silent. But the game itself is pretty fun, and does accurately represent how the game show works. $15 may be kind of steep for some people, but if you’re a fan of the show then this is a worthy purchase.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
The hosts, Pat and Vanna, are missing.
A good representation of the actual show, but a bit lifeless.