Friday, January 25, 2008

VG Review: Zack and Wiki

Capcom, for the Wii, rated E for Everyone (cartoon violence), $39.99.

There have been a number of enjoyable games for the Wii recently, but very few that have taken advantage of the system's unique capabilities

"Zack and Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure" on the other hand, does a splendid job of integrating the console's motion controls, making it an integral part of the gameplay and not just a gimmick. What's more, it manages to revive an old genre that I had long given up for lost: the classic point and click adventure game (i.e. "Myst," "Syberia.")

The story involves a pint-sized pirate and his pet monkey (at least I think it's a monkey) as they attempt to acquire different pieces of a long-lost treasure that just happens also to be the skeleton of a pirate king.

Each level requires you to figure out a way to access a seemingly inaccessible treasure chest. Getting from A to B usually involves using tools like saws, bells, blocks and fishing rods.

To aid in your quest, certain creatures can be turned into helpful objects. A frog, for example, can become a bomb with the ring of a bell.

If half the fun is sussing out what you're required to do, the other half is using the Wii controller in inventive ways, as if it were a hammer, saw, lever or key.

For the most part, the puzzles are challenging without seeming impossible, though there are several that will have you flinging your controller across the room in frustration.

My only -- and big -- problem with the game is the save system. Make a wrong move and you'll have to start all the way back from the beginning unless you've spent serious cash on a "Platinum Ticket." Considering some levels take a half hour or more to finish, that's a serious annoyance.

There's no denying however, that "Zack and Wiki" is one of the most original and fun titles to come out for the Wii in all of 2007. Those who miss the PC puzzle games of yesteryear would do well to check it out.

Copyright The Patriot-News, 2007

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