Wheel Of Fortune: Nintendo Entertainment System
Wheel of Fortune for the NES was a 1987 creation by GameTek, developed by Rare Ltd., and as far as my research goes, was the first Wheel of Fortune video game (official release September 1988). A previous game had been planned for the Atari 2600 in 1983, but the plans fell through on that one. The game was released at the same time as its Commodore 64 counterpart.
This is a pretty straight-forward game. You don’t have Pat Sajak as a host, and you technically don’t have Vanna White turning your letters, but you do have a blonde chick in an evening gown performing that function in-game. The entire screen focuses on the wheel while you are spinning, and you choose consonants upon successful spins (as long as you don’t land on Miss A Turn and Bankruptcy, of course). You control the strength of the spin by the meter gauge – when it is filled up, the spin goes full-strength, and it’s a weak spin when the gauge is low. You buy vowels in regular games, and so on – it’s much like the show as far as the rules go.
There are 3 levels of play – 1, 2, 3, 1 being the easiest level. Even if you know the game and just haven’t played a while, it’s wise to start out on Level 1 to get used to the controls and prompts. It’s a simple game, but after playing newer systems, it takes a minute or so to get used to scrolling all over the place for letters.
The music – even what sounds like vocals instead of a midi at the start screen! – is very faithful to the TV show, and the gameplay itself is easy to understand, whether or not you have watched the television show. This is a game both kids who have never played and adults who enjoy reminiscing over older games will enjoy playing.
Old-school game show gaming at its best. Rare Ltd. did a great job with the game show video games back in the day, and this is a great example of their development prowess even in the early stages of such projects. This is a fun game for all ages, highly recommended for family night!
Some gamers may not find the game very challenging.