This game is amazing. Ever since IGN launched the Buy Zack and Wiki campaign I knew I had to get it, but didn't know what I was getting myself into. Now I know. This is one of the most if not the most clever and entertaining games for the wii.
For those of you who don't know the style of the game, it is like the adventure games of old. If any of you played any of the Monkey Islands or Full Throttle or Sam and Max or Day of the Tentacle or any others, you will love this game. Myst players, too, will probably love this game.
The premise is that you are an up-and-coming pirate named Zack who is searching for treasure with your more-than-adorable companion Wiki. You go through a series of incredibly clever and interesting puzzles that are themed in a variety of ways. There is a jungle section, ice, fire, haunted mansion, etc. You go through the level interacting with items in a very intuitive point-and-click way, picking things up and using them with other items in the game.
One of the reasons Zack and Wiki is so inventive is that it is for the wii. Sometimes you will have to flip an item over to use the other end--you do this by flipping the wiimote. You loosen a dragon's tooth by twisting it back and forth; you saw with a sawing motion; you turn keys and locks. It sounds silly, but all these minor actions really bring you into the game and also make the puzzles just a little more challenging.
Another cool aspect to the game is Wiki. Not only does the strange flying monkey creature have a great sense of humor, but when you shake him he turns into a bell. This bell is used to transform creatures into objects, like a centipede into a centi-saw. It's a very clever mechanic. A nice example of a puzzle would be turning a snake into a slither gripper (something that extends your reach), carry it to a frog on a ledge, and turn it back into a snake that will scare the frog toward you. Then you turn the frog into a frog bomb and put it into an ice crystal to make it fall and land on something else so you can...you get the idea.
Two things that might surprise you if you have played a lot of adventure games are that in this one you can and will die, often (at least I have). The game utilizes platinum tickets that allow you to revive at the loss of some points and oracle dolls that give you hints. With this system in place death isn't so bad, but it is unlike other games I've played. Also, you don't keep items in an inventory; instead you can only hold one at a time. This is a cool choice that I think neither hurts nor helps the level of puzzle.
Another feature included is that up to four wiimotes can be used. The other players can't do anything but draw on the screen. Basically they point at things they want you, the player, to interact with. It seems minor, but it makes this single player game more fun for everyone. Whenever I played it was with a group of three or four people. Everybody had a great time trying to solve the intricate and exciting puzzles together, and sometimes it helps to have someone to give suggestions when you're stumped.
In conclusion, this game is amazing, and a great deal at only $40!. The sound is wonderful, the graphics are great, and the humor can make you laugh out loud. Those are just the minor pros, though, for the real power of the game comes from its ridiculously creative puzzles. The way you use items and Wiki as a bell really makes for some challenging and rewarding puzzles. So I highly recommend this game to anyone who likes this sort of problem solving. It is not fast paced, but it is a lot of fun.
on October 25, 2007
This game probably went unnoticed by many gamers, myself included. At first glance, the title makes it out to be some cartoon network type of sloppily put together platform. But it is anything but. What it is, is Capcom's wink to old school gamers. Those that enjoyed classic Sierra adventures of decades past.
Using the wii remote, you point to where you want Zack to go, and with his companion Wiki (a yellow monkey who sounds even cuter than Pikachu, or more annoying, depending on how you feel about the yellow rodent), he travels accross 8 distinct worlds. Varying from tropical Islands to Lava filled caves. The characters are colorful and enjoyable. Zack for instance is always chewing a chocolate bar, his favorite food. Even when he's falling to his likely death. This injection of humor is a welcome addition compared to the serious and gory games of late on competing systems.
There is actually a bit of puzzle solving in this game the further you get. As you have to tinker with your inventory and find out what combines with what. And how to use the wii remote uniquely to solve the next puzzle. The Wii remotes use in the solving of puzzles is great. As it uses the sensor and gyro in many different ways.
Overall this game is a 4 out of 5. And the only reason I give it a 4, is that I feel the Wii's discs are large enough to fit full voice acting. What we get instead is sort of a banjo kazooie type emoting of sound effects. However each character has about 5-10 different things they will "blurt out". For instance, Wiki: "Zacku. ." if talking to Zack. "oohhhhh" if finding something interesting. Sometimes they will even speak a line of words. Usually in japanese or a made up babble language. It gets the job done. But my preference in point and click adventures is full on voice acting. A'la the later Leisure Suit Larry games, Later Monkey Island games, and so on. .
Taking that all in brings me to this conclusion. Zack and Wiki is one of the top games on the Wii. And deserves a slot in any gamer's collection.
on October 26, 2007
Zack and Wiki is currently my favorite game for the Wii. Yes, I even like it more than Twilight Princess and Metroid Corruption. The puzzles are challenging, the visual style/ art is great, and the game is just a blast to play. I'm 27 and this game totally brings me to back to the old-school days of King's Quest and similar titles. I hope you third-party developers are paying close attention - if you make a great game, like Capcom has done here, people will buy it.
on October 31, 2007
Great third party game. This is a point and click adventure/puzzle title. The graphics are some of the best I've seen on the Wii and it uses the Wii remote in some of most innovative ways since Warioware. Each stage is a puzzle and requires quite a bit of trial and error. It's a game the whole family can participate in trying to figure out clues to the all the various puzzles. Addictive and fun. Worth every penny.
on October 27, 2007
I've been watching this ganme progress over the last 7 or 8 months or so, reading little bits of information here and there about the gameplay and how the game controls, and I was always intrigued, but man... after buying a few Wii games I thought would be great but turned out to be horrible (Dragon Blade: Wrath Of Fire, I'm looking at you!), it is sooo nice to get a Wii game that finally lives up to the hype the few people who knew about it were giving it.
Notice I said in my review title description I said this is the best the Wii has to offer... I mean that! Twilight Princess was a great game, but Zack And Wiki is so beautiful in every way that it easily puts it about the newest Zelda in my opinion.
What Zack And Wiki gets a lot of influence from is those great point and click graphic adventures that came out for the PC in the early to mid '90's. You know, King's Quest, Sam And Max, Monkey Island, Full Throttle, etc. You find item a and try to find exactly how and where to use within a certain puzzle. It might seem easy at first, but it's a lot harder of a game than it leads on to be. In any one level you might have to use 10-20 items in unique and clever ways just to reacj the treasure box that acts as the end of a level. It's not ALWAYS hard, but even the hard levels give you a great sence of accomplishment once you figure them out.
You move Zack entirely with the Wii's remote. You point at the screen wherever you want him to walk and push "A". Enemies are scattered here and there and shaking the remote turns your buddy Wiki into a bell that will turn enemies into useful items. See a centipede? Ring the bell and it will turn into a saw you can use to cut wood. Bats turn into umbrellas, frogs into bombs. There's HUNDREDS of enemies that turn into other helpful items to help you get throug eachlevel.
The motion sensing for the game is awesome. Since the game isn't very action oriented, and as such you don't need precise timing with most puzzles, using the remote to do everything works amazingly well. You'll be turning keys just like you would in real life, sawing through woods just like in real life, throwing things just like you would in real life and so on. There's only one place I thought the controls didn't work right, and that's when you meet a character that wants you to play a timed mini game with him. You must pull up at the right time to keep the beat, and the controls are just not quite responsive enough to pull it off. Even after 25 tries I couldn't do it. But thankfully, playing that part is just optional.
There's not much in the away of voice acting in the game, but what little there is is done in Japanese just to show emotion. It's kind of cool really, and Zack and Wiki can be quite funny as well, especially when they happen to die on you.
The graphics are pretty amazing for the Wii. Granted, this doesn't look as nice as a 360 or PS3 game, but on my HDTV it still looks great. It's made by Capcom, and it has that deep dark and rich color style Capcom games are famous for. The game really impresses when you manually zoom the camera out and you can see the entire level you're in in full 3D.
Well, what can I say? I own quite of few Wii games, some great, some I wish I never had bought. But none of them are as great as Zack And Wiki. Buy this game (it's only 40 bucks!), and let's hope Nintendo themselves take a look at this game to see how Wii games should be made.
on November 10, 2007
I was hesitant to purchase this game given the cartoonish box art and silly title, but after reading a few online reviews I decided to purchase the game anyway. Zach and Wiki features creative puzzles that are deceptively complicated with multiple solutions. I have repeatedly found myself replaying completed levels in order to find more creative solutions in order to achieve higher scores. Zach and Wiki is not just an amazing game for the Wii, but is just an amazing game in general. Highly recommended.
on July 27, 2009
This game is almost flawless for people who want no pointless dull 'fighting' and prefer a series of usually quite brilliant puzzles to figure out. Most Wii games are unplayably dull to me as they involve 98% mindless fighting or shooting and 2% puzzles, This game is 98% puzzle solving and 2% fighting. The only flaw it has is the final level/puzzle which is quite short I found to be impossible to finish. It relies (unlike any other part of the game) on speed of movement rather than lateral thinking or 'brain power'. It's a shame that I couldn't finish the last ten minutes of gameplay on it but it's still by far the best Wii game I've ever played
on November 14, 2007
I was pleasantly surprised when I started playing this game. It offers great mental exercise. Its not bad to look at either. I initially thought this game looked too "kiddie" for me but I'm glad I bought it. The animation looks good too. There are times that I'd like to slap myself silly for not figuring out the right move. If you're stuck you can ask for clues (provided you have enough points to "buy" clues). And then when the clue is given you'll realize just how easy it was. Anyway it's definitely a must have for Wii owners.
on January 31, 2008
I used to lament that the "Golden Age" of PC click adventure games was largely over; the fun, fantastic themes, the crazy puzzles, and the sense of whimsy found in classic LucasArts titles has largely come and gone. It's with great surprise and delight that I say Zack & Wiki brings us a near-perfect iteration of that core game mechanic, broken down into more manageable portions and incredible use of the Wii Remote which rivals every other Wii game out there.
Using your Wii Remote, you point and click your way through each game area, creating tools (by ringing your Remote like a bell to turn animals and some enemies into a more useful alternate form like grippers, cylinders, saws, etc.). Using those tools, you solve the puzzles in each area in order to obtain the treasure chest, and then move on to the next area. It sounds like your typical classic adventure game until you witness and take part in all the amazing uses for the Remote to interact with the game. You'll make saw-like motions, twist your Remote to simulate touching a stick to a campfire to make a torch, hook a work onto a fishhook, "toss" your Remote to throw certain objects, use the Remote as a crank to drill, and about a million other things. This really heightens the sense of immersion, and makes an already fun game that much more enjoyable.
There only a few, superficial critiques of the game I can give, but they shouldn't deter you from buying this game at all. The overarching story is fairly thin, but it's not like this is a sweeping adventure in the style of The Legend Of Zelda. It can also occasionally be tricky clicking around to move Zack to a certain spot on the ground. Other than that, I really haven't much to complain about :)
This is really a must-buy game, and absolutely worth having in your collection!
on December 18, 2007
The box art and the title of this game may immediately turn you off, and since it looks like something for a 10-year-old, I understand. Sadly, this game is a little too hard for most 10-year-olds and teens might feel like this game is too "babyish" for them.
So, twenty to thirty somethings are the ideal market for this game, since they may fondly remember the King's Quest, Space Quest, (etc.) point-and-click puzzle games, to which this game owes a lot of credit. Actually, it's better than those older games because the levels are self contained and feel more like individual puzzles. It loses that story arc appeal that King's Quest had, but it's worth the trade. And the best new addition to the genre is the ability to work with someone on the puzzles (up to 4 total can play at once). I'm 29 and trying to find a game that my wife will play with me is always a challenge, with the last one being Animal Crossing on Gamecube. Finally, another game she'll play with me! That alone is worth the price for me.
Please don't judge this book on its cover. It's much more than it looks, with its sense of discovery and teamwork, it's my other favorite game this winter. (Mario Galaxy, I love you, too.) Even the annoying, immature marketing choices wear away quickly, and you start to appreciate the graphics for how beautiful they actually are. This aspect reminded me of how Wind Waker, another game marketed to a younger crowd, easily won me over and even convinced me that a cartoon styled game will age better than a realistic game, like Twilight Princess. The campy cartoony style makes it over the top and fun where realism would have come off as flat, and it will win you over if you give it a chance. Now, some of the voice acting the bald guy teaching you Wiimote moves is so dumb it's funny, but other than that, this is a classy game which I hope speaks well for the Wii's future.