The graphical style in this game fits the Wii quite well because it looks good, but isn’t too detailed. It’s a cell shaded graphical style very reminiscent of Wind Waker. Bright colors are almost always used and because of this, the game is very bright. Because of the cell shaded graphics, bright colors and no well known name attached to it, Zack and Wiki looks to be aimed at a younger audience at first glance. However, once you boot up the game and get into the first few levels, you will find this isn’t the case.
You take control of Zack whose dream to be the greatest pirate ever and are assisted by your enchanted monkey Wiki. Zack is part of the pirate gang “The Sea Rabbits”, who often clash with their rival gang the “Rose Rock Pirates”. While on a flight to find a treasure hunting location, the Rose Rock Pirates shoot down Zack’s ship causing him to crash into Treasure Island. In a treasure chest, he finds the talking skull of the legendary pirate Barbaros. Barbaros promises his legendary ship to Zack & Wiki if they can find the rest of his body, which is made of various pieces of treasure.
Contrary to what its cover would have you assume, Zack & Wiki gets very challenging. The goal of each level is to gain access to a treasure chest containing a piece of treasure belonging to Barbaros, which is easier said than done. This is done by solving puzzles within the level, often using trial and error. Which, surprisingly, is more fun then it sounds. In most levels, there are multiple opportunities to get killed, such as killer robots and armed Rose Rock Pirates. Luckily, you can revive yourself if you have an oracle doll (which can be bought from the Sea Rabbit hideout using money found under rocks in the levels), but it lowers your final score. You can also ask for a hint if you have platinum tickets (which, again, can be bought from the hideout) if or when you get stuck. At the end of the level, you get a final score that judges on how well you did. It incorporates how many tries each step in the puzzle took you, how many hints you asked for and how many revives you used, among other things. Wiki isn’t completely useless in this game, as it can be used as a bell by shaking the Wii-mote. This turns enemies into tools you can use in the level for solving puzzles, such as a saw or umbrella. Towards the latter part of the game, many puzzles are capable of being ruined by one task, requiring you to restart and try again which adds challenge to the game. Each level has completely different puzzles throughout the 24 levels and because of this variety, the levels are never repetitive.
The control scheme is pretty intuitive, allowing you to interact with objects in the game exactly as you would imagine. If you want to pull a lever, you hold the Wii-mote exactly like gripping a lever and pull. The motion mechanics work well most of the time, with only the occasional misreads of the Wii-mote’s movement. The control works very well overall, which is more than can be said for other early Wii titles. However, one of my few gripes with the game is that moving Zack around is tedious, as you have to continually click where you want to go in short distances. Occasionally you will be able to click exactly where you want to go and Zack will create his own path, but this isn’t implemented for everything.
The game isn’t particularly lengthy at approximately 7 hours, but the game isn’t pricey either. You can easily find it for around $20, which is a sweet spot for the title considering that even though it isn’t lengthy, it’s still worth playing and is really fun.
[/FONT] Overall, Zack & Wiki is a great game that many Wii owners have not had the pleasure of playing. Don’t let its cover art and cell shaded style fool you into thinking it’s a game for a younger audience. The puzzles are challenging and fun, the controls are easy to learn and use and the game is overall quality. Zack & Wiki can be easily found for under $20 and even less if you shop around. At that price point, this game is a fantastic buy despite its length and sometimes tedious movements.
Edited by Woot1337, 12 September 2010 - 12:40 AM.