Zack & Wiki Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
If you're of a certain age and familiarity to video games then the chances are you've had some experience with point and click adventures, while for the main they're nothing more than an obscure flight of fancy for nerds nowadays there was a time when point and clicks were a major part of the gaming world. Well in January 2008 game developers Capcom decided to bring them back.
Staring off with Zack & Wiki (Z&W) can be a deceptive game, it's comedic story follows pirate in training Zack and his sidekick the golden monkey Wiki as they attempt to find the pieces of the skeleton pirate Barbaros who promises them the location of his coveted treasure and pirate ship. The theme continues with the bright and shiny graphics which wouldn't be out of place in a children's book. These elements can mislead you into believing that Z&W is a simple game aimed at people who have no interest in the challenge a game can present and as a result won't test skill or mental capacity, add to that the opening tutorial stages in which the game holds your hand constantly and it seems those fears are correct... that is until that tutorial ends and the game commences to throwing a marathon of puzzles at you with little or no help and say good luck (yes Z&W is anything but a walk in the park).
Now if you've played point and clicks before then the gameplay of Z&W isn't anything new, start in an area and examine the environment and any points of interest setting into motion a set of actions or events which are to help Zack and Wiki get the treasure chest at the end of each area, in Z&W this can be a whole set of things from turning a crank to draining a lake but of course it isn't as straight forward as that or it wouldn't be a puzzle. Z&W works exclusively with the wiimote (no nunchuck) which you use as a cursor to tell Zack where to walk and what to interact with, it is also used to act out the actions of Zack such as pouring water or opening an umbrella. Using the A button will let you move or interact while holding the B trigger lets Zack look around without moving to give you a better view of your surroundings. The other important aspect of the controls is to shake the wiimote which turns Wiki into a bell transforming all the nearby enemies into objects to help you solve the puzzles at hand. Depending on how good you do you also receive points called HirameQ and coins earned can be spent on helpful items.
There's some treasure to be had in Z&W (no surprise considering it's what pirates do) and it's provided in the form of the catalogue which is filled with all the plunder you find meaning the perfectionists among you have reasons to keep playing after completing the game.
I've already touched on presentation but in case you weren't paying attention I'll say again that Z&W is a bright and shiny game full of cute, cuddly and silly characters, the music is light hearted as you'd expect and does it's job nicely.
Z&W is an enjoyable game that does a good job of bringing the point and click genre to a new audience, it can be frustrating at times (as any good point and clock should be) but never leaves you wanting to give up on playing, it is slow and does require patience but that's just the nature of these sort of games. If this thoughtful gameplay doesn't appeal to you then Z&W isn't for you but if you like point and clicks or want to add to your Wii collection then this is worth considering.
At A Glance.
Gameplay ~ 7/10
Story ~ 6/10
Graphics ~ 7/10
Sound ~ 6/10
Replay Value ~ 5/10
Final Score: 31/50