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"Wheel of Fortune" (NES)

Not a bad port of the popular TV game show. Presents a unique list of puzzles to try and solve from, as well as the awesome animation of the wheel itself.

I had to, ladies and gentlemen: reviewing Wheel of Fortune for the Nintendo Entertainment System. You can tell this is simply one of the coolest TV game shows in history. Must be a fun job being part of that show. Wish I could.

Let's head straight to the music this time. The introduction music is nothing compared to the actual show; What I mean by the "actual show" is the theme song back in the late eighties. As you press START to start the game, you hear another kind of music which sounds like it's best fitted for some futuristic, cyberspace simulations game. It really didn't fit as a background track for the information typing—your name, how many players are playing, difficulty levels (1, 2 and 3, with 1 being the easiest) and if you want to play against the computer. Lots of sound effects, even when the clocking is ticking which could get very annoying. In addition, the other annoying sound effect is the Strength meter when spinning the wheel; The sounds when the wheel spins isn't that bad though. The music playing when you, or the computer, solves the puzzle is so odd to be playing on a game like this. That track sounds like the perfect track for an RPG (role-playing game). Being that there was Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior for the NES, it's hard to believe not to hear that track on those games. Don't get me wrong, the music composed for this game are excellent, but they aren't best fit with this game.

Graphics are what you'd expect from a classic NES game. The wheel animation is really cool and the 'hostess' is looking sharp, although we can't make out her facial features. We know this 'hostess' as Vanna White, of course. However, I believe it's a permission issue in not using Vanna's name on this game. Nevertheless, she moves nicely and she turns the letters perfectly (back when letters had to be turned on the board).

The gameplay is very straight forward using button A to make your choices and choosing the letters. I have to say that throughout the entire game, the wheel stays the same. Being that the box says it's the closest thing to the real show, the real TV show changes the values on the wheel periodically. I'm not sure if developers couldn't write up a code to program in getting the wheel to change when you advance to the next round. Although not too big an issue, it's something that must be brought up. As you know already, the person with the highest score—cash—goes to Round 4 which is the Bonus Round.

This Bonus Round is the fun part because of the prizes you get to choose that you want to play for. In today's show, it's kept in a card and won't be revealed until you win by solving the final puzzle. Here are the prizes you get to play for:

Motor Boat
Deluxe Kitchen
Ski Holiday
Bedroom Suite (Luxury Bedroom)
Dream Vacation (Hawaii)

Pretty good choices, I must say. Like any other dude, I'd always choose to play for the Porsche.

Now you must choose 5 consonants and 1 vowel. Being a big fan of the show, I never sway away from the 6 letters chosen: R S T L N E. What I found strange was you have 20 seconds to choose your letters. Shouldn't the player have a chance to concentrate and choose carefully? I'm guessing the programmers assumed the player will choose the same letters chosen on the show, and figured there's really no use in having the game sit there without a time limit; The game must progress. If anything, the time you might be able to take in choosing is a vowel. Besides E, I sometimes choose A, but that's just me. Anyway, those six letters are the only letters you choose. After your chosen letters are shown, you must solve the puzzle within 45 seconds. You don't hear any music in the background, just sound effects of you choosing the letters and the clock ticking. That should be just fine having you concentrate in solving the puzzle. Whether you win or lose, you jump into a screen congratulating you on winning the prize you chose to play for, or saying very much, "well too bad, you didn't win." The game starts back from the beginning.

The difficulty levels portray exactly the choice chosen so there's no funny stuff. Only thing though is, regardless of difficulty, the puzzle used on the Bonus Round is so odd yet complicated that at times, it seems unfair. Some puzzles are so easy, you'd breeze through them in no time, but the puzzles in the Bonus Round raises a concern. I was able to win some games so it's not that difficult, but the puzzles make you think, "who the heck would have been able to solve that?!" Back to the difficulty levels, it's the computer's high-leveled awareness in letter choices and in solving the puzzles. It's not on the puzzles themselves, which if you've read enough mediums, trivia and/or know your pop culture stuff, you'd be able to solve no problem. That Bonus Round puzzles shown and making you solve though, some of them are awfully strange.

Overall, it isn't a bad game. At least it's winnable compared to the ever-so-difficult Classic Concentration on the NES so don't worry about not winning, nor any glitches preventing you from winning (at least, none that I've found). Take a blast from the past and test your wits with this game!





  • A classic port of the popular TV game show.
  • Neat animation of the wheel.
  • Game comes with different difficulty settings.
  • You can pick and choose which prizes to play for.
  • Bonus Round puzzles range from easy to outrageously difficult.
  • If you lose, you witness your opponent winning the Bonus Round (the computer opponent almost never loses).
  • Some answers of the puzzles occasionally depict events, icons and titles of the past that's little known about to the average person, encouraging one to surf online and research (is that a good thing?).
  • No credits rolling after game is won.
80% (B-)
Fan Rating
Game Title Wheel of Fortune
Description Based On The No. 1 Hit TV Game Show!

Now you can play your favorite TV Game Show anytime. You're the contestant—compete against your friends or match wits with the computer.

Press the button, hear the theme music; spin the wheel and win a fortune; or hit bankrupt and lose it all.

You get everything you see on TV—great graphics and animation, a colorful spinning wheel, and our very own blonde hostess to turn the letters. Even the music is authentic.

There are over 1000 challenging puzzles to keep you guessing and if you're stuck you can always buy a vowel.

Get set to spin...it's time to play WHEEL OF FORTUNE®!

ISBN / Bar Code number 0-87660-539-0 / 0 43948 52000 2
Video Format 1.33:1 (4:3) Full screen
Audio Format Stereo
Language(s) English
Disk/Cartridge One (1)
Region(s) NTSC
Genre Puzzle
Rated ????
Released 1987 (US)
Video Specification Color
Licensed by Nintendo
Developer GameTek / IJE
Company GameTek / IJE
Product / Item / Catalog Number H 1000    REV-A (????) / NES-WF USA-1 90612
Copyright Wheel of Fortune® and Jeopardy!® are based on television programs produced by Merv Griffin Enterprises.

Copyright ©℗1987 Califon Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

©℗1987 GameTek™ Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Other Formats Nintendo Wii Virtual Console
Quoted Reviews --
Other GameTek™...we're into fun and Games!

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North Miami Beach, FL 33180

Nintendo and Nintendo Entertainment System are registered trademarks of Nintendo of America Inc.


Wheel of Fortune

Based on the television program produced by Merv Griffin Enterprises

©℗1987 I.J.E. Inc.

© 1987 Califon Productions Inc.

Program & AudioVisual by
Rare LTD. /Rare Coin-It Inc.

Licensed by
Nintendo of America Inc.


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