Where’s Waldo (NES) Review

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Where’s Wally (Waldo) by The Every Gamer (September 2016)

Score: F ( 1/5)

   I know, in America he’s known as Waldo. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, Where’s Wally was a British picture book series where you simply try and find a striped shirt wearing man in many different locations. The challenge is that the picture is a huge area full of people and you need to figure out where he is in the scene. I had a go at this book as a child and I enjoyed it. The last book released was in 2009, titled Where’s Wally?: The Incredible Paper Chase.

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Really, Bethesda, really!?

   But there was a game released based on the books…in the US only…really? A British property and we don’t get the game? Well it was the NES; put it on the Sega Master System and you would have made gangbusters. Where’s…Waldo, developed by…Bethesda Software. Yep, that Bethesda Software. The guys who made Skyrim made this? It was also published by THQ and released in 1991. And since I’m from the UK, I’m calling him Wally from now on.

   So it’s up to you to get Wally to the moon for some reason. And in order to do this, you must…find him. OK, it respects the source material; it’s the book on a games console…which is the main problem. Why would you make a game out of this? On the NES no less? You’re probably thinking, “Well they may have had to do some changes to make it at least a game, or put something new in it to make it at least a game”. Well there are a few mini-games, but they are very minimal, but that’s it, the rest of the game follows the book…and again, this is the biggest problem.

   So, you have a magnifying glass to find Wally and depending on the difficulty, you must find him in the set time you have; you lose time if you select an area he’s not in. The problem is, the graphics are horrible, the game tries to put the illustrator’s art onto the NES and it doesn’t work, you can barely find Wally. In fact, I literally had to get off my seat and get close to the TV to find him, probably damaging my eyes in the process. For example, I started in the train station and it’s difficult to find him because I tried to do it on hard, then medium, then easy, and it didn’t really make a difference. After I found him with his red and white-striped top and jeans, I then go to the Forest and it’s even more of a cluttered mess and even Wally’s colour (and sprite overall) has changed, instead of his trademark Red/White-striped top, he has Brown/Green stripes, making it even more difficult to find him. Heck, The Castle has Wally in a Blue/White Striped shirt, AAAHH, THESE GRAPHICS ARE HORRIBLE!

   The mini games include The Cave, where you have to find Wally in the dark. When you do, you get two boxes: the exit and a timer, the timer will either increase or decrease your remaining time, there’s a 50/50 chance of getting one. So you either increase time and wait even longer for the inevitable of losing or decrease time, making the game unwinnable, so it’s best not to collect it. Then there’s The Subway, a puzzle game where you go into tubes that interchange overtime. Problem is, it can be a stumping point for some and the graphics are a complete eye-sore as well, AS WELL as the old man who can take away your time, which is another annoyance.

   And at this point…what’s the point, it’s Where’s Wally, you may as well just get the original book, it’s much cheaper than the cartridge and it’s more polished, it’s a complete waste of plastic for those who actually have the game. Heck, this isn’t even a game, it’s an interactive ‘thing’ that came from the toilet and it ain’t going back down again. Though, it does give you a challenge with Hard mode where the screen is much bigger and you have to move the picture to see more. But even then, because of the poor graphics, it’s still hard to find him, as if the shorter time span you have in that difficulty mode weren’t enough.

   What’s the point of this game? This isn’t a game in the context of this experience. The level design and graphics, once again, are atrocious. The music is a forgettable and very minimal set of irritating jingles.

   Overall, Where’s Wally for the NES is simply a waste of time, a waste of money and if you play it, you’re wasting your brain cells. Maybe this concept could have worked for other systems, I mean there were PC games of Where’s Wally, but the NES just wasn’t good enough for this masterpiece. I guess they made it, because the NES was king of the consoles, even if the SNES was out already anyway, but hey, it still had its consumer base.

You can get Where’s Waldo for the NES.

Rating: 1/5

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