Review by KFHEWUI

"Where's Waldo? is an ugly mess of a game"

Based upon the books, Where's Waldo? tasks the player with finding Waldo in a picture that contains crowd of people in various locales from train station, woods, castle, fair, and the city.

The game loads up with a tune played on a piano that sounds nice, but this track is only one of three tracks in the entire game. There is a fifteen second tune that plays as Waldo walks across the map, and a short tune that plays when Waldo is found. Although the music is not bad, they do get old quickly. The only sound effect in the game is a beep noise whenever an incorrect guess is made.

At the main menu, the game has four difficulties that are selectable which are practice, easy, medium, and hard. Practice allows the player to play the first three levels with no timer, and it is highly suggested to play this first so the player can get good idea of what Waldo looks like in this game because he looks nothing like he is supposed to be. Easy, medium, and hard really have only three major differences, the time, cursor, and canvas size, and in hard the canvas is largest while the time is lower and the cursor is smallest. Easy have the most time, small canvas, and large cursor.

After selecting the difficulty, the game starts off with a colorful map screen that features Waldo walking around to the next level, and this map has one major flaw. Waldo is slow and will take a long time to reach the next level, and it takes him fifteen seconds to reach the next level. The timer has started so that means the player will lose fifteen seconds between each level, and on hard difficult this is a major flaw.

Once Waldo reaches his destination, the first map shows up, and the game shows off its glorious graphics. Where's Waldo? is easily the worst looking NES game ever made. When it comes to graphics, I do not put too much weight into it as long as the graphics do not hinder the player from playing the game, they are okay to me however Where's Waldo? is a game where graphics are essential to play. The characters look like scribbles or blobs, and trying to tell Waldo from one blob from another is no easy task. It is amazing how the map screen looks impressive with a nice animated Waldo yet the graphics of each level looks so pitiful. At first trying to find Waldo was no easy task, but eventually I was able to find Waldo without too much difficulty however on the higher difficulty, Waldo will sometimes be wearing a different outfit than his trade mark striped sweater, cap, and pants. Sometimes Waldo will be wearing a light blue striped shirt and cap, green stripped shirt and cap, or even a brown and orange striped shirt and cap with black pants.

When the player finds Waldo, the only thing left to do is place the cursor over Waldo and hit "A" except this is easier said than done since the controls are loose. Just pressing the D-Pad in a direction can send the cursor flying across the screen, and on the harder difficult the cursor is very small and pin point accuracy is needed which this game does not provide.

First two levels are train station and forest level, and they play exactly the same with different backgrounds. Level three takes place in a dark cave, and player has to find Waldo whom is walking around. Once the player has found Waldo, they must walk to the exit however an hourglass also appears and touching the hourglass will either subtract time or add time. It seems to subtract time more often than give time.

After the cave, the fair and city play the same as the first level. Level six takes place in a subway, and it is a giant maze where the player has to grab Waldo and a pair of glasses before heading to the exit. There is a wizard in this level trying to capture the player, and if he touches the player, he subtracts time. The maze can be manipulated by rotating the path and by selecting which direction to go in.

Where's Waldo? has one last find Waldo level before heading to the launch pad where the player must line up three Waldo's on a slot machine. After they are lined up, the ending plays then the game shows off a bar that shows the progress of the player, and this bar also shows up at a game over screen. With that, the game is over. There is no story at all other than Waldo is trying to reach the moon. Why? Who knows? Maybe he is trying to escape from this game.

Once the game is beaten, there is no reason to replay it at all, and there is no bonus for beating the game on the higher difficulty other than the satisfaction saying you have done it.

Where's Waldo? is a terrible game with no redeeming quality at all, and the sloppy controls, awful graphics, and no replay value offer very little reason to play this game.

Reviewer's Rating:   0.5 - Unplayable

Originally Posted: 06/21/12

Game Release: Where's Waldo? (US, 09/30/91)

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