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It’s All in the Game

Zack & WikiI still consider myself a gaming neophyte, but from reading the reviews at various sites I could tell that Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros Treasure looked like the kind of quirky, under-the-radar sort of thing that I might enjoy. Although the name leaves something to be desired (honestly, it felt embarassing asking the guy at Wal-Mart for “Zack & Wiki”), it’s actually a fun puzzler with a challenging edge that you’d never expect from looking at the game’s kiddie oriented cover art. In the game, you are a boy pirate named Zack who, with the help of an oddly hovering monkey named Wiki, journeys to various settings in order to piece together the golden treasure of the intimidating yet friendly pirate Barbaros (all the while avoiding the aminelike pirate queen and her purple-outfitted goons). OK, the story’s a bit lame, the characters are cardboard-thin, and Wiki’s Japanese schoolgirl voice is grating, but I tended to forget that while gaping at the lush visuals and background music. Did I mention that the game is weirdly Japanese in a way that I can’t put my finger on? As in when Zack is in the presence of other living things, you can wave the wiimote and Wiki turns into a bell (?) — transforming whatever animal you’re next to into an object (??) which may or may not be useful in your quest. Weird and cool at the same time! The video below pretty much echoes my feelings about this gem of a game. (buy at Amazon.com).

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