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Zack & Wiki: Quest For Barbaros' Treasure Review

The first essential game of 2008

No quirky intros, no clever puns, no witty banter about pirates... just a simple heart-felt plea. Please, please, buy this game. Seriously. Over the years, we've watched with dismay as several high-quality concepts from Capcom fell short of the success they deserved - the likes of Gregory Horror Show, Viewtiful Joe and Okami all tanked, despite being fantastic games. And sadly, we can see the same thing happening to Zack & Wiki.

It shouldn't be that way though. In a perfect world, something like Zack & Wiki would be seen for what it is: a hugely original, highly addictive, incredibly challenging justification of why we play games in the first place. Breaking it down for explanation purposes, the game doesn't sound that impressive: it's essentially a point-and-click puzzle game where you work your way through a chain of logical progression to reach the treasure chest located at the end of each stage. However it's Capcom's trademark flair (both for visual quality and comedic timing) and a well thought out approach to the Wii controls that make Zack & Wiki shine - not that we're surprised, of course.

Click to view larger image

All That Glitters...

The big thing about Zack & Wiki is that it really makes you think. Each smaller puzzle - requiring the use of one particular

object on another - fits into a grander scheme, with each cog requiring precise manipulation... and we mean that literally. Getting your bearings in each large level is easy because guiding Zack around with the pointer is totally intuitive thanks to some excellent pathfinding programming. Furthermore, using Wiki, Zack's golden monkey-cum-bell friend, to transform living creatures into usable objects is only a tiny part of it because you then need to work out where and how to use said object.

And yes, you do actually have to use them. Once you interact with whatever object you're using, the Wii Remote become the extension of that. From pulling levers, turning keys and waving swords, to balancing on a tightrope with a pole, hitting fireballs with a tennis racket, mixing bottles of chemicals and much, much more, you're being constantly challenged to think of new ways to use the Remote.

A Pirate's Life For Wii

Though nothing's ever as straightforward as it seems (because even when you think you've got a level sussed, something crops up that proves you wrong), it's never frustrating. Swear-inducing, maybe, but never unfair. And that's a good thing because it means you'll never want to give up, even if you find yourself totally stumped.

Click to view larger image
That Capcom has managed to allay our fears of the game lacking replay value is really the golden icing on this particularly piratey cake because we always knew Zack & Wiki was going to be good - we just didn't realise how good. A great review means nothing if it doesn't sell so we'll repeat our plea: please, we implore you, buy Zack & Wiki. If you don't, then you can't complain five years from now when all you'll be able to buy is awful movie tie-ins.

Comments

55 comments so far...
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  1. MoonKnight Thursday 17th Jan 2008 at 14:53

    Looks like my student loan will be spent as soon as it's arrived :lol: I'll definitely be getting this, and soon.

  2. Sgt. Coretz Thursday 17th Jan 2008 at 18:08

    Looks like my student loan will be spent as soon as it's arrived :lol: I'll definitely be getting this, and soon.


    Likewise. In fact, it's on order already! Roll on Monday, I say.

  3. Asteroid Thursday 17th Jan 2008 at 18:14

    Looks very fun, can't wait!

  4. RobertK Thursday 17th Jan 2008 at 19:33

    I am so getting this game, Can't wait for it to come out, It's out tomorrow isn't it?

  5. Dead Man Walking Thursday 17th Jan 2008 at 19:35

    This looks absolutely amazing, it'll be a crying shame if it sells badly... Although, I have a bad feeling that's exactly what will happen :(

  6. Anonymous Thursday 17th Jan 2008 at 23:48

    Everyone on the planet should buy it.
    Pirates?
    Yes, pirates!
    The good kind, like Jack Sparrow?
    Or the bad kind, like software pirates?
    The good kind, the good kind!

    Lovable lovable pirates!
    And they're cartoony like Billy Hatcher!

    In conclusion, buy this game.

  7. ellroyo Friday 18th Jan 2008 at 01:26

    I'll be getting this at about 3pm tomorrow (well technically today since it's friday now...)

    I would get it earlier but damn uni...why does it have to be a tutorial with a register and not a lecture that i can get away with missing?!?

  8. stuntracefx Friday 18th Jan 2008 at 07:34

    will be getting this today with mt christmas gift cards.

    People complain there isnt enough high quality original titles on the Wii. Well heres one so buy it now or stop complaining.

  9. guitarherogirl Friday 18th Jan 2008 at 13:05

    I went to pre-order this a couple of weeks ago, and the guy in the shop said HE'D NEVER HEARD OF IT!!!!!!

    Needless to say I got my skates on this morning gift card in my hot little hand and nipped in there before work for my copy!

    Now I'm just sitting here with the itchyest fingers in the WHOLE WORLD!! It's burning a hole in the bottom of my bag!!!!

    AARRGGHH!!!!

    Can't....wait...any....longer.....

    BTW loving the new website. Nice one.

  10. Kendall Friday 18th Jan 2008 at 13:42

    Is this really this good? I may buy this for my BDay

  11. RobertK Friday 18th Jan 2008 at 17:38

    Hey me again, just wanted to say that I got this game, It Really Really!!!!!! deserves the 94% Alot of reading at the start but once u start palyin It's UNREAL :!:

  12. maxmatt Friday 18th Jan 2008 at 17:39

    DO believe the hype! I'm only about a few hours into it and what I've seen/played so far has been absolutely brilliant. The second the (not too long) intro starts you know this game is going to be something special....And it really is.
    other developers take note. This is how you utilise the wii remotes features.


    You Need This Game

  13. D_Bug Friday 18th Jan 2008 at 18:48

    I may have to look more into getting this game, as I am a massive fan of Point and Click adventures like the Monkey Island series. It defiantely looks liek it could start a revival of the genre, and the Wii is definately perfect for them.

  14. Asteroid Friday 18th Jan 2008 at 19:31

    Hey again! This game deserves 94% and i'm usual very critical over games. The game is extremely easy to play (though an extremely minor issue is swimming which is annoying getting out as you game click on the outside of the water to get out, you have to swim right to the waters edge - VERY SMALL and dosen't effect gameplay). Love the visuals and the cut scenes are often funny. You get stuck now and then but it is not frustrating at all!

  15. Daxter D Friday 18th Jan 2008 at 19:55

    I can't choose between 3 games out in January, and this is one of them.

  16. mcr fan92 Friday 18th Jan 2008 at 20:45

    i would love to get this game but there are so many awesome wii games coming out in the next few months that it will take me the rest of the year to save for them all :D

  17. Leo91 Saturday 19th Jan 2008 at 00:06

    Got it for Ł15 at HMV today (calm down, I used christmas vouchers) and wow what a bargain and what a game at that. For those with Wii consoles, there's absolutely no reason not to have this. Think of it as a mixture between wario ware, with its wacki (Wicki, hah) yet clever uses for the wii remote, and Wind waker with its wonderful charm, witty characters and brilliant cell-shading and you begin to get an idea about how good this game actually is.

  18. jip100 Saturday 19th Jan 2008 at 01:31

    'Please, please, buy this game'

    I really hope it does sell well over here, it looks a great game, and has undeservely bombed in Japan and America. Reasons for i suspect its due to the vast majority of wii owners will only buy 1 or 2 games a year and will opt for the likes of Wii fit and S&M:at the olympics rather than great titles like this.

  19. seancuk23 Saturday 19th Jan 2008 at 07:53

    Okay I'm sold! :lol:

    The only thing is as well as Zak and Wiki I also want the Wii Zapper, Umbrella Chronicles, Nights and Ghost Squad how the hell am I going to pay for all this in the first month after Xmas! :(

  20. shad177 Saturday 19th Jan 2008 at 11:11

    I am a massive fan of Point and Click adventures like the Monkey Island
    .


    You win my respect for mentioning monkey island

    anyway Shad wants but has not enough money :(
    _________________
    http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee190/SeventhMasamune/shad177final.png
    Raylax isnt the only one to break the forum

  21. greg0707 Saturday 19th Jan 2008 at 11:44

    i'm really looking forward to it at first i wasn't going to buy it but now i've seen more of it and read the review i'm defintly going to buy it

  22. Bugpy Saturday 19th Jan 2008 at 15:07

    I have never played a Zak and Wiki game but I would like to see how this approaches the ability of the features

  23. yamiiguy Saturday 19th Jan 2008 at 16:21

    The PS3 has Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, the Xbox 360 has Halo 3 but what does the Wii have? Some will say Super Mario Galaxy, others will say Metroid Prime 3 but I say Zack and Wiki.

    I send out this heartfelt plea to fellow gamers and even parents - Please buy this game, pretty please.

  24. Anonymous Saturday 19th Jan 2008 at 17:42

    I'm really interested in this game purely because of the wii remote integration I've read so much about! Plus I love the toned down "kiddy" visuals. I may be an "older" gamer (22's old right?) but I can't play FPS's forever!

  25. Yoshi_Kid Saturday 19th Jan 2008 at 18:03

    I think this game looks good... 94% - Sounds Good Too...I will definately buy it... :D

  26. wii_underworld Saturday 19th Jan 2008 at 22:00

    I was going to buy this in ASDA yeaterday with my saved up money, but it wasn't there...
    Your review said Nights was good, so Ibought that instead. :)
    I'll probably buy this in May for my birthday :D

  27. BESTBUYZ4YOU Sunday 20th Jan 2008 at 00:56

    nice review

    its a great asset to the wii collection

    however, nintendo needs to do more than this to get me anyway near interested in the 08 launch list

  28. gravyjones Sunday 20th Jan 2008 at 15:43

    hmmm.. I just can't seem to get excitied by a point and click adventure. No matter how good it is

  29. Sgt. Coretz Sunday 20th Jan 2008 at 18:41

    Bought this on Friday, only got to play it today, and i've got to say, this game deserves every percentage point ONM gave it. I love it when you die, and then you think: "Ohhhh... Now I get it!"

  30. uster dog Sunday 20th Jan 2008 at 20:19

    :D zacky,zacky :D joy,joy :D

  31. Lawman_05 Sunday 20th Jan 2008 at 21:29

    looks like good if your 10 or under i's good that theyres some good games for this age group but i want some more good shooting games and stratergy. as the strongest audience for sales are Action so i want some good action games Metroid and No more heroes are a good start but i want somethign as good as bioshock or Gears of War for the wii

  32. Anonymous Monday 21st Jan 2008 at 11:58

    ^^^This game is really more challenging than Gears of War. You may prefer those types of game but don't be a pathetic by saying that anything different is rubbish.


    I've only played about 40 minutes of this game but it one of the only games where I think of playing it at school and work. I'm hooked.

    Reident Evil 4 is the only other game of late to hook me as much as this.

    Before then it was only the console Zelda games which I suffered withdrawl symptoms due to a lack of playing. Excluding Twillight Princess of course.

    So much thought has been put into this game and half of it won't ever be seen due to people wanting to avoid being killed in quite frankly very charming ways. From the moment Zack opens the chest at the start right before the movie style intro I new this was going to live up to the claims you made in this reveiw.

    If Capcom don't get publisher/designer of the year for this then I'll lose faith in the industry.

    If they could get a sequel out for the same time as the Street Fighter 4/Resident Evil 5 release......

  33. Ultra mega super Monday 21st Jan 2008 at 18:13

    I really wnat this game so could onm put it as a prize for oneo f there contests in the back directory of the mag.

  34. super_chris Monday 21st Jan 2008 at 18:17

    I brought this game on Friday in my lunch hour. No regets at all. Its perfect.

  35. fasttony2006 Monday 21st Jan 2008 at 19:22

    zack and wiki oneword awesome,very very addictive and when you turn it off to go bed,work etc and ur stuck ona puzzle u think bot it all the time,this game amazes me excellent.thank you capcom.

  36. Dragon Wolfie Monday 21st Jan 2008 at 21:09

    Bought this on friday and it is brilliant.

    From the moment I switched it on it had me hooked. The puzzels are challenging, but not so difficult that you want to beat yourself over the head with the wiimote. The graphics are gorgeous, the music and voice acting beautiful and the usage of the wiimote is spot on. It also has a wonderful sense of humour, it had me laughing out loud many times.

    The characters are very lovable. From Wiki's cute 'talking' ("Zacku!") and Zack's little victory dance when you do something right, to the whole of the cast. They all have quirks and personalities that you can't help loving.

    I like the fact that there are twists and turns in every level. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. It's that kind of multi-branched puzzling that I love. Even when I failed a level because of a mistake I made, it didn't get me down because the 'dying' situations are so funny (you have to admit that seeing Zack impaled on spikes was hillarious, or getting toasted, or getting frozen solid, or . . . well you get the point).

    The other thing I love is the sense of satisfaction you get when you finally solve the level.

    All in all this is a brilliant game. It reminds us of why we play games in the first place: that is to have fun, and this is a very fun game.

    And hey, it has pirates.

  37. Nintygirllolly Monday 21st Jan 2008 at 21:26

    I'm not normally one to buy into all the hype with games like this... however, giving credit to the wonderful guys at ONM, and their "pretty accurate" reviews (lol), I believe I will be joining Zack and Wiki sometime soon..... =)

  38. jordan123452k8 Tuesday 22nd Jan 2008 at 19:49

    GUYS...IM SO SORRY TO SAY THIS................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ZACK AND WIKI SUXXXXXXXXXXXXXX :twisted: , NO REALLY IT DUZ IT IZ THE WORST GAME EVA

  39. Anonymous Wednesday 23rd Jan 2008 at 14:54

    I'm definitely going to buy this game. It reminds me of an awesome anime. Its going to be great with all the items you can get by whacking an enemy with Wiki.

  40. monkie_scott Wednesday 23rd Jan 2008 at 16:53

    I NEED HELP I DONT NO IF I SHOULD GET IT CAN ANY BODY HELP ME PLZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :wink:

  41. antgreenfield Friday 25th Jan 2008 at 10:13

    Bought it yesterday and not had so much unadulterated fun on a game since Galaxy. That same childish grin spread across my face right from the start. Let's just hope that :-
    a)It sells as well as it deserves to
    and
    b)That developers take note and realise this is the kind of game the Wii needs, something highly inventive and not just another bog standard game with token motion controls bolted on.
    Right, off to get more treasure!

  42. Charliebois Sunday 27th Jan 2008 at 00:36

    I've had this game for a few days now and I must say I am really enjoying it. It looks great, sounds great and most importantly play great. Good use of the Wii remote and incredibly funny at times. Has an anime feel about it, particular when it comes to the humour. The scene setting felt a little to "read some text, press a, read some more text, press a" but once that is out of the way it is excellent. I'm hoping that the good British public will show the US and Japan that we have better taste and go out and buy this game :-D.

  43. Ninwiindo Sunday 27th Jan 2008 at 17:54

    I got this game today, aint played it yet, but i am very excited...i watched the Japanese vid on this website and was like "MUST GET THIS GAME"....

  44. Anonymous Wednesday 30th Jan 2008 at 15:36

    OMG!! i can't wait to get this it looks really good lucky my birthday is so close

  45. Nathyboy82 Monday 4th Feb 2008 at 19:05

    i got the game the other day and its really hard! it took me hours to do some of the missions then when i get what i have to do i think how obvious it was. but it is a really good game as it is challenging

  46. scizorset Saturday 16th Feb 2008 at 11:48

    the game looks good, shame i don't have a wii or i would have bought it.

  47. 13david3 Sunday 2nd Mar 2008 at 12:32

    Hi
    ive seen a pic called pac & wiki with pac man in !!!

    bye!!!

  48. meggiderry Friday 21st Mar 2008 at 14:51

    We have Zack and Wiki in the house and it's really good.
    some parts in the game are hard (and I admit I got cheats for it) but it doesn't stop it from being a really fun and adictive game! :D

  49. hughesy Friday 4th Apr 2008 at 00:11

    I was so skeptical about this title when i saw the ONM reviews for it, what with capcom usually doing kiling and death so well, and the last good capcom title i played was DMC3, and the fact that this game is clearly marketed at children.

    Ye, the only downfall is exactly that. It's meant for kids. This doesn't draw from the experience but in terms of form i think the artistic structure may have been more amenable and transecendent, because the gsmeplay is so damn transcendent through age this title deserves os much kudos, I've been laughing since i bought it, it's like the stylings of miyazaki moxed with the humour of FMA.

    Well done Capcom, no more zombies for you yeah?

  50. TheLegendOfNinte Monday 28th Apr 2008 at 14:57

    94%..... ok well i think this game deserves at the most 88%, the game IS great, it has tons of replay value but yet, to me, it's missing that something, i can only play this in short bursts without getting bored.

  51. Emms1035 Tuesday 22nd Jul 2008 at 08:43

    I've played the demo and I thought that was challenging- I'm definitely going to get this for my birthday!

  52. Elvis-Jnr Wednesday 30th Jul 2008 at 07:09

    What a rip off , the game itself is good fun , but they lie to you on the packaging. It says over 40 hours of gameplay , well make that about 10 hours. It's way too short and not worth the price, wait till it's cheaper

  53. domm Wednesday 17th Sep 2008 at 22:56

    i now have over 30 wii games and would rank this as one of the beast and def worth 94% . i love point and click adventures and this was way ahead of whats out there at the moment . all we need now is discworld games released on wii . if you only get one game this month get this :P :P

  54. EveA Sunday 14th Mar 2010 at 12:34

    I got this when it first came out, a couple of years ago and i STILL haven't completed it yet! The puzzles are so damn difficult! How Tom completed it in a month i'll never know... This game has plenty of charm and all the characters, even the ones you're supposed to hate, are so loveable. A must buy.

  55. Xenobladeperson Tuesday 22nd May 2012 at 20:01

    94%? I'll put it on my to buy list.

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