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.
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.
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.