Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Video game number two: Where's Waldo

Game number two in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Where's Waldo?" for Windows.

First of all, if one is going to play 365 different games in a year....one is going to have to expand their horizons a bit. One might even need to venture into gaming categories not necessarily familiar to them. That's the whole point here. I decided to try something completely random and downloaded Where's Waldo on the PC. I will admit that I thought this one might be a quick game to try, master and move on from...but it ended up being a little more than that. As far as arcade games go, it's not half bad.

I don't know why this surprised me, but finding Waldo is not as easy as one might think. It's not like the books my nieces and nephews used to have where you turn the page and search the picture until you find him, they've added some mechanics to make it a bit more difficult. Waldo is still hiding within one giant drawing, but finding him is only your first task on each stage. The pictures are larger than your screen (no matter what resolution you choose to play at), so you must scroll through one section at a time looking for one specific thing before moving your mouse to the next section of the picture.

Aside from Waldo, you're also asked to find specific characters in the picture, small animals, a tiny scroll of paper...things that keep the game challenging and even annoying at times. While this is definitely a game for kids, they have two difficulty modes for children and adults. I never tried the child's mode (though I bet there's some easy gamerscore there) as I found the adult mode entertaining enough to search my way through. Speaking of gamerscore, the achievements you get pop up pretty randomly, so I managed to get quite a few achievements from this one in less than 10 hours of playtime spread over a few days.

Some of my favorite stages in this one were the levels where you were asked to find all the differences between two pictures. This took me back to the Sunday comics I used to read as a kid....and I think the game is worth trying just for these levels. A warning to anyone who decides to conquer this game: The last level is exponentially more difficult than any other level in the game...and if you don't think a game based on "Where's Waldo" can make you curse out loud, this level might just prove you wrong.

Overall, I give this game a 7 out of 10. It was enjoyable enough to play all the way through, and I still find myself thinking about going back and cleaning up the achievements for the full 200. Not out of habit, but because it was actually pretty fun.

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