Some games could only come from Japan and Zack & Wiki: The Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure is one such title. It features neat cel-shaded graphics, puzzles that involve using petrified animals as makeshift tools and it makes little sense. It’s the type of game that would have been laughed off at the planning stage by a Western developer, but for a risk taking developer like Capcom, who’s CV boasts the likes of Viewtiful Joe, Killer7 and Okami, its par for the course.
It’s also one of the most enjoyable, innovative and addictive games so far to grace the Wii. However, due to the uniquely Japanese look and feel there’s a chance it will get completely overlooked by many people.
Control over the game is handled entirely by the Wii remote. For the most part you’ll be using it as a pointer, pressing A to either move to that area of the screen or investigate a highlighted item. What makes playing such great fun, however, is the huge amount of motion controls that are called upon to solve the puzzles. Usually this replicates the real-life action so if you are using a saw to cut down a tree then you have to move the remote back and forth in a sawing motion.
The narrative is also broken down into individual levels or various length, just like Capcom’s own Devil May Cry series. This not only serves to make the game more palatable but also helps to contain the puzzles thanks to each level only having a small number of items and locations to explore. Mostly there is only a single way to complete a puzzle, but working out the correct sequence of events is a case of trial and error. Fortunately, the death animations are incredibly humourous and each cut-scene can be skipped on a second run through.
Very few games released on the Wii have such an understanding of how to use the hardware and Zack & Wiki is one of the best games so far on the console.
9 / 10
Reviewed By Zoidberg on Wednesday 5th February 2014
About the Review
Completing all the levels took around 10 hours in total.