Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure
Welcome in 2006. The Nintendo Wii is announced and people are already speculating about lifelike gameplay like sword fighting in The Legend of Zelda and Red Steel. Reason for this is the motion sensored controller. We’re two and a half years later now, but what has come true?
Little to nothing if you ask us. OK, there are some games that use the controller in an inventive way like SSX, Dragon Ball Z and Mario Galaxy but it often still feels forced. We have to admit that it’s probably still an expedition for developers. However, gamers do expect to get some quality for their money.
Capcom tries another approach with Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure and revives the point & click puzzle genre. The game reminds us of the side-scrolling classics like Day of the Tentacle where the collected items had to help you solve riddles. Let’s call it a very light RPG. However, connecting the movements of the Wiimote with the use of about a dozen different items might be mentioned as a little break-through.
Zack & Wiki tells the story of a young boy who goes treasure hunting with his little monkey. They are looking for the legendary treasure of captain Barbaros. Don’t be frightened when you notice the monkey looks like he had a helicopter as a dad and talks like Pikachu. In contrary to what you might think, this game does not aim for the youngest gamers and will even be very difficult for young teenagers. A lot of thinking is necessary. Most riddles aren’t that difficult but you often have to look forward and find the connection between items and the environment. A wrong decision or use is being severely punished so you have to restart the level.
To give you some examples of the controls: the clattering monkey helicopter can change in a bell and transform animals in useful objects. This is done by fiercely shaking the Wiimote like you would do with a real bell. Furthermore, you have to turn keys, saw wood, use handles, balance objects etcetera. We have to say the movement isn’t always perfectly detected. You will often trigger a wrong move that results in losing ‘precious’ HirameQ (HQ) or even dying. HirameQ is a virtual point system used by the game. If you finish a level without making any mistakes, you get the max HQ score. However, the amount of points doesn’t really serve for anything except stimulating you to replay the level to get the maximum score.
The game features the cartoony manga style and it even looks a bit like a copy of Zelda: The Wind Waker. However, the style is perfect for the game and makes it stick out. The music in the game is ok, but not really remarkable.
Zack & Wiki is spot-on when it comes to using the Wiimote. However, we are afraid the game is not fit for everyone. It is too hard for the youngest ones and not interesting enough for twenty year old gamers (and older). This means there is only a limited target group and within that not everyone is interested in this type of game. In other words, there is a big chance this game will pass by unnoticed.