Wheel of Fortune review for PS3, Xbox 360

Platform: PlayStation 3
Also On: Xbox 360, Wii
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Pipeworks
Medium: Blu-ray Disc, Digital
Players: 1-3
Online: Yes

America?s game is back! That?s right, Pat Sajack and Vanna White are back in virtual form on your current gen system. That means, more puzzles, more money, more prizes, and more spinning?the wheel that is. THQ has finally brought the closest version of the actual TV show than ever before to home consoles. Wheel of Fortune is complete with modeled versions of the popular duo Pat and Vanna hosting the show and features full voice acting, presentation, and sound effects that emulate the show to a tee.

From the famous opening when the crowd shouts ?Wheel of Fortune?, to the set ups for each round showing what highlighted prize or wheel deal has been added, all the frenzy and fever of the game show you love are replicated perfectly. All the animations from excited crowds, the spin of wheel, happy contestants, and of course Vanna touching the tiles to reveal letters really bring you into the action. Even the little details like hitting bankruptcy or winning a big prize has just enough appeal and go by at a wonderful pace that you never feel the need to skip scenes to speed up progression.

To bring the game to even greater life the audio is mimicked wonderfully with fully voice acting throughout the entire game. Pat jibber jabbers on about what?s happening from round to round, Vanna will give you explanations of what each new addition to the wheel means and what it takes to succeed, and there is the creepy mysterious voice over announcer who tells you about the vacation and big prize details. Of course all the game?s sound effects, from the ding of the letter turns, to the spinning of the wheel, are dead on accurate.

Playing is simple. When it?s your turn, you stop a power bar to show how much oomph you would like to put on your spin of the wheel, if it lands on anything that is prize or money amount, and not lose a turn or bankrupt wedge, you get to choose a letter. If you guess right and a letter is in the puzzle, you may spin again, or if you have enough cash, you can opt to buy a vowel. The goal of course is to gather as much money in your bank as possible and solve the puzzle before your opponents. Some prize wedges require more than just getting the letter right, so listen to Vanna?s advice if you land on one of those special prize options. The person with the largest winnings after 3 rounds of play (not including mini games and bonus rounds) will go to the final round and try to spin and solve to win a huge final prize.

There are thousands of puzzles to solve, and more to come via content download in single player mode that will keep you busy for quite some time. All your favorite additions including Wild Card, The Jackpot Wedge, the Mystery Wedge, the Million Dollar Wedge, the Prize Wedge, the Gift Tag, the ? Car tag, the toss up, the bonus rounds, the prize puzzle, and of course the final round where you spin the little wheel for a big prize are all included. A nifty mini game mode for multiplayer games that happens between rounds change up things with variety while still sticking to the game?s main idea of solving puzzles. There is even online play that will allow you to show off your puzzle solving skills and have bragging rights thanks to online leaderboards.

So if you?ve been disappointed in the past with previous versions of Wheel of Fortune, then your puzzle solving prayers have been answered as this is indeed the most faithful and accurate port from the TV show to video game ever. There is nothing that was left out, and if the promise of providing more puzzles with downloadable content comes to fruition, then not only is this title worth the $29 price tag (or even less), but could easily be a steal to diehard fans of the game show that gamers of all ages can enjoy.

Grade: B+