I’ve talked enough about Zack and Wiki that I’m not quite sure what to say here. It’s a puzzle-solving point and click adventure game, with excellent use of Wii motion-sensing controls and a great sense of humor. And a great set of puzzles: Liesl and I thoroughly enjoyed working through them; I was continually amazed at the clever new puzzles that they came up with, given the small number of objects that are in play on each individual level. And the game gets plenty difficult, but, between the two of us, we managed to solve all but two of the levels without any hints at all, and the in-game hints sufficed for those two levels.

There are some annoying aspects: in particular, it punishes you too actively for your mistakes. Requiring you to restart a level by default if you die is fine, as long as there’s some sort of out; they do, in fact, give you an out in the form of tickets you can purchase that revive you if you die, but if you use one of them and die further on in the level, it returns you to the start of the level (unless you spend another ticket!) instead of reviving you at the state where you used your last ticket. That was a bad choice, but not a bad enough one to put me off the game too much.

It’s also totally charming. I love the art style, the Rose Rock Pirates are an amusing bunch of enemies, Wiki (with his cute little pseudo-baby-Japanese(?) utterances) is very cute.

And it’s budget-priced, despite which (and despite active lobbying from various sources), very few people bought it; I don’t know if it didn’t get enough publicity or if hard-core gamers were put off by the name and cover art or if, ultimately, it’s just a niche product. (Why aren’t the Phoenix Wright fans all buying it?) But it’s a niche that I’m very happy to have spent time in.

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