You are restricted to only playing three games of Wheel of Fortune competitively a day, which stifles the game significantly.
- Mimics wheel of fortune well
- Downloadable content.
- Limited play time in one day
- No variety
- Not that fun.
Last year, Sony Pictures Mobile made Wheel of Fortune 2005, a game that functioned just like the TV show, minus the competition and fabulous prizes. Needless to say, the lack of rewards was one of the game's biggest drawbacks. This time around, InfoSpace's Atlas studio remedied this problem with the release of Wheel of Fortune for Prizes, a replica of the previous game with the "for Prizes" package tacked on. Instead of playing for no purpose whatsoever, you can compete against other Wheel of Fortune for Prizes fans for gift certificates to stores like Blockbuster and Best Buy. Of course, this game is not flawless either, and the competitive aspect is one of the least compelling in the whole "for Prizes" series. Although the prizes are greater than those in other games, you are restricted to only playing three games of Wheel of Fortune competitively a day, which stifles it significantly.
The gameplay is identical to that in the television show, except that there aren't other players. You spin a wheel, trying to avoid the Bankrupt and Lose a Turn spaces while accruing points based on how many consonants you correctly guess on the board. The points stack up as you proceed through two normal rounds and the final bonus game. Since there are no other players, you dominate the board for the entire round. The way to lose, which happens in cases of severe bad luck, is to guess four incorrect letters, thereby using up all of your spins. You can also lose spins if you land on the Lose a Turn or Bankrupt slots on the wheel. Once a round is lost or won, you proceed to the next round until you've finished the game. The categories, such as phrase, event, and famous people, are taken directly from the show, and each day you download new categories and games so that you're destined never to repeat the same clue twice. But there's the rub, because, for the competitive aspect of the game, you only get to play three full games a day. If you didn't plan on playing that many anyway, it won't be too distressing. But the fact that there's no option severely limits the game. The "for Prizes" games all traditionally let players play as much as they want, and there's a good system in place for calculating scores based on a mixture of how much players have played and how good their records against other players are. Generally, the more you play, the better off you'll be. However, this is not the case here, since all players are only allowed three games a day. There is a practice mode that is identical to the gameplay options of Wheel of Fortune 2005, but leaves you, as before, without any reason to play, unless you really happen to like playing hangman by yourself.
The Wheel of Fortune presentation of the game is very true to the show, which can be notably seen in the graphical representation of the board and wheel, as well as in the sound effects of the buzzers and bells that play throughout the round. There's no Pat Sajak or Vanna White, but they're ancillary features anyway.
While giving the game the "for Prizes" push was certainly a step in the right direction, it doesn't carry it enough in its limited format. You'll get a lot more out of it than Wheel of Fortune 2005, but you might be terribly disappointed that you'll only get to play three competitive games a day.