Genre: Puzzle Developer: Radiance Software Publisher: THQ Players: 1-2 Released: 1992
I’d hope there’s no one here who doesn’t remember those lovable Waldo books from your childhood. Martin Handford released the first one when I was in around the second grade or so, and I remember endlessly staring at at least four of the many released books with all of my friends at school. They were great books, and even when I see them around now, I can’t help but want to find Waldo in each and every picture in the book.
Waldo was a phenomenon in the early ’90s and you knew countless companies were going to cash in on the craze. Waldo spawned everything from toys and a short lived TV show to a few video games, one of which I’m writing about now. If you’re expecting a long and lengthy review then I’m sorry, but you’re not getting one because there’s barely anything here to write about.
The first time I popped this game in I was at least momentarily drawn in with all of the childhood memories this brought back to me. I started playing this and completed several pictures. Then all of a sudden, I found Waldo and finished the game after only five screens. What the heck just happened? I beat this whole game in FIVE FRIKKEN MINUTES!! It was only five screens long. What the heck did I just waste $3.99 on from Goodwill??
I kid you not. I figured The Great Waldo Search had to have somewhere around ten or so areas to find Waldo in, but T*HQ decided it was good enough to make a video game out of only half of the book. Just think for just a minute about what this game could have been. They could have used every book released and then made several dozen new scenes to find Waldo in, but we get a whoppin’ five! On top of that, they only included about half of each scene from the book. Imagine if you cut the scene in half horizontally and put that in the game. That’s it!
They decided to add in some crude animations of some of the characters in the scenes, and there are occasional hints that suggest where you have to find hidden items, such as a two ended staff and such or a character with three legs. There are also scrolls to find, like in the book, and if you find Waldo’s pet dog Woof, then you get to go to a bonus stage where you fly him around on a carpet and collect dog bones for points. Waldo will be in different places each time, while there’s a harder difficulty setting after you complete the regular mode, it still won’t take you more than five minutes to complete. I’d imagine you could complete this game in less than sixty seconds if your play it a few times.
The graphics are excusable for a release like this. they look just like they scanned a page from the book, so I won’t harp on them too much. The sound is also what you’d expect. It’s not that bad, but since you hear it over and over it becomes negligible, like the rest of the game.
The Great Waldo Search is a waste of time. T*HQ should have never published this game, but they cashed in because they knew it would sell. That’s sad when you think about it, but it’s expected since that’s about the consistency of the company’s track record ever since they started producing video games. This game may be one of the most useless Genesis games ever made, and that’s not saying a lot for the system. I’m going to go pick up several of the real books from eBay now so I can get my Waldo fix the right way. I’d recommend you do the same thing as me, and forget this game exists.
SCORE: 1 out of 10