Wheel of Fortune Free Play is a game thatâ€™s simultaneously quite fun and utterly forgettable. Kind of like the TV show itâ€™s based on. Weâ€™ve all enjoyed a few episodes of Wheel of Fortune here and there, but I can’t imagine anyone hasÂ thought “I canâ€™t wait to see the next show!” The gaming equivalent is much the same. Itâ€™s fun, but you wonâ€™t exactly be rushing to return to it.
Wheel of Fortune Free Play attempts to throw some kind of structure into the core game by having you travel the world by completing different themes inÂ various cities. Along the way there are upgrades to pick up too, helping to giveÂ you a sense of progression. Despite this attempt at turning Wheel of Fortune Free Play into a kind of story-led game though, the bulk of the experience is pretty much what youâ€™d expect.
You take your time spinning the wheel, picking out letters, and trying to solve the puzzle by guessing what the phrase is. Itâ€™s a format thatâ€™s familiar to anyone who has owned a TV set in the last 30+ years. There are different categories available, ensuring thereâ€™s a fair amount of diversity.
Where Wheel of Fortune Free Play falters is that some of theÂ solutionsÂ can be a tad obscure. This is partly down to them sometimesÂ being niche references, but also because they donâ€™t always fit into the category hugely well. When pursuing something listed under â€˜peopleâ€™, you assume itâ€™s going to be a famous person rather than a group of people that happen to be related to each other. But you’re just as likely to find “School Principal” as you are “Angelina Jolie.”
Despite this, Wheel of Fortune Free Play is still pretty fun once you learn its eccentricities. Each game only takes a few minutes and follows the format of the show closely. You take turns with other players, opting to spin for a consonant or pay for a vowel. Win a game and you get to partake in a bonus round which leads to additional bits and pieces thatÂ all tie into the many freemium style elements of the game.
And yes,Â this is unfortunately a game that offers an energy system, meaning you wonâ€™t get to play for as long as you might like. It doesnâ€™t even have the decency to restore your energy when you level up. This probably isnâ€™t a game youâ€™re going to want to play for hours on end anyway, but it is notable that Wheel of Fortune Free Play feels increasingly like it wants your money. As well as the energy system, you can buy hints for a price too.
On the plus side, thereâ€™s a goals/achievement system that encourages you to complete certain things before earning diamonds for doing so. Those diamonds can then be used to buy hints and other bonuses. In a way, itâ€™s all filler content. After all, merely completing the word puzzles themselves is pretty satisfying, but the achievements system does help those keen for more of a structure.
Those puzzles could be sharper, and the free-to-play elements less intrusive, butÂ Wheel of Fortune Free Play manages to capture the feel of the show fairly well. Will it stick around on your iPhone for a while to come? I think thatâ€™s actually down to a hidden away addition — the ability to create your own puzzles and share them with friends. Get some people involved, and thatâ€™s where things are most rewarding. Otherwise, alone, you might find Wheel of Fortune Free Play a little too samey in the long term. One day, youâ€™ll run out of energy/tickets, and youâ€™ll simply forget to go back.