Wheel to Riches Review

Wheel to Riches (v1.2.4) (Available only for Android devices)
Players: 1-3
Genre: Game Show/Trivia
Developer: Altriak
Marketplace Price: $1.50
Android Release Date: N/A

Game played on HTC Thunderbolt running Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread)

Parent Talk: Wheel to Riches is a knock-off of the popular game show Wheel of Fortune. There’s nothing for parents to worry about.

Review Basis: Played multiple times on all three difficulties; Sampled Bonus Free Play; Played Pass-N-Play with my wife.

For $1.50, you can purchase and download a minimalist fan-made version of Wheel of Fortune. It features over 900 puzzles, and couldn’t be more straightforward to play.

The Great:

Quick and current. If you enjoy game shows or trivia-style games like Wheel of Fortune, Riches can be enjoyed in relative short time. That’s great for when you’re on the go, or waiting somewhere and refuse to stare at the ceiling. The puzzles also are an enjoyable mix of pop culture concepts.

The Good:

+ Differentiates itself. Riches isn’t a carbon copy of Wheel of Fortune. Whether you play alone or with a friend or two, there are two “Toss-Ups” at the onset that act as Riches‘ Free-Play rounds. Solving either nets you a Free Play that allows you to maintain control if something unfortunate happens (wrong guess, Taxes, Lose a Turn).

+ Bonus Round. I like how Riches lets you choose seven consonants and two vowels for the big finale. It’s tempting to believe that this makes winning the cash prize too easy, but at least on Hard it’s not the case.

That's not big money!

+ Bonus Free Play. Riches‘ version of a Boss Rush mode, you’re able to select nine consonants and two vowels in order to figure out as many consecutive Bonus puzzles as possible. There’s incentive to solve quickly because you accrue additional bonus money.

The So-So:

+/- Interface glitches. If you miss a letter, land on Taxes (Bankrupt) or Lose a Turn, and have a Free-Play in-hand [which the game automatically asks if you wish to use], sometimes the Yes or No choices appear jumbled with Spin/Vowel/Solve.

+/- AI opponents. On Easy, the computer isn’t a threat in the least (Q is not a common letter…). It improves on Normal, but do play seriously on Hard.

The Bad:

– Point of no return. It’s silly that if you accidentally choose to buy a vowel or solve, or change your mind about wanting to do either, too bad. You can’t go back.

– No spinning? It may be further silly to gripe that you only tap to spin the money wheel, but given that it’s such an important part of the Wheel experience, why isn’t it here?

The Ugly:

$5000, yey!… The studio audience only makes its presence known in two ways. One is clapping as you spin the wheel. That’s not a big deal, but when you land on the $5000 space, it sounds like a band of teeny-bopper Twilight obsessees. It sends cold chills down my spine.

The Lowdown:

There’s no Pat Sajak, Vanna White, announcer…or anything of that showbiz sort, but this also isn’t Wheel of Fortune. It’s Wheel to Riches, and a very nice game that doesn’t require much time, thought or energy to enjoy. At $1.50, it’s foolish to pass up unless you simply don’t like these types of games.

Average Score Scale: 8 (+/- 0.5) out of 10

Personal Final Score: 8/10 (Neutral)

Reason for +0.5 Inflation: A quick, cheap way to enjoy Wheel of Fortune in a different way.

Reason for -0.5 Deflation: The puzzles will run out eventually. It’s not Wheel of Fortune.