Year: 1987, 1988, 1989
Genre: Game Show
Platform: DOS, Apple II, Commodore 64
My Rating: 6
Sharedata published a lot of gameshow licenses in the 80’s and early 90’s and Wheel of Fortune was probably their most popular title, spawning three sequels for the home computer (the last one being published by GameTek).
All four titles are virtually identical, the only significant change being updated puzzles. Later versions increase some of the dollar amounts on the wheel and have some additional categories as the real live show added more (e.g. Same Name). Game play is also identical to the show as you spin, buy vowels, and solve puzzles.
My rating gives credit to the faithful adaptation as well as ease and speed of play. The game itself, like its real life counterpart, relies too much on luck for my taste, especially since you have no control over how strong you spin the wheel and that dreaded bankruptcy or lose turn space taunts you every turn. Also, the graphics are downright ghastly, even for the time.
That said, if I’m ever in the mood to play Wheel of Fortune, I’m much more likely to boot up an older version like this than one of the dumbed down, ad-infested versions you can find on your mobile.