Developer: Sony Pictures Television
Price: $4.99 Download on the App Store
Fellow word nerds, rejoice! The Wheel of Fortune app for iPhone by Sony Pictures Television is a near-perfect replication of the popular TV game show. You spin the wheel, buy vowels and attempt to guess the word or phrase hidden behind the blank squares. If you've never seen Wheel of Fortune and don't understand how it works, well...get out from under that rock!
The Wheel of Fortune application itself is pretty slick. You begin by creating an avatar of yourself; users can customize their player's hair, clothing, glasses, etc. Once you've built an avatar, it's time to spin the wheel! You can choose to play on Normal, which pretty closely replicates Wheel of Fortune as played on TV, or Toss-Up, in which there are no other competitors, and players simply must solve the puzzle as quickly as possible while letters are automatically filled in.
The controls for Wheel of Fortune are very intuitive, and the method for spinning the wheel (flicking it with your finger) is a lot of fun and certainly aids in the realism of the game. Selecting letters is also simple, and letters that have already been guessed are helpfully blocked out when selecting.
Wheel of Fortune offers three difficulty levels (Easy, Medium and Hard) as well as single-player mode. Bizarrely, I found myself doing better on Hard than on Easy, but I may've have just gotten lucky.
Speaking of luck... I realize that spinning the wheel leads to, in theory, random results. However! The amount of times I spun and landed on Bankrupt was somewhat discouraging. I'm not suggesting that Wheel of Fortune should stack the deck, so to speak, but just...ouch! What did I do to deserve this?
Generally speaking, Wheel of Fortune is a very well-done application. It offers over 1000 puzzles, so gameplay should last for quite a while. The graphics are crisp and clean, the sounds are authentic and the app appears to be free of any bugs or glitches. While some iPhone apps, even fun and/or useful ones, often have very clearly been designed by amateurs or up-and-comers, Wheel of Fortune is professional through and through.