(Quick) Reviews

Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure

Review  |  Synopsis  |  Packaging / Advertising  |  Cast

Review by Matthew C.

(This review refers to the Wii version/release.)

I haven't had much time to get the hang of Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure, but so far it's a nice little adventure puzzle game similar to the old PC Sierra (and LucasArts) games...

Police Quest or Loom, anyone? (Remember Willy Beamish?!) :D


"Zack & Wiki" has some really creative use of the wiimote. I've played the Wii a lot (roughly 1000 hours), but this game reminds me just how cool the wiimote can be in-game. The controller orientation plays a larger part in this game than ANY I've seen previously.


This is a cool puzzly-adventure game. If you know what you're doing, this will be an easier venture. If you're used to the old "point-and-click PC adventure" games, this will be a shorter venture. Each stage isn't large, however this helps to greatly reduce "backtracking" between locations and items. "Zack & Wiki" is a very cool game.

(In this game there is no sex, no guns, no gore, no real "violence" to speak of, yet this is a good game. How in 2007 could that be?)

This targets somewhat of a niche market, but luckily, I'm in that niche.


I LOVE THIS GAME. I'm currently stuck, but that does little to dissuade me from saying this is a great game. Puzzly-adventure games have always been fun, but until recently were relegated to PCs.

The Zork games were a hoot! The Myst games have always been fun. The old Sierra PC titles were a blast. (The LucasArts games followed with varied success.)

It's just great to see this type of game (1) still alive and well and (2) on a home console! Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure (formerly "Project Treasure Island Z") makes wonderful use of the wiimote and entertains with its colorful and imaginative worlds and levels... all in a "cartoony" visual style.

The puzzles DO get difficult, but there is an in-game hint system that can be employed to remove any fear of being hopelessly stuck at some point. Point-and-click puzzle games may not be your thing, but for those select people this game is great!


A video game review website (1up.com) had this to say...
"...Zack & Wiki is far more than the sum of its pieces, and it absolutely succeeds despite any minor problems. It's a huge world of wonderful puzzles to solve, with creative approaches to even the most mundane solutions; it's also a big game, and it goes on far longer than even the story would imply (though some people may never beat the last couple stages without assistance).

Its biggest hurdle will be finding its audience, as it's the kind of game you don't know you're dying for until you play it (and its youthful aesthetic doesn't do it any favors). But it's worth looking into for every Wii owner, and if it isn't the best game for the system, it's at least the most 'must-play' Wii experience next to Wii Sports.

It's unmatched as a cognitively and creatively challenging experience, and just about anyone can pick it up and enjoy and appreciate it for what it does...even if they won't get very far." - avg score 9.3/10


OK, I'm currently stuck on a level about half way through. (At least I think I'm half way through.) I'm going over to Reed's house after work so we can work through this together. (He's also good at these puzzly-adventure-type games.) Zack & Wiki is an awesome game, but you're probably tired of hearing ME say that... so...

Another video game review website (Wii Fanboy) had this to say...
"...Overall, the game is easily one of the best on the console, if not one of the top five best. It's clearly set the bar for controls in a Wii game, proving that the scheme is a viable solution outside of shaking the Wiimote wildly. It's a herald back to a time when the adventure game reigned supreme and shows that the genre can be revitalized to provide fun and new experiences. You owe it to yourself to pick up this game.

You won't be disappointed." - final score: 9/10


I'm trying to avoid the use of the in-game hint system at all costs. (Which the game keeps track of.) One thing that tends to happen is I die a lot. (Which the game keeps track of.)

In trying to find the correct answers, I tend to (eventually) use the process of elimination. This accomplishes my goal however takes time and patience. If a player has neither, the in-game hints WILL help them avoid being stuck in a level, but the satisfaction upon completion of the individual puzzles is greatly diminished. (The process of elimination method of puzzle solving also diminishes the satisfaction of completion, however not quite as much.)


Read Dexter345's thoughts on Zack & Wiki.


This is one game that really deserves a sequel!


OK, I thought I was on the last level so I took a break to play (and beat) Super Mario Galaxy, but... I WASN'T on the last level. (Just when I think it's over, there's still more.) NOW I think I'm on the last level and the difficulty rating isn't as hard as some of the levels I've beaten before, but I'm still having trouble figuring out what I'm supposed to do. I'll get this, eventually. (I mean, I figured out a decent amount of things, I just feel stuck on the final part...) Even though I'm stuck and kinda frustrated at the moment, this is still fun.


Oh crap! In December I thought I was on the last level, but I wasn't. Then I thought the following level was the last level. So after I beat that level I thought I beat the game... nope!

There is yet another location that I go. As it turns out Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure is a much longer game than I originally thought. And I'm glad. This is a fun game and I'm not looking to stop playing it for quite some time. Even after I complete all the puzzles once, there are still tons of items and "treasure" to collect. Plus I'm only completing the levels with 70%! (I'm not even sure how to get higher than that.)

Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure is a fun little brain puzzler that uses situational puzzles couched in a point-and-click adventure setting to really have you "thinking outside the box". (OK, I'm just going to have to penalize myself for using that hackneyed cliché.)


Last night I finally got to the highest difficulty level. It's definitely hard, but it's also kinda fun. The game is STILL introducing cool control styles even this far into the game.


Over the weekend I beat Z&W. (2/23/2008) Now that I've completed the stages once, I'm able to collect a lot of other 'hidden treasure'. I've played games before that encouraged a second play-through, but this time it's almost necessary. The game keeps going almost... seamlessly. (It's almost as if completing the stages isn't the main objective. Or at least not the end of the story.) Not that the loose ends aren't wrapped up, but the writing definitely expects you to keep playing.


I still mean to post my stats from my first completion. (I'll get around it that one of these days.) Lately I'm getting about two pieces of 'hidden treasure' per evening. I still really like this game. This time I really have to figure out what I'm supposed to be doing (and where I'm supposed to be doing it) by interpreting cryptic clues...


Paul Newcombe (of Play.TM) had this to say...
"...If you're one of the millions who own a Wii then there's no reason why Zack and Wiki shouldn't jump right to the top of your shopping list. Its delightful blend of well designed puzzles and intuitive controls provide a welcome change from the poorly implemented cash-ins and sloppy multi-platform ports that have been clogging up shelves for a while." - final score: 90%


OK, finally, here are my stats for the first playthrough of Z&W:
Oracle Dolls (Hints):0
Platinum Tickets (Revives):18
HirameQ ("skill" points):4,473,700
Total time:52:39:07
A few things to note... I have no idea what to say "HirameQ" is, precisely. (It's an in-game thing.) And I think I milked the total time played during the FIRST play-through because I was using "Maddy" to search for random treasure/collectables and generally just enjoying the game so I didn't want it to end, necessarily. BUT, for better or worse, those are my stats. The facts speak for themselves. (Although people can twist them to support whatever they want.)


I initially started a "second play-through" (actually I just kept on playing), but eventually Super Smash Bros. Brawl was released and became quite the obsession.


This is just a reiteration of what's above...

"I LOVE THIS GAME. Even when I was stumped I was saying this was a great game. 'Puzzly-adventure' games have always been fun, but until recently were relegated to PCs. If you know what you're doing in this game, this will be an easier venture. If you're used to the old 'point-and-click PC adventure' games, this will be a shorter venture. Each stage isn't large; however this helps to greatly reduce backtracking between locations and items. 'Zack & Wiki' makes wonderful use of the Wiimote and entertains with its colorful and imaginative worlds and levels... all in a 'cartoony' visual style.

The puzzles DO get difficult, but there is an in-game hint system that can be employed to remove any fear of being hopelessly stuck at some point. Point-and-click puzzle games may not be your thing. This targets somewhat of a niche market, but luckily, I'm in that niche. This game is great!

(In this game there is no sex, no guns, no gore, no real 'violence' to speak of.)"


Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure is a freakin' awesome game. Its use of Wii controls is unparalleled and some of the BEST I have seen to date. I haven't played this game recently, but that doesn't effect my opinion in any way.


"Jefe" stumbled across this gem at Dogg Days this year. He said that Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure is an addicting game. He was very entertained. This non-gamer even fired up the Wii and snuck in some "Zack & Wiki" playing when he thought no one was looking...


Earlier this year, I watched some friends play "Zack & Wiki" and I must admit that the game is STILL awesome. Watching them experience new things and encounter new gameplay elements was great. I didn't want to simply tell them the answers, but I would give them very subtle hints as to the right direction to focus their efforts. Seeing two grown men huddled around a little television set trying to figure out how sneak off of an airplane with a treasure map was quite entertaining.

It's sad to see that this great game sold so poorly at retail as we're unlikely to see a sequel. I have seen this, but it's only idle speculation. I bought the first "Zack & Wiki" TWICE. I'd love the opportinuty to buy a sequel!

Anthony Burch over at Destructoid.com had two interesting things to say about "Zack & Wiki":
  1. If you own a Wii and you don't purchase Zack and Wiki, you are a bad person.
  2. Buy It! Or Die!
Well, as of June 2008, Capcom had this to say:
Christian Svensson, Capcom exec and company mouthpiece, has said that the Japanese publisher won't be unveiling a new Zack & Wiki game anytime soon. "We've not announced another Z&W and I'm not so sure there will be one on any reasonable timeline."


Wow, just take a look at the Metacritic page: http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/wii/projecttreasureislandz (By the way, the game received a ridiculous name change for non-Japanese audiences.)

Final Thought:

  Fun point-and-click puzzle game

(if applicable/available)

Format: Wii

Plot Synopsis/Description:

In this game, you are in control of a cute little pirate named Zack who's out to solve puzzles and discover the legendary treasure that was hidden away on Treasure Island by the great pirate Barbaros. Played with the Wii Remote like a classic adventure game, gamers point and click at objects they would like to use as they try to solve puzzles and get further into the game. Once you figure out what you need to use to solve a puzzle, you also need to discover how to use it, which is often by a series of natural motions and button presses with the controller. Puzzles start off simple but promise to get tougher as the game progresses. If you're having trouble, you can consult a friend for hints. The goal is to clear the stages without getting any hints.


Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Platform: Wii
Category: Action, Adventure

From The Packaging / Advertising:

Players will explore a variety of wondrous environments and stages, solving puzzles and interacting with the world in search of a legendary pirate ship and the ultimate pursuit of becoming the greatest pirate the world has ever seen.
  • Go on an incredible journey to find challenging brain teasers and puzzle-based battles
  • 7 themed stages each with multiple sub-areas; jungle ruins, ice temple, airship, ancient castle, and more
  • Make full use of the unique Wii Remote controller to explore and interact with the environment
  • Variety of distinct bosses; more than 35 enemies to encounter and outwit
  • 80+ objects to manipulate; 500+ items to search for and collect; 40+ hours of gameplay
Inventive gameplay mechanics and controller movements allow players to move and open objects, transform items, unlock new pathways and navigate through perilous stages based on a variety of themes including a jungle, ice temple, volcanic caves and more, each with multiple sub-areas. Players will use the Wii Remote controller in various ways - rotate handles, turn keys to open doors, play a piccolo and much more in order to solve the progressively difficult puzzle stages and collect key items that will lead to the legendary pirate ship.