Where’s Waldo?

Okay, let’s be honest. Why the hell was this game made? I know the books were popular, but seriously, do we really need to search for this striped fuckass in video games too? Why do we always have to find him anyway? Is he lost? Why doesn’t he come find us?

Where's Waldo? Who fuckin' cares?

I want to spend as little time on this game as possible, so here goes. As you can infer from the title, this is a game where you’re presented with a still screen and are expected to find Waldo just like in the books. You move a cursor around the screen, center Waldo, and press a button. If he’s inside the cursor, you move on to the next level. If he’s not, you lose a certain amount of time from a clock that is constantly running while you search. The idea is to get through all the stages before the time runs out.

Someone should have explained to the license holders that the NES is not exactly the wünderkind of Captain Detail. The screens you are presented with have teeny tiny little drawings that barely resemble humans or objects. You’re never gonna see Waldo’s face, you’re never gonna see any details. At the most, you will spot Waldo as a couple of 1 millimeter red stripes under a tiny circle for a head, maybe two lines of blue representing his pants if you’re lucky.

The whole point of the books was to hide Waldo cleverly so you had to really search to find him, NOT to have to really search in order to make out whether what you’re looking at is supposed to be human. And to throw you off, because otherwise the process would just be too easy, there are other similarly undetailed people wearing red striped shirts. But they’re NOT Waldo! And wait till you get to the level that takes place in a CAVE where you can’t see anything! Ha ha, good luck!

Oh, there he is! I'll be damn, what fun!

Going by the credits, this game was created by a lead designer who went on to make… an early departure from game design. Hasta la pasta, Paul Coletta. There might be a God after all. This game doesn’t even make logical sense and should never ever have been made. Sure it’s got some difficulty levels and a little more interaction than the books do, and the timer’s even a little clever. But when you can’t SEE ANYTHING, you’re reduced to moving the cursor onto anything that might look striped, pressing a button, and hoping you’re right.

For the record, the picture on the left is magnified by about 50%. It’s never this clear in the game.

Never get this game. Ever.  Totally pointless.


The Good

I suppose the best thing about this game is that it didn’t tank Julian LeFay’s career before he started the Elder Scrolls series. And it didn’t bankerupt Bethesda before the same.

The Bad

If you digitized the concept of worthlessness, you’d get this game.

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One thought on “Where’s Waldo?

  1. I can’t believe this game was made by the same people who would later make (A GOOD game series) The Elder Scrolls. Well, they DID make some OTHER bad games around this time, but i guess they were trying to find a good type of game to make… Or maybe good developers.

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