For those of you who don't know the style of the game, it is like the adventure games of old. If any of you played any of the Monkey Islands or Full Throttle or Sam and Max or Day of the Tentacle or any others, you will love this game. Myst players, too, will probably love this game.
The premise is that you are an up-and-coming pirate named Zack who is searching for treasure with your more-than-adorable companion Wiki. You go through a series of incredibly clever and interesting puzzles that are themed in a variety of ways. There is a jungle section, ice, fire, haunted mansion, etc. You go through the level interacting with items in a very intuitive point-and-click way, picking things up and using them with other items in the game.
One of the reasons Zack and Wiki is so inventive is that it is for the wii. Sometimes you will have to flip an item over to use the other end--you do this by flipping the wiimote. You loosen a dragon's tooth by twisting it back and forth; you saw with a sawing motion; you turn keys and locks. It sounds silly, but all these minor actions really bring you into the game and also make the puzzles just a little more challenging.
Another cool aspect to the game is Wiki. Not only does the strange flying monkey creature have a great sense of humor, but when you shake him he turns into a bell. This bell is used to transform creatures into objects, like a centipede into a centi-saw. It's a very clever mechanic. A nice example of a puzzle would be turning a snake into a slither gripper (something that extends your reach), carry it to a frog on a ledge, and turn it back into a snake that will scare the frog toward you. Then you turn the frog into a frog bomb and put it into an ice crystal to make it fall and land on something else so you can...you get the idea.
Two things that might surprise you if you have played a lot of adventure games are that in this one you can and will die, often (at least I have). The game utilizes platinum tickets that allow you to revive at the loss of some points and oracle dolls that give you hints. With this system in place death isn't so bad, but it is unlike other games I've played. Also, you don't keep items in an inventory; instead you can only hold one at a time. This is a cool choice that I think neither hurts nor helps the level of puzzle.
Another feature included is that up to four wiimotes can be used. The other players can't do anything but draw on the screen. Basically they point at things they want you, the player, to interact with. It seems minor, but it makes this single player game more fun for everyone. Whenever I played it was with a group of three or four people. Everybody had a great time trying to solve the intricate and exciting puzzles together, and sometimes it helps to have someone to give suggestions when you're stumped.
In conclusion, this game is amazing, and a great deal at only £30. The sound is wonderful, the graphics are great, and the humor can make you laugh out loud. Those are just the minor pros, though, for the real power of the game comes from its ridiculously creative puzzles. The way you use items and Wiki as a bell really makes for some challenging and rewarding puzzles. So I highly recommend this game to anyone who likes this sort of problem solving. It is not fast paced, but it is a lot of fun.