A couple weeks back I took a look at the Where’s Waldo? Waldo Watcher card game. I was a pretty big fan of the Where’s Waldo franchise when I was a kid. Despite this I was disappointed with the game even though I didn’t have high expectations for it. The main problem that I had with the game is that it just felt like the bare minimum was done in order to try and cash in the popularity of the franchise. This lead to a very basic search and find game that became boring pretty quickly. Well today I am looking at another Where’s Waldo? board game released the same year as Waldo Watcher. After the disappointment of the first game I have to say that I didn’t have high expectations for the Where’s Waldo? World Game even though it looked better than the other game. One look at the spinner filled with a bunch of characters made that perfectly clear as you are searching for more than just Waldo. This idea looked interesting as you had to find individual characters hidden among a total of 101 characters. Where’s Waldo? World Game is a fun little game even if it is a pretty basic find the hidden object game.
How to Play Where’s Waldo? World Game
- Place all of the character cards inside the plastic globe and snap it closed.
- Shake the globe in order to mix up the characters.
- Open the globe and spill the characters onto the table. Adjust any characters so none are on top of one another.
- Place the spinner somewhere everyone can reach and see it.
- The youngest player will start the game.
Playing the Game
The current player will spin the spinner. The spinner must make a full rotation in order to count. If the spinner lands on a character that the players have already found it will be re-spun. All of the players will then study the character that the spinner landed on. This is the character that all of the players will have to find. Set the timer to the designated amount of time. When everyone is ready start the timer and the round will begin.
All of the players will search through all of the characters on the table for the one that was spun on the spinner. When a player thinks they have found the character they will point to it. The players will verify if the player picked the correct character. If the player pointed to the wrong character they will be eliminated for the rest of the round (until the spinner is spun again). The rest of the players will continue searching for the correct character.
If none of the players find the correct character before the timer runs out, the round ends with no player being able to claim the character. The next round begins with the player to the left of the current player spinning the wheel to get a new character to find.
When a player finds the correct character they will take the character card and place it in front of them. This character will count as a point for the player. The player who found the character will then spin the spinner for the next round.
End of Game
The game will continue until one of the players collect five characters. That player will win the game.
My Thoughts on Where’s Waldo World Game
For the most part Where’s Waldo World Game is very similar to your basic find the hidden object game. Players spin the spinner and then try to find the character that was spun among 101 characters before they run out of time. The ultimate goal of the game is to find five characters before the other players. This gameplay was to be expected as it mimics what the franchise is all about. Instead of having the characters placed into a scene where they can be hidden in the background, all of the characters are randomly spread out on the table and players need to find the character that exactly matches what was spun. This prevents the characters from hiding in the background, but players still need to do a good job of searching in order to find the characters in time.
As the whole game basically entails spinning the spinner and finding the associated character it is no surprise that the game is really easy to play. I honestly think I was able to explain the whole game in around 30 seconds to a minute. The game has a recommended age of 3+ after all. I think that may be a little too low, but young children should have no problems playing the game. This simplicity means that the game plays quickly as well. Unless players have a hard time finding one of the characters I would say that most rounds should take at max a minute with maybe half of that being the actual search for the character. I thought it would be hard to find one character hidden among 100 others, but it was surprisingly easier than I was expecting. Following the rule that you only need five characters to win I could see most games ending in around ten minutes. With so many unused characters each game and games being so short I personally would recommend having players find more than five characters in order to win.
I had mixed feelings about the Where’s Waldo? World Game before playing it and I would say that the game somewhat surpassed them. I don’t know exactly what it is, but the game is more enjoyable than I was expecting. I have always liked the search and find hidden object gameplay that is utilized by the game. The game doesn’t really innovate the genre at all as it is a very basic game. Yet for some reason I still liked the game as there is just something really enjoyable about finding the characters before the other players. Unlike Waldo Watcher where you just have to look at small cards to find the character, in Where’s Waldo? World Game the characters will be spread out over the entire table. This makes the searching more challenging and thus more enjoyable. The game is meant more for younger children and I think they could really like it. I think adults can enjoy it as well.
With a game that is so simple you always have to worry about the game becoming repetitive pretty quickly. In some ways Where’s Waldo? World Game can become repetitive, but it does a better job mixing things up than I originally expected. On the positive side every game should be different. All of the characters are randomly displayed on the table so the characters will never be displayed in the same way twice. As there are 101 spaces on the spinner the odds of you spinning the same characters often is also pretty limited. This adds some variety to the game as no two games will be the same. The problem is that the gameplay is so simple that the mechanics do get repetitive after a while. You can only play the game so much before it feels like you are doing the same things over and over again. This is why I would classify Where’s Waldo? World Game as one of those games that you play a couple times and then put it away for a while before you bring it out again.
Other than the game becoming repetitive after a while, the biggest problem with Where’s Waldo? World Game comes from the pictures on the spinner being way too small. I will admit that this was somewhat unavoidable as you had to fit 101 characters on one spinner. The problem is that the characters are so small that it is hard for all of the players to see the chosen character on the spinner at the same time. The instructions say that you should place the spinner where everyone can see it at the same time. Unless players are willing to lean over the table or you use a really small table this is not really an option though. Instead you are basically forced to spin the spinner and pass it around to all of the players. As players have to take turns looking at the spinner you have to implement a house rule where players can’t look at the character cards until all of the players have looked at the spinner. This makes the game take longer than it probably should but I don’t really see another option where all of the players can get a good look at the spun character.
This leads me to the components which are decent but could use some work. I thought the timer was pretty good as it is durable and works well. In addition to the characters being really small, the spinner itself doesn’t even work that well. It could be due to use but the spinner for my copy doesn’t seem to spin that well. Despite the odds we kept spinning characters in the same region of the spinner and actually spun the same character at least once. The character cards seem to be taken directly from the book pages but they were cropped out unlike Waldo Watcher. The artwork is pretty good for this reason. They are made of somewhat thin cardboard though so they are prone to creases. I also found them to be a little on the small side. Basically the components do their job but could have been better.
For a game that relies on finding hidden objects there is more luck to the game than you would expect. The best searcher will usually be the first player to find a character but there are other factors involved as well. As the characters will be spread out around the table some characters will be closer to some players than others. If a character is located closer to you than the other players you are more likely to spot them before the other players. Where you choose to search first can also have a big impact on the game. Players that do a good job randomly guessing the area that a character is located will have a leg up on the other players. There were times in the game where players found a character almost immediately because they chose the perfect area to start their search. With some characters being considerably easier to find than others, due to their smaller size or distinct look, it will be hard to find a character before the player that chooses to search the correct area first.
Should You Buy Where’s Waldo World Game?
Where’s Waldo? World Game is at its core a very generic search and find game. You spin the spinner and try to find the character that was spun before the other players can. That is basically all there is to the game. This means that the game is really easy to play where children of almost any age can play it. Despite how basic it is I actually had more fun with the game than I was expecting. The mechanic of trying to find the different characters is fun. As that is all you do in the game though it becomes repetitive after a while. Basically it is one of those games that you play for a while and then put it away for another day. Other than the repetitive nature the game’s components let the game down and it occasionally relies on a little too much luck.
My recommendation for Where’s Waldo? World Game comes down to your opinion of the Waldo franchise and whether you think the game’s concept sounds interesting. If you don’t like Waldo or don’t think the game sounds that interesting it won’t be for you. Fans of Waldo or people who think the game sounds interesting though will probably have some fun with the game. Due to the game becoming repetitive after a while though I would probably only recommend picking it up if you can get a good deal on it.