Zack & Wiki: Quest For Barbaros' Treasure

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Zack & Wiki: Quest For Barbaros' Treasure

Platform: Wii

Commendably imaginative, cartoony brainteaser delights

A gigantic-hat-wearing chocoholic pirate boy and a golden monkey that levitates with a helicopter propeller

are on a quest to recover the gilded body parts of Barbaros, a famous pirate. But each piece is secreted away in a perilously positioned treasure chest, and to reach these chests, Zack must jingle the little ape, Wiki, like a bell to transform wicked creatures into handy implements. Altogether it's a bizarre pastiche, but it’s deceptively engaging.

Wacky for its own sake’s been done, but Zack and Wiki’s cheerful colors and quirky cast—featuring an entire rabbit’s warren in pirate gear and a histrionic antagonist who draws scars on her face with lipstick—make a refreshingly clever and wholly appropriate backdrop for what’s essentially a point-and-click problem-solving game. Outsmarting the geography by combining incongruous objects in ingenious ways is required to solve each satisfyingly challenging level.

Worms that turn into straws, snakes that become gripping tools and monkeys that jingle—wrap your mind around that, and you just might be primed for Zack & Wiki’s comically offbeat puzzle play, which (barring some annoying voice effects) is an absolute bull's eye.