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PC Preview - 'Pat Sajak's Lucky Letters'

by Thomas Wilde on Aug. 25, 2006 @ 4:27 a.m. PDT

Based on one of the most popular online games, Pat Sajak's Lucky Letters combines the excitement of a game show with the challenge of a word puzzle. Pat Sajak's Lucky Letters is the first in an all-new series of games from Pat and his team of game experts.

Genre: Puzzle
Publisher: Atari
Developer: Pat Sajak Games
Release Date: Q4 2006

Apparently, the video game industry has now grown to such an extent that Pat Sajak, the host of the game show "Wheel of Fortune," has taken an interest. God help us all.

It's not as bad as it could be, though. Pat Sajak has not lent his name to a first-person shooter based on a beloved children's fable (yet). Instead, we're getting Lucky Letters, a party game for the PC which is best described as a combination of "Wheel of Fortune," a slot machine, "Jeopardy!" and a crossword puzzle.

There are a number of available modes in Lucky Letters, but they're all based around the same basic formula. When you begin a game, you'll see a field of empty circles, arranged like a crossword puzzle. You'll spin a slot machine to see how many points you'll earn, then pick three letters out of a list. To aid you in guessing the right letters, you'll be given a simple clue, from the blatantly obvious to the head-scratchingly abstract.

If you guess the right letters, you'll be rewarded with points, and if you guess the right letter within a given word, all instances of that letter will be revealed throughout the board. You have 10 turns to play the game and unveil as many letters and words as you can before a lightning round starts, where you only have seconds to fill in the rest of the board.

The free version of Lucky Letters is available to play online and has been quite popular since it came out; you can also download a version of the game for $19.95.

Why is this of interest to you? Well, it's not a bad game, honestly; it's definitely a weird beerslam of four other things you're probably not interested in, and that Pat Sajak patronage worries me for some reason, but the game itself is kind of fun. If you like word puzzles or trivia games, you shouldn't have a problem wresting some entertainment out of this.

More importantly, the game is pretty much custom-made as a gift for your grandparents, the next time Christmas comes around. It's simple, it's fun to play with a small group, and it's based on those game shows that are playing every time you go over there to visit. (That's my grandparents, admittedly. I don't know what your grandparents do.) Keep it in mind when Christmas rolls around.

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