Find Waldo once and for all

Where's Waldo? HD The Fantastic Journey is the iPad adaptation of the game of the same name for the iPhone and iPod Touch based on the the third book in the popular search-and-find "Where's Waldo?" series.

Where's Waldo? HD The Fantastic Journey is the iPad adaptation of the game of the same name for the iPhone and iPod Touch (as well as for Nintendo DS, Wii, and Windows), based on the the third book in the popular search-and-find "Where's Waldo?" series.

On top of providing some surprisingly diverse and satisfying gameplay from such simple source material, this app looks great on the iPad, with all the colorful and intricate details of the original drawings--along with a handful of embedded animations that liven up each illustration, whether it's a couple of tussling monks or a witch playing the cymbals. This better-than-the-book experience is rounded out by animated voice narration by the familiar Waldo cast, including Waldo himself, Wenda, and Wizard Whitebeard, who is your guide through a well-integrated tutorial.

The game gives you 12 worlds and three different play modes: Single Traveler, Explore, and Party. Single Traveler is a sort of campaign mode, in which you're given specific objects and people to search for, with both visual and written clues. You have to score three stars (out of five) to progress to the next world, and a "star meter" steadily goes down while you hunt, refilling partially whenever you find something--and if you're in trouble, Woof the dog can help you find an object. The Explore mode is a more open-ended game that lets you play in all 12 worlds, while the Party mode is a fun, fast-paced head-to-head game, as you compete with one other player to find objects quickly on a split screen.

With its many modes and four save slots, this app provides a lot of fun--and a lot of game--for both kids and grownups. It's not perfect (for example, the interface obscures more of the illustrations than it needs to), but it's still a good value for Waldo fans, especially if you can find this app on sale.

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