History

The classic Wheel of Fortune, originally a television game show created by Merv Griffin that first aired on American television in 1975, was adapted into many video games after 1986.  The contestants of the game spin a giant carnival like wheel which determines the prize/cash that they can win and they then solve various word puzzles in order to win the respective prizes.

There are a number of video game versions of the Wheel of Fortune which can be broadly classified into PC Versions, Console Versions, Online Versions, Arcade Versions, Play-Along Versions, Slot Machines and several Hand Held Versions.

GameTek, through the years 1987-1990, created five computer games of Wheel of Fortune for Commodore 64, MS-DOS and Apple II. Sony Imagesoft released a PC Version in the June of 1994. Atari released three PC Versions (released in 1998, 2000 and 2002), developed by Artech Entertainment, Ltd.

Sony Online Entertainment released the “Wheel of Fortune 2” in 2007 which counts as the latest version of the game. Later a revised version, called the “Platinum Edition” was released in 2010 but the rules and graphics were mostly the same as the former version. 

The Console Versions include the Nintendo 64 version, a game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, a version for the old Macintosh computers, the Commodore 64 version, versions for Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System amongst others. The Commodore 64 version, released in 1986, was the very first Console Version. New features were added progressively in each new version but the basic game and rules remained more or less the same.

The Online version of the Wheel of Fortune was developed by Sony Entertainment and GSN Digital, together, for Facebook. The users can play with their friends to compete for virtual currency called “Wheel Bucks”. Stern Pinball, in 2007, released a Wheel of Fortune Pinball Machine.

The Arcade Version, developed by GameTek in 1988, has mostly the same rules like the game show with a few exceptions. The game can be played by one to three players and the users can select the difficulty of the puzzles. The game is a redemption game which means that no real money is won; it is only a game of score.

Mattel, in 1988, released a Play-Along Version of the Wheel of Fortune in which the players would point the device at the television monitor and play the game. The players could even program puzzles on their own. A second and third edition of the same was released in 1989 and 1994 respectively.

International Game Technology manufactured a series of Wheel of Fortune based Slot-Machines for the North American Casino and they released a Special Edition in 2004 and a Second version in 2006 with some new features like multiple players being allowed bonus spins at any given time.

There were several other versions of the Wheel of Fortune game too which were to be released but got cancelled, like in 1983, GameTek planned to release a version, which was never released due to the Video Game crash which occurred in the same year.

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