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Where's Waldo? (1991)

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Where's Waldo?
Even Waldo doesn't know where he is in this game!
Genre(s): Puzzle
Platform(s): Nintendo Entertainment System
Release: July 1991
Developer(s): Bethesda Softworks
Publisher(s): THQ
Country: United States
Series: Where's Waldo?

Where's Waldo? is a video game developed by Bethesda Softworks and published by THQ for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was based on the book of the same name.


The objective of the game is to find Waldo in each picture to progress through the game. This is done by moving a cursor through the screen until you are certain where Waldo is. There is a time limit in the game and each wrong choice you make will decrease the limit along with the time itself. The gameplay style changes in the forest, cave, and train station levels.

Why It Can't Be Found

  1. The largest reason the game was heavily panned was the graphics which were so poor and awful enough to even give Action 52's graphics a run for its money, it was difficult to tell which sprite was Waldo, giving the books a run for their money in terms of difficulty.
  2. The controls for the cursor are sensitive, making finding Waldo even more difficult, especially on the harder difficulty.
  3. Crappy music, what little there is.
  4. In the cutscenes, Waldo moves very slowly to his next destination and always takes the longest and most nonsensical path. Making it worse is that the timer still goes down even when it's playing, artificially increasing the difficulty.
  5. The game is also not challenging at all. Even if you lose time making the wrong choices, you can still scan every screen and eventually find him.
  6. Unbelievably short. According to the Angry Video Game Nerd, it only took him six minutes to beat the game.
  7. The levels are randomly generated, sometimes making the game unwinnable.
  8. In a strange gameplay diversion you take control of Waldo after finding him in the cave level. You can collect an icon with an hourglass then pick up another icon to move onto the next level; however, don't ever pick up the hourglass. It deducts 100 seconds from the timer, making the game harder. However, if you're lucky it can grant you 100 more seconds, so it's a gamble that could make or break you.
  9. The subway level, another diversion, is unfair as you are supposed to collect 2 items while avoiding a wizard, who rapidly deducts your time limit if you touch him and he moves in a random pattern, meaning you can lose the game by sheer misfortune if he lands in your path.
  10. Poor ending which merely involves Waldo flying to the Moon.


AVGN Enraged.jpg "What were they thinking?"
The Shit Scale
Games that are debatably bad High level of shit contamination The very high category The severe zone Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Major code red
This game/console belongs to the "Very High Category" category of the AVGN's Shit Scale. said of Where's Waldo to have the worst graphics of any NES game: "There are many other graphically challenging games that were made, but this game takes the cake."

A reviewer from HonestGamers criticized the gameplay: "At first I did not understand what I was supposed to do and was even considering returning it to the store." said that, although fans of the book may enjoy the game a little, other players may get bored. In the case of Game Informer, they gave Where's Waldo a 1/10 citing it as being "a game for those too lazy to turn a page." In giving the game an F, writer Cyril Lachel wrote, "It's hard to believe something this pointless came out of Bethesda Softworks... Where's Waldo? Hopefully in a landfill, because that's where this 8-bit piece of garbage belongs." A reviewer of Yahoo! Voices, who gave the game 0.5 out of 5 stars, even criticized the sound effects. Some reviewers also noted the game's lack of replay value, such as in a review by

The game was listed #12 on's "Worst Nintendo Games".



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