Video game adaptations of game shows can be a lot of fun. Just a look at my PS3 and you can find everything from Jeopardy to two different versions of The Price is Right. Some of these games get it right while others, not so well. I remember playing the very first video game version of Who wants to be a millionaire on the PC and although I was young and wasn’t really good at it I still enjoyed it a lot. When the kid’s edition game came out I enjoyed it that much more! But does the XB1 version hold up to the show?
For anyone who doesn’t know what Who wants to be a millionaire is, it’s a game show where contestants must answer 15 multiple choice questions to win a million USD (Editor’s Note: I am Canadian and with the exchange rate… our million is quite a lower number). The contestants do have a little help though with four lifelines that they can use at any time. To play, there are both single-player and local multiplayer options to pick from as well as an online options that pits you against 99 other players. At the time of this writing though, the game had not been released and so there are no other players to be found online.
The single-player mode is where I spent most of my time. In single-player mode, you can pick to play on normal mode or easy mode. Normal mode plays out like the show would on TV where as easy mode does away with the timer and gives out easier questions. In normal mode, you can pick the categories of questions you want as long as you pick 4 or more of them. There are also categories that are locked and require you to use an in-game currency to unlock. The better you do the more of this currency, or neurons as they call them, you will get.
Win $1000 and you get 40 Neurons. The locked categories range in price from 1000 neurons and up so unless your really good at the game it takes some time to unlock them all and that’s a shame there are some categories I really would have liked to play right off the bat like Disney or Harry Potter. This type of currency works better on maybe unlocking new characters or outfits but when I was getting the same questions asked and I haven’t even been playing for an hour then they should have had everything unlocked from the start.
In single-player mode, you get to select a character you want to play. Each one has their own jobs and interests but these don’t seem to play into the game at all. In a game like this most people would want to play as themselves so why there are no options to create a character is a little baffling as most game show games or at least the ones I played on PS3 would let you. The host of the show is just some random guy. There is voice acting in this game but none of it is any good and if you are going to have a voiced host then he should at least read the questions.
Luckily you can skip all the chatting but I did run into one problem with skipping and that was if you skip the talking before a question it will just bring up the questions and answers and start the timer right away. If you don’t skip it the game gives you time to read the question as the answers pop up and then start the timer once the answers are all up. The phone a friend lifeline is also voiced, you get to pick who to call out of a list like your character’s sister for example and then they will chat but the question is never given they will just say if they think they know the answer or not. The host’s hand movements and facial animations also don’t match what is being said or done. One other thing that bugs me is when he asks “Is that your final answer” the character just goes on and says yes instead of asking the player to pick yes or no. Even the PC game that came out in 1999 asked the player.
I could never make it to a million but part of that problem was when I used the Ask the Audience lifeline more times than not it would always be wrong! Who was this game polling? One other thing I ran into was one of the questions that asked “When you’re talking about someone and they suddenly show up it is often said “talk of the___” The right saying is “speak of the___” not talk. This makes me wonder if any other questions may be wrong as well.
The one thing I did like about the game was that it had an easy mode titled family mode. It asks easier questions so that even younger players can play. Each player can pick to play normal mode or easy mode so if you want to play on normal but your child wants to play on easy you can do that. The family mode is an elimination game where you keep playing until there is only one player left who answered right. There is also a coop mode that all players must answer right or they all lose. A free for all or take turns. Some of the modes only require one controller so if your like me and only have one Xbox one controller this is good.