Every few years a new game version of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire pops out. Every few years fans are disappointed with it. I’m sad to report that you’ll also be let down with this new version coming from budget developer Microids. I didn’t realise they still made games and whilst I’m glad they do, it is clear they are still working on a shoestring budget.
The shows format is what ultimately makes WWTBAM a boring experience. The show asks you 15 questions from a selection of 3000. You get four lifelines to help you out such as ask the audience (poll), phone a friend (with some generic voice acting), removing 2 of the 4 answer choices with 50/50 or flipping the question. The drama of the show is that you second guess your knowledge because of the prize pool and as that doesn’t exist here, you end up speeding through the questions as fast as the game allows.
In order to inject some personality, you have some characters to choose from with some abysmal voice work. Each character has about 5 lines of inter-question chatter and a few friends to talk to on the phone. The issue is that in single player mode, they don’t trigger properly and so the presenter and contestant talk over each other in an audio mess. This doesn’t happen in the competitive multiplayer mode so hopefully this can be fixed. The characters have a ‘pick one of each race and gender to tick the box’ vibe too. It is very low effort.
Low effort is what I’d also call the presenter. Whilst he doesn’t read out the questions, there is an awkward pause as he introduces the next question and the game loading it in. He stares dead eyed at you and then the camera quickly pans to your dead eyed character looking back. It is weirdly stilted and quite comical – especially with the shows soundtrack – in what sounds like MIDI form – hammering the drama at the same time.
Multiplayer modes are available but these also suffer from being tied to the show format. Co-op literally asks everyone to press confirm on the same answer before continuing. The competitive mode removes the lifelines and is just an elimination game. The musical cues stay the same as the main game show but there is no cash being won so that feels odd. Online has room for 100 people to play at once but no one else was ever playing when I attempted a game so I have no idea how that works. I quite like the idea of 100 to 1 though.
There is one thing that WWTBAM does get right which many other quiz games gets wrong though. Repeat questions. During the few hours I played the game, I didn’t come across a single repeat question. That may actually be enough to convince some quiz fans to dive in but I’d strongly recommend to only do so at a reduced price. For some unfathomable reason, Who Wants to Be A Millionaire was released as a full priced game. It is clearly because of the licence and it is a complete ripoff. I would not pay any more than £10 as an absolute maximum. There is an easy mode and family mode for kids and more educational questions and you can unlock new question categories with your winnings, although that was a grind I didn’t feel compelled to finish.
If you are looking for a well put together quiz game that offers different modes, It’s Quiz Time is still your best bet in recent years. My quest for a Buzz! killer continues.
Review copy provided by publisher.
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