Review: Who Wants To Be a Millionaire (Xbox Live Arcade)

By Wayne Webb

As an Xbox Live game I have to say that the charm the tension and fun from the original game are sadly lacking, even though the presentation is very high quality.

The music, the visuals and the game play are a pitch perfect rendition of the game show played around the world. Clever little trivia tidbits about the TV version are littered among the loading screens, cleverly promoting the game as popular and fun as noted by the immense reach. But that is the TV show – the video game is a vastly different beast.

It’s English in its tone, though you can change the currency to suit local taste, but it misses the iconic edge of any of its presenters. The wry comments once voiced by Chris Tarrant are gone in this bland and repetitive host. It would have been more entertaining to have the original voices, Eddie McGuire’s blokey Australian tones or even the effervescent dulcet tones of the excitable Regis Philbin. And then the questions, which have no time frame on them, can be easily searched on Google on a smart phone in seconds. The lifelines are not much help, except maybe the 50/50. The phone a friend is a series of umms and ahhs until a letter is suggested as the answer.

As a Trivia game the questions are interesting enough and the quiz element is fun, but the form of the show is designed to delay the process and move through the levels at a measured pace, with loads of tension and surprises in store for the player. All of that is missing and the result is a beautifully designed but ultimately unsatisfying quiz game that is too cumbersome to play often, and not tense enough to want to play repeatedly.

Pros: Good quiz questions, beautiful design and reproduction of the show.
Cons: Too slow for a game, bland presenter character, not hard to cheat, no real thrill in playing. 

1.5 Shacks Out Of 5

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