Game Show Review #2: Price is Right


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Jul 5, 2008
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*This week I am going to review three TV Game show based games - Deal or No Deal, The Price is Right, and Prime Time Quiz Show (which seems to be based on Who Wants to be a Millionaire). How similar are they to the TV game shows? How much fun are they? Read the reviews to find out.*

Okay, how many people watched the Price is Right over the summer when you weren't going to school? Show of hands? And how many people thought "I could do better than that!". Well, here is your chance!

The Price is Right app in the game store starts out very well. The visuals really make it look like the game show, and the theme music fits in very well. They even have the same "intro" screen that starts off the TV show each time. The only thing missing is Bob Barker (or Drew Carey) as the host!

When playing the game, you have a few different game modes to try: party mode (multiplayer), single player three strikes mode, single player "quick game" mode, and just playing the various pricing games (which I will call award mode). I will start with the single player modes.

Single player "quick game" (or classic mode) simply puts you on contestants row to play a round (contestants row, a pricing game, spin the wheel, and a showcase showdown if you make it past the wheel). This is the classic style of play, with the exception that if you don't win the contestant row game you still advance to the next level (this is true of all modes). There are 20(!) different pricing games that you can play during your round including many classics like Plinko and Lock and Key. The goal is to win as much money as possible, counting the various prize packages as their money value.

Single player "three strikes" mode is a little more involved. In this mode, you still play the same way, but you have three strikes. If you lose on contestants row or while spinning the wheel, you get a strike. Three strikes and the game is over. Otherwise you keep playing, accumulating prizes and money.

Party mode allows you to play with up to three other people, each competing to see who can earn the most money. Since it isn't a head to head competition, you can pass the iPhone around to play, but it would be nice to see a wireless option available.

In award mode, you attempt to unlock the various pricing games (so you can play them directly) by passing various challenges - reaching certain milestones in the other game modes. Once they are unlocked, you can then choose individual pricing games to play.

The game play is pretty straighforward, and really tries to keep you within the feel of the game. The graphics, music, and feel is exactly like the game show - down to the cheesy 70's style logos, images, and price views.

When you are looking at the "prizes" you can win, they seemingly have taken direct clips from the game show, so you get the actual video of the hostess showing off the prize, with the announcer telling you what it is. The only problem with this is that the video you are watching is very small, and you can't replay the video to see the information again. While playing so far, I have had a couple of pricing game duplicate prizes, and in one showcase showdown (which consists of three prizes) I had the same prize listed twice (the same video clip!), so there are a limited number of video clips. The latter indicates the prizes are chosen randomly, so you may see duplicate prizes every now and then. I also don't know when the prices of these prizes were determined (based on 1970 prices? 2008 prices?).

The controls for spinning the wheel seem rather random. I haven't been able to control the speed of the spin, so it seems to randomly choose how hard you spin the wheel. The only way to advance to the showcase showdown is to win the showcase showdown, so it would be nice to be able to have a little more control over that.

Once you reach the various milestones, you begin to unlock the various individual pricing games that can be played in the "award mode". This is fun because you can just try your hand at the various pricing games, rather than going through the entire game process. Unfortunately, the challenges are for each game, and you need to beat ALL challenges before unlocking any given individual game.

The game play and the graphics in this game do a good job of giving you the feel of the game show. At times, the game stutters a little bit, and I have had it crash on me a few times. One thing I like is that they actually have an announcer guiding you through the games, so you aren't just reading from the screen or anything. One big thing is that it takes a long time to load the various games, switching from screen to screen. Being used to a quick response from iPhones makes me impatient for this kind of delay. :)

Pros: Accurately replicates the feel of the game show, varied mode of game play including a multiplayer mode

Cons: Some glitches in the software, video of the prizes could be better.

All in all, this is a good copy of the game show, and if you ever wanted to try your hand at the various pricing games, this is your chance. The price isn't bad ($4.99) although it is probably more than people want to spend if they just want to "check out" the game. If you have some friends who might want to play, the multiplayer mode might make the price worth it by itself. Hopefully some of the program glitches might be improved in future versions, but they don't really detract too much from the game. Four out of five stars.

Rating scale:

* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benfits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.