TV Game Show Review: PrimeTime Quiz Show


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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, technically "Prime Time Quiz Show" is not a real TV game show. But it is clearly based on the Game Show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire". I had already reviewed Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, and The Password Game was not yet released, so I decided to do this one.

The format of this game is almost identical to Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The only really differences are that you do not need to have a "Fastest finger" competition at the beginning, there is no studio audience (more on this later) and you aren't really competing for a million dollars.

The look, feel, layout, and even the pattern of prize money directly mimics the Millionaire game.

In this game, you start of with easy questions, and progress to gradually more and more difficult questions. If you can answer 15 questions correctly, you win the million dollar prize amount. But if you don't know an answer, fear not! You have three "lifelines" to choose from to help you out.

Two of the lifelines are just like those in the game show - 50/50 (where two random incorrect answers are removed) and question swap (swap out the question for a new one - although if I recall, that lifeline doesn't appear until you progress to a certain level in the game). In the TV game show, the third lifeline is "poll the audience", but since there is no studio audience, you can't do that on the iPhone. So the game created a 3rd lifeline - "2nd chance". If you choose that lifeline and get the question wrong, you get a 2nd chance to answer the question. Of course, if you get it right, you lose the lifeline. And yes, you can combine the 50/50 lifeline with the 2nd chance lifeline to guarantee you will get any given question right.

Unfortunately, there is no way to replicate what I think is the best lifeline of the game show - call a friend. Of course, I say this since I was once the friend someone called on the show, and I got the question correct for them, winning them like $64,000 or something (and I didn't even get a dime in thanks! Sheesh!). But it would have been really cool to try to replicate that somehow.

There are various animation cut scenes with your "host", but they don't really do anything to add or detract to the game itself. In my opinion, the biggest drawback of this game is similar to the drawback of the Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader app. The game, while translated well, sort of loses something playing it on the iPhone. You are basically just guessing various trivia questions, and if you wanted a trivia game, there are probably better options. While the game is fun to watch on TV, unlike Deal or No Deal and Price is Right (which can have entertainment through the actual game play) there isn't much about the game itself that would be entertaining.

There is no multiplayer option - it would be cool to have a "race mode" - trying to answer the 15 questions the fastest or something. But I am not sure how realistic a multiplayer mode would be on the game.

Pros: Good import of the game, good graphical mode for the gameshow itself

Cons: The game play doesn't lend itself to the iPhone, no way to incorporate "phone a friend"

All in all, this is an okay game, and if you really really want to pretend you are playing Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, it might be entertaining. But the game play itself doesn't lend itself to strong iPhone play (I don't think it would on any medium). The price certainly isn't bad, and that is a big point in it's favor. For $.99, you can give it a try, but you might just want to invest in a trivia game or something, especially if that is one you can play with friends. Three 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.

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