Who Wants To Be A Millionaire
(2nd Edition)

Published by Eidos Interactive
Designed by Hothouse Creations.

Platform: PC CD/ROM
Price £24.99
Released: Out Now

What can I say about this game? Everyone must at least have an inkling as to how to play it. The aim of the game is to answer 15 consecutive questions correctly to reach the virtual million pound target. And with a choice of four answers, the job is made that little bit easier. You know those kinds of questions that you're never 100% sure of but once you see it written down, you can make an educated guess. You also have a host keeping you company, Chris Tarrant (that nice bloke out of Tiz-Waz - showing my age now, aren't I?). Unfortunately though, none of his comments are subtitled, so deaf gamers must play on alone!

You can play in 1 of 3 ways with your friends/family: fastest finger, team game or head to head. The fastest finger round decides who will play in the hot seat first but I didn't really like this round as the differently ordered questions rotate so quickly that I couldn't take in the information on the screen - I'd rather flip a coin. If you want a quick game with your mates, then choose the team game option. As you all work on the same Money Tree, you could reach the virtual million a lot faster than if you were playing alone. And of course, be able to blame someone else when they flunk on a question or use the last lifeline! In the head to head round, you and your friends pit your general knowledge against each other in a race to win the most virtual money.

If you choose to go it alone, you can rely on your three lifelines to help you out if you get stuck. These are, 50:50, Phone-a-friend, and Ask the audience.
50:50 will remove two wrong answers from your screen leaving the right answer and one wrong one. Simply choose from the remaining selections. Phone-a-friend will have Chris phoning one of ten possible friends and asking for their help on your behalf. This sounds great but there aren't any subtitles! You just have to wait until a white light surrounds the answer that they gave and you can either go with it or choose your own answer. Ask the audience - Here you will see the results of a poll carried out with 100 randomly selected people. Their answers will be displayed in a bar chart in the top right hand side of the screen, and again you can either follow their lead or choose your own answer.

While these lifelines are extremely helpful, you must take care in how you use them, do so recklessly and you'll never reach that million pound target. However, they could help you edge your way forward if you don't mind staring at the screen until the optional answers pop up, that is.
If you're finding the pressure all too much, you can Walk Away using the W button on screen and your efforts will be recorded for all eternity, or until a higher being knocks your weak score off the board. The sooner, the better I say!

There are 1,000 new questions in this edition and as it automatically saves your progress, there shouldn't be any repeats until you have attempted to answer all of the 1,000 available questions and the question difficulty does seem to increase the further you climb the Money Tree towards the jackpot. There was one oddity whilst I was playing the game, there was a question asking for the name of a loose rugby scrum. Out of the 4 optional answers, I was undecided between 'ruck' and 'maul' - I was sure that you could use either of those words to apply to a loose scrum. I chose 'maul' and found it to be the wrong answer. It gave 'ruck' as the right answer. After consulting the dictionary, either answer could indeed to given for a loose rugby scrum, surprising as this is; perhaps there is another definition of these words that I missed. Any sporting specialists out there?

Playing the game is very easy; you can either use the mouse or the keyboard. After selecting the number of players and entering player names, you can dive straight into a game. WWTBAM2 now has video sequences to bring more of the TV game show atmosphere into the players' home. But unfortunately without Chris Tarrant's comments being subtitled, this atmosphere is lost and the FMV just adds to the length of time sitting in silence between each question. There is a solution to this waiting time, go to the options menu and turn the FMV off. This will shorten the gap between each question and hopefully, make the game that little bit more entertaining for deaf gamers.

Visually, WWTBAM2 is very appealing as it mimics the TV program very well. It's also easy on the eye, except for those of us who don't like flashing lights, to avoid this turn off the video sequences.
All in all, WWTBAM2 is a very engrossing quiz game that with a little tweaking can be made more enjoyable for deaf gamers, even though there are no subtitles.

Overall Game Rating: 8.5/10 WWTBA2 is a good single player game but it is the multiplayer experience where it really shines.

Quality of text: 7/10 While you can play the game without Chris Tarrant's comments being subtitled you do miss the dramatic build up of tension.

Graphics: 9/10 Whilst they are not the height of technology they are virtually identical to the TV show.

Interface:10/10 Very easy to use. Very intuitive.

Gameplay:8/10 Chris Tarrant's presence in the game is missing for the deaf gamer but it still is an enjoyable experience.


 

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