Who Wants To Be a Millionaire: 3rd Edition

a game by SCEA
Platforms: Playstation, PSX
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 2 reviews
User Rating: 4.0/10 - 2 votes
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Overview

If you haven’t heard of the hit ABC television show "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire," you’ve probably been sitting under a rock somewhere playing Tetris, since the mid ‘90s. The rest of you, who are familiar with the nation’s most popular prime time game show, probably already have a good idea what this game is like. The second Millionaire game to hit the PlayStation is a faithful adaptation of its television counterpart. You can compete against a friend in a "fastest finger" question and then go on to try your wits at 15 progressively more difficult multiple guess trivia questions in an attempt to win the $1,000,000 prize.

A quick rundown for those who have not seen the show: players begin with a $100 question and progress upward in dollar amounts, until they hit the final $1,000,000 question. The $1,000 and $32,000 levels are "safe havens" for the player. Once you have obtained those levels, you can’t finish the game with any less money than that, even if you miss a question. Players are presented with modified versions of the three "life-lines" from the television show. They can opt to poll the audience (results are from an Internet poll done prior to the game’s release), phone one of Regis’ friends or narrow the multiple choices from four to two with the 50/50.

At any time a player can decide to "walk away" and take the cash they have, rather than risk losing it all if they miss the question. The highest scores for each gaming session are maintained on a leader board, so that players can compete with their friends for bragging rights.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

The controls and interface for the game are very simple and straightforward. Questions appear on screen in the same way they do for the television show. Voice acting from Regis Philbin, the host of the real life game show, is used to prompt players about when they need to answer a question and is also used to help them keep track of where they are in the game. Players are also presented with the sidebar graphic from the game show that displays which questions they have already answered and what dollar amount question is coming up. Players must read the questions and answers off the screen -- there is no voice acting for the questions or the answers. The answers are presented in the same multiple choice format as on the game show and the screen display indicates which button on the PlayStation control pad goes with which answer. Players simply push whichever button on the controller goes with the answer they want and then Regis will indicate whether or not they got the answer correct.

Players can select their life-lines with the R1 button, which is indicated on the bottom of the screen. For players who aren’t familiar with the rules of the game or need some help with the controls, the game asks if they would like to hear the rules at the beginning of each new game and walks the player through the basic control scheme.

The gameplay is nearly identical to the television game show. You select an answer and Regis will sometimes prompt you about whether or not that is your final answer. The screen then flashes on the correct answer and Regis will make some witty comment about whether or not you are correct and the view will shift to the ladder board that displays how far along you are in the game. Regis then announces the next question that is coming up and the process repeats.

One variance from the game show is that players have a maximum of 30 seconds to pick an answer or use a lifeline. If a player opts for the lifeline, they will have another 15 seconds to decide on an answer after the lifeline is used. 50/50 and poll the audience work pretty much the same as on the game show. For the phone a friend, Regis selects one of his friends and they will talk about their profession and how sure they are and give other hints about whether or not you should go with their answer. Just like in real life, the audience and the phone-a-friends are sometimes wrong, so the player must be careful when using these lifelines. Once the lifelines are used up, players cannot use them again and must either answer questions on their own or choose to "walk away" and quit the game with whatever money they have already earned. If they choose to answer a question and give the wrong answer or don’t answer before the 30 seconds are up, the game ends and the player goes back to either the $0, $1000 or $32,000 mark, depending on which question they are answering.

Multiplayer

Millionaire has a very limited two-player mode. When two players are selected they can face off against each other in a "fastest finger" question, which works just like it does on the show. A question and four out-of-order answers are given and the player who puts them in order the fastest gets to play the game. If neither player answers correctly, the question is repeated and they can try again. The game also offers the leader board feature, which allows a group of players to play the game individually and compete for the top score on the leader board.

Graphics

The graphics are pretty close to what is displayed on the television show. There are no shots of the audience or Regis (other than a few pictures of his face in certain segments), but the core gameplay is presented in the same fashion as on the show. The look of the questions and the ladder board is nearly identical to that of the game show, other than some minor variations in color and slightly fuzzy graphics. There is nothing in the graphics of this game that will make you go "wow," but it gets the job done.

Audio

The game’s audio was much better than I expected. The digitized voice sections are very good. If you didn’t know it was the game, you probably would think you were listening to the television show. The music and sound affects are dead on as well. The game does a good job of capturing the flavor of Regis’ presentation of the game show and the mood set by the music used on the set.

Originality / Cool Features

The coolest thing about this game is that it is as close of an exact reproduction of the game show as you can get on the PlayStation. Since Millionaire is a multiple guess show by design, the PlayStation version doesn’t suffer the problems that many other trivia games have experienced on console systems. There is no spelling out of answers involved, so the PlayStation controls work perfectly for selecting game answers, without changing anything about the original gameplay.

The rules menu, on-screen display of poll-the-audience results, highlighting of phone-a-friend answers, clear on-screen display of all available actions and the control presses for those actions are all very nice touches that make this game very easy to play.

I ran into very little question repetition, which can also be a problem in many trivia games. Questions did repeat occasionally in different sessions, but unless you play for a very long time, you probably won’t run into repeated questions in one gaming session.

Bottom Line

Fans of the game show will definitely like this game. Other than totally lacking the "tension" of risking losing $500,000 to go for that million, it does a good job of capturing the gameplay and general feel of the game show. People who don’t like the game show should probably avoid this game -- it has the same type of Regis commentary, slow pace and question difficulty. Those who don’t enjoy the game show format, don’t like the host or think the questions are too easy, will probably feel the same way about the PlayStation version. For those who are fairly neutral about the game show, but enjoy a simple trivia game, this would probably be a good game to rent and see how it strikes you.

There are basically no flaws in the gameplay of the video game that aren’t derived from the gameplay of the show, so if you like one, you’ll probably like the other. I personally see this as a game that is fun to play when you just want to play something for a few minutes at a time. I love trivia games, so the basic gameplay is fun for me. I found the pace to be a bit annoying at times and the questions prior to the $16,000 mark were pitifully easy, but I still enjoyed playing it. It’s amusing to make fun of Regis and the questions are, at least for me, challenging enough to keep me bowing out at the $32,000 - $125,000 level pretty consistently. I reached the million-dollar mark once without cheating. The questions are easy enough that real trivia maniacs will probably be bored, but difficult enough that the rest of us can have fun trying to answer them and that’s what really makes or breaks this kind of game.

My only real complaint is that the rewards for "winning" are kind of lame, but just as a general thrill of answering a question right type trivia experience, it does a good job.

Download Who Wants To Be a Millionaire: 3rd Edition

Playstation

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

PSX

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Overview

If you haven't heard of the hit ABC television show 'Who Wants To Be a Millionaire,'? you've probably been sitting under a rock somewhere playing Tetris, since the mid '90s. The rest of you, who are familiar with the nation's most popular prime time game show, probably already have a good idea what this game is like. The second Millionaire game to hit the PlayStation is a faithful adaptation of its television counterpart. You can compete against a friend in a 'fastest finger' question and then go on to try your wits at 15 progressively more difficult multiple guess trivia questions in an attempt to win the $1,000,000 prize.

A quick rundown for those who have not seen the show: players begin with a $100 question and progress upward in dollar amounts, until they hit the final $1,000,000 question. The $1,000 and $32,000 levels are 'safe havens'? for the player. Once you have obtained those levels, you can't finish the game with any less money than that, even if you miss a question. Players are presented with modified versions of the three 'life-lines'? from the television show. They can opt to poll the audience (results are from an Internet poll done prior to the game's release), phone one of Regis' friends or narrow the multiple choices from four to two with the 50/50.

At any time a player can decide to 'walk away'? and take the cash they have, rather than risk losing it all if they miss the question. The highest scores for each gaming session are maintained on a leader board, so that players can compete with their friends for bragging rights.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

The controls and interface for the game are very simple and straightforward. Questions appear on screen in the same way they do for the television show. Voice acting from Regis Philbin, the host of the real life game show, is used to prompt players about when they need to answer a question and is also used to help them keep track of where they are in the game. Players are also presented with the sidebar graphic from the game show that displays which questions they have already answered and what dollar amount question is coming up. Players must read the questions and answers off the screen -- there is no voice acting for the questions or the answers. The answers are presented in the same multiple choice format as on the game show and the screen display indicates which button on the PlayStation control pad goes with which answer. Players simply push whichever button on the controller goes with the answer they want and then Regis will indicate whether or not they got the answer correct.

Players can select their life-lines with the R1 button, which is indicated on the bottom of the screen. For players who aren't familiar with the rules of the game or need some help with the controls, the game asks if they would like to hear the rules at the beginning of each new game and walks the player through the basic control scheme.

The gameplay is nearly identical to the television game show. You select an answer and Regis will sometimes prompt you about whether or not that is your final answer. The screen then flashes on the correct answer and Regis will make some witty comment about whether or not you are correct and the view will shift to the ladder board that displays how far along you are in the game. Regis then announces the next question that is coming up and the process repeats.

One variance from the game show is that players have a maximum of 30 seconds to pick an answer or use a lifeline. If a player opts for the lifeline, they will have another 15 seconds to decide on an answer after the lifeline is used. 50/50 and poll the audience work pretty much the same as on the game show. For the phone a friend, Regis selects one of his friends and they will talk about their profession and how sure they are and give other hints about whether or not you should go with their answer. Just like in real life, the audience and the phone-a-friends are sometimes wrong, so the player must be careful when using these lifelines. Once the lifelines are used up, players cannot use them again and must either answer questions on their own or choose to 'walk away'? and quit the game with whatever money they have already earned. If they choose to answer a question and give the wrong answer or don't answer before the 30 seconds are up, the game ends and the player goes back to either the $0, $1000 or $32,000 mark, depending on which question they are answering.

Multiplayer

Millionaire has a very limited two-player mode. When two players are selected they can face off against each other in a 'fastest finger'? question, which works just like it does on the show. A question and four out-of-order answers are given and the player who puts them in order the fastest gets to play the game. If neither player answers correctly, the question is repeated and they can try again. The game also offers the leader board feature, which allows a group of players to play the game individually and compete for the top score on the leader board.

Graphics

The graphics are pretty close to what is displayed on the television show. There are no shots of the audience or Regis (other than a few pictures of his face in certain segments), but the core gameplay is presented in the same fashion as on the show. The look of the questions and the ladder board is nearly identical to that of the game show, other than some minor variations in color and slightly fuzzy graphics. There is nothing in the graphics of this game that will make you go 'wow,' but it gets the job done.

Audio

The game's audio was much better than I expected. The digitized voice sections are very good. If you didn't know it was the game, you probably would think you were listening to the television show. The music and sound affects are dead on as well. The game does a good job of capturing the flavor of Regis' presentation of the game show and the mood set by the music used on the set.

Originality / Cool Features

The coolest thing about this game is that it is as close of an exact reproduction of the game show as you can get on the PlayStation. Since Millionaire is a multiple guess show by design, the PlayStation version doesn't suffer the problems that many other trivia games have experienced on console systems. There is no spelling out of answers involved, so the PlayStation controls work perfectly for selecting game answers, without changing anything about the original gameplay.

The rules menu, on-screen display of poll-the-audience results, highlighting of phone-a-friend answers, clear on-screen display of all available actions and the control presses for those actions are all very nice touches that make this game very easy to play.

I ran into very little question repetition, which can also be a problem in many trivia games. Questions did repeat occasionally in different sessions, but unless you play for a very long time, you probably won't run into repeated questions in one gaming session.

Bottom Line

Fans of the game show will definitely like this game. Other than totally lacking the 'tension'? of risking losing $500,000 to go for that million, it does a good job of capturing the gameplay and general feel of the game show. People who don't like the game show should probably avoid this game -- it has the same type of Regis commentary, slow pace and question difficulty. Those who don't enjoy the game show format, don't like the host or think the questions are too easy, will probably feel the same way about the PlayStation version. For those who are fairly neutral about the game show, but enjoy a simple trivia game, this would probably be a good game to rent and see how it strikes you.

There are basically no flaws in the gameplay of the video game that aren't derived from the gameplay of the show, so if you like one, you'll probably like the other. I personally see this as a game that is fun to play when you just want to play something for a few minutes at a time. I love trivia games, so the basic gameplay is fun for me. I found the pace to be a bit annoying at times and the questions prior to the $16,000 mark were pitifully easy, but I still enjoyed playing it. It's amusing to make fun of Regis and the questions are, at least for me, challenging enough to keep me bowing out at the $32,000 - $125,000 level pretty consistently. I reached the million-dollar mark once without cheating. The questions are easy enough that real trivia maniacs will probably be bored, but difficult enough that the rest of us can have fun trying to answer them and that's what really makes or breaks this kind of game.

My only real complaint is that the rewards for 'winning' are kind of lame, but just as a general thrill of answering a question right type trivia experience, it does a good job.

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