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Who Wants to be a Millionaire: 2nd Edition

Score: 80%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: THQ
Developer: THQ
Media: Cart/1
Players: 1
Genre: Miscellaneous

Graphics & Sound:

Some may wonder exactly what a T.V. quiz show looks like as a video game, much less on a tiny Game Boy Color screen. I'm happy to report that Regis Philbin's runaway hit found a good home with THQ, so Who Wants To Be A Millionaire 2nd Edition keeps the main elements intact and looking good. The presentation is most like what you see on T.V. when a question comes up, including the signature 'lifeline' icons and music. The transition between questions changes at different levels; in keeping with the show, reaching $1,000 and $32,000 is celebrated with the 'going to commercial' music and a little animation. Most of the time, you watch yourself climbing the ladder toward $1,000,000 or the camera panning in on the latest question. The sound for Millionaire 2nd Edition includes music from the show, and although I missed Regis' snappy comments between questions, he does show up during the intro to give his signature line and flash a fat wad.

Gameplay:

If you've ever seen a T.V., it's unlikely you could have missed seeing Millionaire at some point, and Regis is all but a household name these days. Millionaire 2nd Edition follows the format of the show, and even pulls out some surprisingly good adaptations for basically being a one-person game.

First, the format of questions and the ladder up to The Million is identical, and all the lifelines are present in the GBC version. 50/50 works as you'd expect, and 'Ask The Audience' gives you just percentages instead of a bar graph and percentages. Just like on T.V., the audience is rarely wrong. 'Phone A Friend' is pretty cool. When you choose this option, all the comments are printed at the bottom of the screen instead of spoken, but the idea is that one of several characters comes on the line to help out. Within the time limit, they give an answer, and you have to judge whether or not to trust them by how confident they seem. It's a pretty cool way to include this, but after you do the 'Phone A Friend' lifeline more than a few times, you've pretty much seen all possible responses.

Once you've used up all your lifelines, pressing the 'Select' button lets you walk away, taking whatever money you've earned up to that point. Millionaire 2nd Edition makes you realize how tough it must be for real contestants not to guess on answers, and I found myself staring at a $1,000 check more than a few times because I just had to guess! The option to play with some friends is fairly inventive, also. Instead of the traditional 'Fastest Finger' competition, Millionaire 2nd Edition lets you and up to 3 friends take turns looking at four answers to a question, requiring you to punch-in when you see the answers in the correct order. Whoever gets it right in the fastest time wins, and is off to The Hot Seat. Again, a smart adjustment to the GBC.


Difficulty:

Millionaire 2nd Edition includes some wacky questions across different topics, but they feel about as hard as what you expect from the show. The only thing that bummed me out a little was how many times I saw duplicate questions! I know there can only be so many questions at any one level, but especially in the $100-$1,000 range, you'll notice the same questions coming up again and again. By the time you've played Millionaire 2nd Edition very often, you'll likely win on memory alone.

Game Mechanics:

You won't need lightning reflexes to win this game - a lot of trivia jammed into your noggin will get you further. Basically, when questions come on the screen, you move the highlighted bar down to your answer and press the (A) button. Sometimes, Regis pulls out the 'Final Answer' thing, and you just hit (A) again if you're certain, or choose another option. When it's time to walk away, the (B) button confirms the decision. Other than that, the trick is really to make strategic use of your lifelines, and take everything you get from the lifelines with a grain of salt. Once you reach those threshold levels of $1,000 and $32,000, you can't fall below them, but it's important to know when to walk away.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire 2nd Edition for Game Boy Color isn't a revolution, but a very good translation of the hit T.V. show. It will definitely wear thin once you start seeing the same questions come up, but you'll be thrilled at your virtual million the first time you win, and at the very least this will kill the time when Millionaire takes a commercial break and you just can't do without Regis.


-Fridtjof, GameVortex Communications
AKA Matt Paddock

GameBoy Color/Pocket Frogger 2: Swampy's Revenge GameBoy Color/Pocket Championship Motocross 2001 Featuring Ricky Carmichael

 
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