Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (PlayStation 1, 2000)
Here’s a variation on my game show memories, having a look back at some computer game and interactive DVD versions of classic game shows. First is Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, which was a really successful show when the computer game version was released, and I remember being very pleased when I got the first edition on the PlayStation 1 for Christmas one year.
If you’re one of those people who constantly shouted the answers at the screen and always said “I could do better than the contestants myself”, than this was your chance to prove it, as you could now play the game at home, although every critic in games magazines said a variation of “you do realise that you are not really playing for any money, don’t you?”.
The game was fairly good at replicating the TV version of the show which was the ultimate general knowledge challenge. You had to answer 15 successive questions correctly and you had three lifelines if you needed them. Chris Tarrant also took part but he was only heard. One thing that irritated people about the game was that you couldn’t skip Chris doing his whole “you’ve got three lifelines, here’s your next question, you don’t have to play it” routine. The terrific musical soundtrack was also present too.
I suppose that the game did increase the tension well, with Chris often saying things like “you’re going for D… are you sure?”, and they got round the problem of the Phone A Friend lifeline by recording a few conversations of Chris talking to someone which would supposedly help you out. Also when you had to ask the studio audience it was rather awkward because you couldn’t actually see one. There was also a multiplayer mode where you could take it in turns to play, or play the Fastest Finger First qualifying round to determine who played.
There was a lot of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire merchandise around at this time. As well as the PlayStation 1 game there was also a book and a board game. Because of the popularity of the computer game there were many more released, with a second version on the PlayStation 1 which corrected some of the flaws of the first game including Chris Tarrant now actually reading out the questions and a more animated studio.
There would also go on to be many more variations including a junior version of the game, and a PlayStation 2 version which featured a computer-generated version of Tarrant in vision asking you the questions, although I remember one critic saying that the animation made it look like he was trying to chew his own tongue. There were also several interactive DVD versions released.
Now that Who Wants To Be A Millionaire has ended in this country it is a surprise looking back at how popular the show was, with the first game selling very well, although some critics thought it was rather average, I did enjoy playing it. There have been lots of other game shows that have been turned into computer games and DVDs and I’ll review some more of those soon.