Ah Primetime, the mythical beast few thought would survive being a Microsoft vision is finally on its way to becoming a reality with public trails staring this past week in Canada. Being lucky enough to live in the frozen north I decided to crawl out of the igloo, thaw out the controller and give it a try.
Logging on Friday night, about five minutes before the live show began; I was prompted to select my privacy level. Public if I want to be the One or the Mob or Private if I only want to play in the crowd and keep hidden. A nice feature for children or recluses, but if you want to actually win prizes, Public is the only way to go. Following that I was tossed into a lobby with three random gamers where we killed time performing silly dance moves and listening to Chris Cashman’s live commentary while we waited for the game to begin.
It was hard to know what to expect from Cashman as this is the first time we’ve really had live commentary in a game, but he was entertaining and being able to interact via email really help meld everything together. The only downside was the obvious lack of coordination between Cashman and the guys running the show as he was regularly cut off mid sentence by a commercial break or the start of a new round. Would it really be that hard to just let him finish his sentence as the scene changes rather than cutting him off?
As the clock ticked over to 10:00 the game began and we were assigned our seats. I was in the crowd, but I could’ve just as easily been put in the mob or been the one. That’s the nice thing about Primetime, anyone can be a contender and the better you do in the crowd, the better your odds of being on the show. For the sake of fairness players are limited to being the One once per season and being in the Mob once per episode.
Gameplay itself is dog simple. A question is asked, three answers displayed, choose an answer and hope you get it right. If you’re the One you’ll also have the option to use help to get your answer from the mob, the crowd or the player with the highest score. Mob members are removed when they get a question wrong and for every 10 removed the pot of Microsoft points increases.