Ubisoft’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire? is one of the newest entries into the collection of family oriented games for Nintendo’s Wii system. Due to the topical nature of many of the title’s questions, its gameplay lends itself to players both young and old. For example, my daughter knew the answer to a question about tattoo artist Ed Hardy; I had no clue. However, a question about Supreme Court Justices stumped her. We both learned something from that round.
The object of the game, as it is on the television show, is to answer 15 multiple choice questions each worth from $500 to $1,000,000. The difficulty level rises as the money grows. I made it up to $25,000 before losing, but then again, I didn’t use any of my lifelines (“Ask the Audience”, “Double Dip,” or “Call A Friend”). Perhaps if I did, I could have been the big winner!
With over 3,000 questions available, the game offers more than 20 hours of gameplay before the questions start to repeat. While 20 hours is more than enough time for a few rounds, it is not a great deal of time if you play the game regularly. I would hope that add-ons will be made available, possibly as downloads from the Wii store (for a minimal price or, better still, for free).
Before the game can start, you must choose an avatar and sign in. From there the game mimics the television show, right down to the music, lifelines, and famous query, “Is that your final answer?”
The further you progress in Millionaire, the more clothes and accessories you can accrue for your avatar. The game also features a “Party Mode” which allows up to four people to play simultaneously. However, each player must have his or her own controller to do so. This is not a serious drawback if you just want a casual game. My daughter and I shared a controller to answer alternate questions, and we had a good time playing this way. When competing, however, there is no way around the multiple controller rule, and the chance to answer goes to the player who clicks in first.
The Wii controller takes some getting used to for this game. Both my daughter and I had some difficulty making the cursor land exactly where we needed initially. After a while we got the hang of it, it just took some practice.
More disappointing are the graphics, which are not up to the quality of other games of this ilk. The avatars are cartoon-like, the colors bright and basic. It would have been nice if more attention had been paid to the artwork, especially considering the game’s $30 price tag.
These quibbles aside, the game was fun and the questions challenging enough to make this an interesting way to pass the time. If you’re a pop culture trivia enthusiast, you are sure to enjoy Who Wants to be a Millionaire?.
Who Wants to be a Millionaire? is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB for Alcohol reference, mild language, violent references.