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Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?-2nd Ed.

by Kristopher H.

So, who wants to be a millionaire?? This Wednesday night ABC craze has filtered into the world of computer gaming yet again with a much demanded second edition. Co-Created by JellyVision, (known for their games "That's all Jack" and "You don't know Jack") Millionaire 2nd Edition has enhanced the number and types of questions one is asked, as well as the characters Regis talks to when one uses the 'phone a friend' lifeline.

Well, whatever they've done, I still say it's a cheap form of entertainment and no different than two other prime time money grabbing spectacles. At any rate its here and people love it.

In gaming terms it's pretty simple -which is a main attraction in itself. Visually appealing, the graphics and animations are smooth and resemble the show itself, right down to the rotating zoom-in of the chairs and display screens - would the world have it any other way?? Come to think of it I can't complain about the graphics at all. The audio in the game is also quite good. The theme music plays in the background as you rack your brain trying to think of answers and having to ignore the ranting of Regis as he tells you to hurry up or take a lifeline. Even the people Regis calls for the 'phone a friend' lifeline have the unmistakable phone speaker quality to them. Just try not to get startled when you make your choice and hear the BA-BOOM of the game accepting your selection (and ignoring any last minute 'DOH's!!').

As I said before the game is quite simple. You control it by making selections via the keyboard, and listening for your next question or instruction. Even at the beginning of the game there is brief walk through provided by Regis. The only controls you have for manipulating the game environment are the volume controls - I don't know what else you would need as even this seems like too much. When the game starts you can choose single or multi-player,

'graphics and animations are smooth and resemble the show itself, right down to the rotating zoom-in of the chairs...'

which only adds the "Quick Finger Question" before reverting to a conventional single player game. The Quick Finger Round involves 2 or more people hitting a letter when they see the correct line up of answers on the screen - the letter with the fastest time is the winner. Simple. The winner then goes on to play for the big bucks starting at a 100 bucks. In the 30 seconds given you have to answer a question you have a few choices. You can either select an answer yourself, or choose to use a lifeline, unless you have used them all up in which case you can walk away with what you have won thus far. The lifelines - like the show - are 50/50, 'ask the audience' and 'phone a friend'.

"Phone a friend" is where the game gets a little interesting since it's actually Regis' friends who are called for help and there are quite a few different personalities among them. All of the friends have a brief and occasionally comical dialogue with the Millionaire host and then delve into the question at hand. This is entertaining simply because these 'friends' actually talk about the question at hand-not just quickly quipping about something irrelevant and then giving an answer. And the answers they do give are usually correct. Although that changes the closer to a 1,000,000 bucks you are - I've never been able to get that far… ok stop laughing! I must say though I'm surprised and disappointed that Rosie (O'Donnell) wasn't used as a friend!! Hmph!

Now as good and simple as the game maybe I have two problems with it. Firstly, when you select an answer you have to wait a little while as the drums are rolling before one is told if the given answer is right or wrong. I find this very annoying - although hard core 'Millionairies' (my word!!) might get an orgasmic rush. The other negative point I MUST make is how sarcastic Regis is. If you are taking your time to select an answer he starts to whine and tell you to hurry up. And when you start the game and leave for a quick cup of java upon your return, he'll be yelling at you to pick a game and if you don't do it in time the program turns off.

Lastly, maybe I'm a sore loser, but he'll make fun of you if you lose the game quickly with anything less than a $1000! As funny as some of these sayings can be I still find it annoying and quite unfriendly - which is the total opposite of what Regis projects on tv.

In conclusion (whew thought I'd never be done) I rate this game at a healthy 73.58 percent - why 3.58? Well because I like Regis (*poke* - bu bye KathyLee!!!) So if you like the show and testing your knowledge about (mostly American) trivia, then this game's for you.

And that's my final answer!!! (Come on like you didn't see that coming…!?)


'phone a friend' characters are neat

pretty close to reproducing the tv-show feel.

Regis can be a pain in the ass