The Who Wants to be a Millionaire? franchise has proved itself to have considerable staying power, despite originating as a simple television game show. First airing in the UK in 1998, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? has since been broadcasted in more than one hundred countries worldwide and benefited from numerous best selling board game and videogame adaptations. The latest product to bear the name, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Special Editions, is available now as a downloadable title on Xbox LIVE Arcade and PlayStation Network.
Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Special Editions offers the videogame you would expect. A direct adaptation of the television game show, players must answer fifteen questions in order to reach the million pound grand prize. Along the way players have the option to use up to three lifelines based on the same equivalent of those included in the game show, but of course offering a simple virtual adaptation. There is no time limit for answering the questions, meaning the single player game can be quite a lifeless experience. Thankfully, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Special Editions has been adapted to allow for multiple players in competition.
Up to four players can join any game with either a single control pad passed between, or a control pad per player. The game begins with an arrangement question much like that of the original television game show, however instead of eliminating contestants here in Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Special Editions it simply arranges the order of the players’ turns.
While Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Special Editions is a pleasant and enduring presentation by itself, the option for downloadable content (DLC) packs promises to extend the life of the videogame considerably. Two DLC packs are available already, with more likely to follow. The much touted South Park DLC pack readdresses much of the videogame’s presentation, from the audience and contestant avatars to the question selection. The Movie DLC pack simply offers a new selection of questions themed specifically on the Hollywood motion picture industry. These DLC additions can be selected from the “Special Editions” option on the main menu, with room for plenty more to be added at a later date.
The presentation of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Special Editions is fairly run of the mill, with an avatar clearly intended to be similar to that of BUZZ!’s Buzz. There’s little to distinguish Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Special Editions from other quiz videogames, and that’s more than likely the development team’s intent: while many rival quiz videogames are available at retail for £20 or more, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Special Editions can be downloaded for just 800 Microsoft Points or £7.99 GBP via Xbox LIVE Arcade or PlayStation Network respectively. It’s a comparison that works heavily in Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Special Editions’ favour, as developers doublesix have packed just as much content into the downloadable package as many have done on their more expensive retail products. Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Special Editions may not set the videogame world on fire, but for a family quiz night this holiday season, you’d be hard pressed to find a better alternative.