Deal or No Deal Review
Deal or No Deal box art
System: Wii, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Zoo Digital 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Destination Software 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Jan. 13, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

In the actual game show, the trick is to push the envelope until you get a reasonably high dollar amount before you hit the button and settle for a nice fat check – even if its not a million bucks. The problem with Deal or No Deal on the Wii is there’s no real financial risk involved, so there’s not really much incentive to take a deal (which prematurely ends the game). The title could have easily been cropped to simply read No Deal, since there’s little reason to ever choose the alternative option. You might end up with $200 bucks instead of a million, but it’s no biggie. Though the thrill of the risk just isn’t there, that doesn’t mean the game isn’t reasonably entertaining.

Deal or No Deal screenshot

The game does a steady job of emulating the feel and presentation of the show. It’s not graphically stunning, yet the set is all there, the gals wear matching formal wear, the audience is very responsive, and the virtual Howie himself is well-composed. He lends his voice work to the title, with ample clips that sound like they were pulled directly from the program itself. The music ebbs and flows with tense anticipation, and the crowd cheers or groans appropriately. Contestants play as their Miis, which is a nice addition. Your Mii character is very emotive and visually changes expressions and actions to correspond with how well or how poorly you’re doing.

As for the gameplay, Deal or No Deal is about as straightforward as the show; you just have to point with the Wii Remote to make your selection and hit the A button. That’s it. Being able to skip through each little scene is handy. In addition to the main TV show-style mode, you can also play several challenge modes that add subtle twists to the gameplay. Variety Ladder lets you play a series of matches with rule changes that offer you double or nothing, double the dollar value, and give you increased opportunities to earn a cool million, among other adjustments. You can also play Risky Business, which has your putting all of your winnings on the line to play another game for cumulative earnings. Banker’s Challenge lets you play as the banker. It’s pretty boring watching the computer play and then making minor changes to the dollar amounts. Unlockable achievement awards provide some incentive to experiment with repeat play sessions, and several mini-games offer minor multiplayer opportunities.

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Though they still look and play like the main game, the different play modes save the package from being a total bust. Deal or No Deal is fun to watch on TV, but with no trivia questions to answer or real money to put on the line, it amounts to being as much fun as a scratch ticket – one where you don’t get to keep your earnings even if you do win. Casual players who absolutely love the show will find some enjoyment in the game. However, players seeking even a nominal challenge will want to look elsewhere for their entertainment.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Staff Coordinator

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.4
Graphics
A solid representation of the show, even if it’s not particularly stunning.
3.5
Control
Point at the screen and hit a single button. It is what it is.
4.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Nice voice work, crowd participation, and mood intensifying music.
3.0

Play Value
A few play modes add some variety, but it’s just not particularly challenging. The fun is fleeting.

3.2
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • A fun and cinematic recreation of the television show. Features the voice of Howie Mandel and allows you to play game after game.
  • Tired of playing random episodes? Want to bring a friend along? Interested in trying your hand as the banker? Custom games are for you. Up to four players can compete and contestants or against them as the banker.
  • Use any of your custom created Mii characters in the game! Profiles will be saved to your Mii, so play again and again to unlock each award.
  • Try your hand at Banker's challenge, Variety Ladder, or Risky Business for a change of pace. Play as series of games to accomplish specific goals - like being a stingy banker or a greedy contestant.
  • Unlock over 20 awards! Each shows up in the "My Estate" screen where you can view them anytime.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Deal or No Deal screenshot - click to enlarge Deal or No Deal screenshot - click to enlarge Deal or No Deal screenshot - click to enlarge Deal or No Deal screenshot - click to enlarge Deal or No Deal screenshot - click to enlarge Deal or No Deal screenshot - click to enlarge

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