|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 theres no real financial risk involved, so theres 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 theres little reason to ever choose the alternative option. You might end up with $200 bucks instead of a million, but its no biggie. Though the thrill of the risk just isnt there, that doesnt mean the game isnt reasonably entertaining.
The game does a steady job of emulating the feel and presentation of the show. Its 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 youre 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. Thats 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. Bankers Challenge lets you play as the banker. Its 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.
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 dont 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.
CCC Staff Coordinator