The Price is Right
Come on down! You're the next contestant on The Price is Right! One of the oldest televised gameshows still in production today, The Price is Right has seen several dozen seasons in the United States and is broadcast in almost as many countries. That's a whole lot of people sitting in their living room trying to guess the price of a wine rack with removable shelves. Now, developer Ludia is bringing the same formula to the casual gaming realm, dropping you front row center as one of the contestants!
The Price is Right is a gameshow centered around guessing the prices of various retail items. From paper towels to dinnerware to cars, you'll come across a huge variety of things, some easier to peg than others. Each game begins with a showdown between you and three other contestants (computer-controlled in single player mode, but you can get some friends in on the fun, too!). A fully-voiced announcer describes each product in detail along with a short video clip from the television show. Then, enter your guess for the item's retail value. The contestant who comes closest without going over wins and earns the chance to win even more money.
After the price war is over, you'll participate in one of nearly two dozen minigames culled from the gameshow. Cliffhanger is here (you know, the yodeling hiker guy), along with Master Key, Range Game, Hole in One (or Two), and yes, Plinko! Each game is a variation on the price guessing theme, and the possible winnings vary with the level of difficulty. After completing one of the games, winners will move on to the Showcase Showdown, spinning the famous wheel just before the final competition begins.
Analysis: I'll admit, The Price is Right does command a bit of nostalgia for me, as it seems the show was always on TV in the background of my youth. Part of the reason this game is so fun is because it captures the show so well, only now you can actually participate instead of just yelling at the screen. My first few minutes playing taught me something very important: apparently I'm terrible at guessing prices.
Presentation wise, The Price is Right gets the job done, but sometimes I shudder at the blocky, lifeless models that make up the contestants. And the audience is frightfully repetitive. Just how many people decided to wear yellow t-shirts that day? These are only cosmetic annoyances, however, and don't affect the gameplay one bit. It sure would have been some sweet icing on the cake, though...
Even though I could never verify it, the true "randomness" of some of these games seems in question. For example, when playing Plinko, the first two chips I dropped scored a perfect $10,000. Ever see that happen on the show? And I almost strangled my monitor when contestant after contestant would beat my high 80-90 score on the wheel with a single "lucky" 95. Come on!!!
So how will this game fare to those unfamiliar with The Price is Right world? You probably won't feel that same sense of excitement as you "come on down", but the challenge is certainly there, and the mini-game variety is impressive (unless price guessing isn't your thing). Unfortunately the demo is quite short, allowing you just 30 minutes to try before you buy. But if you enjoy things from the outset, the game does nothing but get better and better as the hours fly by.
Despite a slightly lacking presentation, The Price is Right game manages to capture the thrills of the television gameshow remarkably well. Each game is unique, and multiplayer is a great excuse to gather the family around the computer. As you score higher and higher in the main game, you'll also unlock the ability to play any of the mini-games right from the title screen. Who could possibly say no to playing The Price is Right games at your leisure?
Great alone, great with a friend, great with the kids, great with your wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend. The Price is Right is just... fun. Loads and loads of pure fun.