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|Kevin Krock, editor|
This sequel is a faithful attempt at reproducing the feel of the television show. You flow between the contestant chair and different camera angles looking at the full stage. One annoying feature is that the transition between questions is lengthy and are fairly repetitive. I played several games and became frustrated that there is no way to skip past them and speed up the pace of the game.
Regis does several voiceovers for the game. Although he does not actually ask the questions posed, his low-key interaction is pretty faithfully reproduced. Unfortunately, there is a fairly limited amount of banter so the things he says grow old quickly.
The three lifelines are well done, especially given the challenges inherent in a standalone game. After all, how do you call a friend from the game? Instead, you call one of Regis's eclectic collection of friends. Just beware - the answer you are given may or may not be right. The 50 / 50 is straightforward, while polling the audience will give you actual results from test audiences.
The two-player option tries to reproduce the elimination round of the TV show where the fastest finger is successful. My wife and I tried it and found ourselves against a question that neither of us could answer correctly. The game looped on the same question five times as we each tried to find the right combination. We finally gave up and restarted the game. A nice feature would have been to give three or four attempts then automatically switch to a new question.
One of the problems that kills the longevity of a trivia game is the limited pool of questions. Eventually, you start seeing the same questions repeat. Millionaire 3rd Edition attempts to solve this by offering question sets that can be downloaded. Unfortunately, rather than adding 15 new questions into the general pool of questions, you have to play each downloaded set as a standalone game. This is made worse by the clunky download and install process.
Successfully winning the grand prize is a bit of a letdown: all you get are some praise from Regis and a check in your name on the screen. There were no special graphics, rewards, or other benefits for succeeding. You don't even get a real check. (I can dream!)
The Final Evaluation
The only new feature in the third edition is the downloadable question sets. While their inclusion is an admirable attempt at maintaining longterm appeal for the game, their poor implementation negates much of the advantage gained.
Die-hard fans of the show and those who have not played the first two editions will find the game enjoyable. Those looking for a general trivia game will find it an acceptable offering but won't rave about this title. The developer of the third edition is Jellyvision, the same company that produces You Don't Know Jack. When compared side by side, Millionaire 3rd Edition just does not compare.
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