The Price is Right, the famous TV game show which has been around since 1956, is something that would seem to be a natural fit on the Nintendo Wii. The system is aimed at the more amateur gamers out there and allows more physicality when playing the game. That means that you can spin the Showcase Showdown wheel with a flick of a wrist (fun) and position your Plinko chip just so. Once you dig a little deeper however you will find a game that is brought to its knees by a million minor wounds.
Instead of creating an atmosphere in which you can just kick back and enjoy yourself this version (2010) will have you constantly questioning the intelligence that went into making it. Why, exactly, is Drew Carey left to languish on the sidelines (he shows up in a few video clips and that is it) and how did they manage such a dull multiplayer mode? One assumes that this game, at least as it was intended, would work best as a party game though it is tough to conjure an image of a party so dull that it would warrant this type of response.
The game offers you a few options of how to play and none of them are terribly enticing. Our favorite is the 3 strikes mode, a single player option wherein you play through as many episodes as you can before failing three times. At least there you are working towards something, the unlocking of the video clips although that is marred by the fact that they are the exact same clips that were used in the 2009 version. Certainly they could have dug a little deeper into their archive and found a few more clips worthy of another look but it appears as though laziness won out in this case. To their credit they were able to add 14 new games since last year.
The party mode, which should have been their main attraction, can include up to four players (though you need a controller for each of them) but feels like an empty experience as there is no higher point than just winning each round as it comes up. Their newly buffed up game selection includes pretty much all of their classics such as Cliff Hanger, Hole in One and Safe Cracker. The controls, as always with the Wii, are hit and miss.
Things such as spinning the wheel are a natural fit and very satisfying while other games will have you stumbling all over yourself in an attempt to perform the most pedestrian of tasks. Of course with time those tasks become easier but one is left to wonder why they were made so difficult in the first place. Also, from the small potatoes department, it is worth mentioning that the load times between games, a universal reality for all systems, seems to be unusually long.
Seemingly the ideal person to market this game to would be somebody who is a fan of the show. Who hasn’t sat captivated in front of the show and wondered how they would do if given the shot? And when you think about it the show is only on for five hours each week. . .what to do if you need your fix at 3am? Well you could pick up this game and it would do an adequate job of being a diversion, a time waster, something you can plop down in front of all have a mindlessly good time for an hour. And we all know that it is possible to punch a bunch of criticisms through any piece of art this one leaves itself vulnerable to a rather damning one. Namely, that the experience is so tedious that those viewers who would probably derive the most joy from a Price is Right video game will probably steer clear and stick with the old fashioned alternative.
Format: Nintendo Wii