Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Is it a deal?

Above: The conclusion of the "Deal Or No Deal" season finale with Celine Dion. It was the season finale for a good reason.

"Deal Or No Deal: The DVD Game" (Imagination Entertainment): Call it whatever names you want, but we're big fans of NBC's "Deal Or No Deal." It's simple, unbridled fun.
So when we saw this DVD game version in the store, we had to try it. And it's not perfect, but it's not bad, either.
The disc opens with several copyright screens. Gee, one is enough, guys!. The opening graphics do a good job of imitating the opening of the show. And, of course, there's Howie Mandel introducing the game and heading out to the stage where you see the audience (a real one) is seated. The 26 gorgeous models march down the stairs. (Some people will think this game might be worth it just for that alone!)
So let's get to the game. As in the TV show, you pick your case. But here's the biggest drawback. Instead of having all the numbers up on a wall or in the hands of the models, each case is shown one at a time and players must scroll to both the one they choose to hold onto and the ones they choose to eliminate using their DVD controller.
This becomes very time consuming and tedious. So don't expect a lightning round.
As in the TV show, after eliminating the cases Howie asks for, the banker calls and gives Howie his "deal or no deal" amount to get you to take the money and run.
This continues, of course, until you either take the deal or get down to the last two cases.
Howie's comments don't seem to vary much no matter whether you have a lot of money left on the board or just a little. Too bad. This would have made the game even better. Even at the end, his acknowledgement of how much you've won appears to have been written for whatever amount, big or small, you've made.
Another minor criticism: When the cases are opened, it's the same model that opens each one (who's seen from the shoulders down), but ...
But if you like the show, it's not a bad game. For one thing, it has a two-player option the TV show doesn't have. It could have been better, though.
Oh, by the way, the very first time we played the DVD game, we won the $1,000,000. There were no fireworks and special effects.

And here's something interesting. We've all seen the U.S. version. Below is a clip of an abbreviated version of the British version of "Deal Or No Deal." It's paced quite a bit differently.

An abbreviated look at the British edition of "Deal Or No Deal". Quite a bit different in pacing than the American version.