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Still flawed after all these years
on 3 January 2006
You'd have thought after all these years, and at the third attempt, they'd have ironed out the niggles with interactive DVDs such as this one. But, no.
Unless you play this in a PC, which almost certainly defeats the object of the game as one for family participation, it is very slow and clunky. Worse, on some players, not necessarily the oldest or cheapest, it is prone to sticking, and there's no remedy other than to eject or power off. The sight of Chris Tarrant's crumpled face frozen permanently is not a pretty one.
On to the game itself, which up to four people or teams can play. The choice of adult or junior questions is a good idea, but beware, the junior ones are not all that easy - in our "test drive" tricky questions on children's TV programmes and, in one case, Latin words, came up. On the adult side some questions up to £1,000 seemed trickier than on the real show, and up to £32,000 definitely so, and had a high proportion of questions on movies (OK if you're a film buff, but not otherwise). Beyond £32K all the questions are picture ones, and I actually found these easier, so once beyond the second "guaranteed" level the chances are that I make the virtual million. Although there are 1500 questions available we found that they started to be repeated after two completed games (about 50 questions).
The "lifelines" are distinctly less helpful than on the real thing. The audience tend to be evenly split most of the time, the 50-50 leaves the two most likely answers, and the "phone a friend" gives a choice of three people, two of which are usually children.
It did admitedly keep the family amused for a couple of hours one afternoon during the festive season, but I sense that we will quickly become frustrated with the slowness of the game, and will equally quickly run out of a decent sequence of previously unseen questions.