IGN Review of TV Show King Party
Nothing brings the family together quite like a good television game show, and that's the entire intention of Gameloft's first US-release on the Nintendo WiiWare channel. TV Show King is part quiz game, part Wheel of Fortune that's, obviously, a far better multiplayer game than it is a solo experience.
Gameloft's first WiiWare title is, at least on a presentation level, a pretty impressive downloadable product. TV Show King mimics the current generation of television game shows quite well (though its DJ in the booth has a more European flavor), complete with smarmy host giving players the rundown of what's happening in the game. Though he's poorly lipsynced, it's great to see the developer pour so much effort into giving the host as much of a voice as the limited space allows. Understandably, the questions don't feature any voice work.
The game show's designed in a way to involve all players at the same time: with the exception of the final round, all competitors answer every multiple choice question thrown on the screen. There's unfortunately no "buzzing in" to answer a question. But since the game uses pointer control, every player can see each person's response, which, honestly, could and will influence the other players' answers. The designers throw in strange modes where you have to scratch at the four answer areas like a lotto ticket, or highlight them with a flashlight before you can answer, but these are silly options that don't do anything to make the game any more fun.
Gameloft promises 3000 questions in TV Show King, but it doesn't look like the game remembers when a question's been already asked. The questions span a variety of subjects like entertainment, science, and history, and players can select one of three difficulty levels. Honestly, unless you want answers spoon-fed to you you're best off upping the difficulty level to the middle or high setting – the "normal" is stupidly simple because the writers don't do a very good job creating "false" answers for questions. The wrong answers are usually incredibly obvious in their incorrectness, which gives away the right answer even if you didn't know what it was.
Between rounds players have an opportunity to spin a wheel which can shift the momentum towards a loser's favor. The wheel can reward points, take them away, or give players the ability to swap scores with one another. Players can choose not to spin, but since it's fun to whip the Wii Remote to give that wheel a fling, it's hard to resist the option. The wheel is really a "great equalizer" for players who suck at trivia, giving them a chance to stay in the game.
It's definitely meant as a multiplayer experience – computer AI opponents are dumber than toast and seem to always select the most obvious wrong answer possible. There's a single player option beyond the gameshow but it's just trying to answer as many questions as you can without failing.
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