Come on down! I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many episodes of The Price Is Right I’ve seen over my lifetime. Whether it’s Bob Barker or Drew Carey, I’m there at 11:00AM every day, eating lunch while I bid on prices and play games that I have no investment in and have no chance of winning. Still, oh, I love watching the show! And when I fired up The Price Is Right game for the first time and heard that signature music, how my smile did widen. So is the new The Price Is Right casual game as awesome as winning a Dodge Viper or is it as frustrating as someone outbidding you by one dollar for the win?
The Price Is Right is a casual game unlike any other, as there aren’t any things to match up, pop, drag, find, or any other casual game genre mechanic that you can think of. In fact, much like the real game, though there is some strategy and deductive reasoning involved, a good portion of The Price Is Right is still all about luck.
The Price Is Right can be played as a solo game or either a two, three, or four person multiplayer party game. You start by picking one of four characters, ranging from an old lady to a Army officer. After picking your character avatar and naming them, you are suddenly whisked away to Contestant’s Row to bid on your first prize. Much like the real game, you’ll be shown a product and have the game’s announcer â€“ the actual announcer of The Real Price is Right might I add â€“ describe the item. Not only do you have the real announcer talking about the prize, but also there is actually full-motion video of the real models showing-off real items. The object is to bid on the product and get as close as you can to it without going over, hoping that out of the four contestants you are the closest without going over. If you are the winner you win the prize and get its monetary value added to your High Score ranking. If you aren’t the winner of this round, however, you get the first of your three strikes.
During play there are two chances to earn strikes â€“ during Contestant’s Row and the Showcase Showdown where you spin the wheel. If you lose either round then you get a strike, and once you’ve got three strikes your game is over, your monetary score is totaled up, and then you’re given your ranking. The object of the game is trying to survive as long as you can, making as much money as you can before you get those three strikes.
Whether you win or lose the Contestant’s Row round, you’ll automatically find yourself playing a pricing game, which will be one of sixteen games pulled straight from the show. You’ll play games like Plinko, Cliffhangers, Punch A Bunch, and many, many others. You’ll have to guess the prices of items and be within two bucks of the actual price, drop Plinko chips, putt golf balls, punch holes for money, and other such games that anyone should be pretty familiar with if you’ve seen even at least a week’s worth of episodes in your life.
As it turns out, when it comes to playing these games for real and not merely watching on television, I suck pretty bad. The problem is, however, is that it seems as if the prices are way off and are nowhere near the price they really are in real life. I’ve seen The Price Is Right enough to know some prices pretty well, but when it came to bidding on some of these prices or trying to win a game, I was often way off, sometimes by several hundred dollars (or a few bucks during the pricing games). For instance, while trying to come within two dollars of the actual price of a collection of products, I was off by seven or eight dollars when I really thought I was pretty close. Thankfully, when it comes to the pricing games, no matter if you win or lose it won’t cost you a strike.
After your pricing game you’ll then head to the Showcase Showdown to spin the wheel, trying to get as close to a dollar without going over. You’ll be placed in one of three positions, with the final slot having the best chance of winning and moving on to the final round. To spin the wheel you’ll click on it with your mouse and then quickly drag down and let go of your left mouse button, causing it to spin as fast and many times as the effort you put in. The wheel sounds just like the actual one, though the physics behind the wheel aren’t even close at all. When the arrow of the spinner is close to either sticking in its current amount or flipping over to the next, for instance, in reality it will most of the time hang and dangle right there on the border; in the game, however, having the arrow slow to a crawl on the boundary between the two spin amounts will often result in a springboard motion, causing the arrow to spin backwards, which just doesn’t happen in real life on the game.
In the final round you’ll be shown a showcase of prizes, once again being demonstrated with actual video. Depending on whether you like the package or not, you can either bid or pass it along to the other player to see what the second package is. After seeing your prize package, you’ll then bid and hope you come closest so that you can add the amount to your bank total.
The Price Is Right game does a great job of replicating the experience of watching or playing the real show, but sadly it’s duller than one would expect or hope. Part of the problem with the game is that not all of the dialogue can be skipped, meaning you’ll often have to sit there for a few seconds listening to the announcer describe the things you’ll be bidding on. Sure, the same thing happens in the real game, but at least when watching it on television you have a great host to keep you entertained and not so focused on the fact that you’re looking at an hour-long commercial for a wide variety of products. When it comes to the game, however, and you hear the announcer talk about Suave or some other product, deep down you know that you’re watching an in-game advertising. Another problem is that I often only wanted to play the pricing games, but you can’t and instead must play everything in the proper order and how the designers wanted the game to be experienced.
Graphically The Price Is Right isn’t bad, as the games look great and spot-on, and the actual video is really cool to see. The in-game characters and animated crowd, however, are far from great looking, and the animations of characters are super exaggerated and choppy. In terms of audio the game is pitch-perfect, no matter if you’re listening to a Plinko chip drop, watching a yodeler climb to their death, or hearing the beeps of the wheel spinning around and around.
The Price Is Right isn’t a great game, but it is pretty good, and fans of the show should really dig the game for the most part. If you absolutely despise the real game, however, there probably won’t be anything here to change your opinion or make you a fan.