Deal or No Deal (Nintendo DS) - Review by Andrew
Game Shows are big business on the DS this Christmas and the phenomenally successful Deal of No Deal joins the likes of Who Wants to be a Millionaire and Telly addicts (also hosted by Noel Edmonds). The reason for this is simple: they are relatively easy to produce and instantly recognizable by your average casual gamer. The big drawback has always been the lack of questions and although the majority are initially enjoyable thy can become repetitive after only a handful of games. This is what separates Deal or no Deal because there are no questions, only numbers, meaning the potential enjoyment should be endless with each game different from the last but is it?
For those of you who've been living under a rock for a few years Deal or no Deal is a quiz show all about winning money (no surprise there) although unlike other shows where the outcome is completely random the player does have some control thanks to the odds system. You start out with 22 boxes half of which are blue numbers (lower value) and the other half red (higher value up to Ã‚Â£250,000) At the beginning of the show you select a box which stays with you throughout the duration of the game. It's then up to you to eliminate boxes hoping that they contain the blue numbers with the final box containing you prize (i.e. the amount of money you go home with. Occasionally an all powerful 'banker' will phone the studio with an offer and this is where the 'odds' system comes in and the closer you are getting to the top prize the more the banker will tempt you with, to which you will reply 'Deal or No Deal'. Got that? Good.
Because the main game can be over in a matter of five minutes or so the developers have done their 'best' to lengthen the amount of time you play by adding two new modes. The first of these is the self explanatory Banker Mode where you must take the place of the all-powerful one attempting to divert the contestant from the top prize. There's also a Forfeit Mode but this is such nonsense I can hardly bring myself to explain it.
You guessed it, it's all touch screen but given that the US has also been blessed with a GBA version it could easily have been played with more traditional controls.
If you happen to have stumbled across the US version of this game the developers have actually spent some time on it. 3D visuals, FMV and overall appealing presentation. Don't expect that here though as this UK version is ugly from the very start featuring some of the worst visuals you are ever likely to se. We're not even sure that is Noel Edmonds
The sound effects are very sparse indeed and apart from some 'haunting' organ music, the odd telephone ringing and some rather odd up tempo music, it has to be one of the quietest game shows ever. Don't expect any mutterings from Noel either as he only speaks in text.
Tap one box, then another, then another, then another....
If you are a fan of the TV show then the best I can say is that the bare bones of the show are here well hidden behind some of the ugliest visuals ever seen on a handheld console. The gameplay is (in theory) endless but like WWTBAM it does lose its appeal once you've won the main prize, which by a stroke of luck we managed to achieve on our very first go. The developers have tried to beef things up a little with the Bankers and Forfeit modes but by the time you get to these you are more likely to have turned your DS off and started watching the TV show instead. It's a case of too little too late. This is a terrible effort which should never have made it past the test stage.
Pro: There Are No Bugs.
Con: Awful Visuals and Presentation.
Final score: 2