TV Show King
- Developer: Gameloft
- Wii Points: 1000
- In Real Money: GBP 7 / EUR 10 approx
How many people will download this expecting it to be a quiz show about their favourite telly programmes? That was my assumption, and it was only after a few rounds of generic general knowledge questions that my torpid brain finally twigged that the name comes from the fact that you're supposedly taking part in a TV quiz show, not a quiz show about TV.
Easily digestible quiz games have been a key weapon in the casual gaming war on the PlayStation and Xbox 360, so it's surprising that it's taken this long for someone to offer up something similar for the none-more-casual Wii. Shame they didn't use this extra time to serve up something with even a fraction of the polish and variety of Scene It or the exclamation-craving Buzz!
From the cheesy host to the dolly-bird hostess, there's not an ounce of original thought or style to TV Show King, and this is reflected in the structure of the game. Questions are all lumped together - there's no connecting theme or opportunity to choose the subject matter - and you simply point at the multiple-choice answers as quickly as you can. The game doesn't even bother to spice things up much. Every now and again the host will squawk about a "special event" but that just means a normal question with a cash bonus.
There are no picture rounds, nothing beyond the same multiple-choice format over and over. Sometimes you have to use the remote to illuminate or "scratch" away the answers before clicking on them, but that's about it. It's as if they thought that Wii owners would go into shock if they weren't asked to wiggle their hands at some point, and just tacked on some waggly bits to compensate.
Between rounds you can opt to spin a prize wheel, which can either bestow extra cash prizes...or take it away. It's a random element, and one that seriously undermines the whole purpose of the quiz format. The fact that you can also steal money from other players, or be forced to hand over some of your own pot to someone else, is even more annoying. This means that even if you opt not to spin the wheel, you can still lose your money because of what someone else has done. Several times I found myself in the lead at the end of a round (because I'm awesome) only to find myself in last place for the start of the next round (because I was unlucky). Such elements turn it from a test of knowledge to a game of chance, and that's an annoying switch to force on the player.
TV Show King is a quiz game, and it features questions. That basic level of expectance is all it manages to meet, and it's horribly clear that this is simply a "make do" release, put out there to mop up an existing market with the minimum of effort.