The Price Is Right 2010 in Review – Not Quite An Easy Sell

I have hazy memories of The Price Is Right – I was but a wee child of seven or eight when this show was all the rage. It wasn’t that easy to relate to – compared to other popular game shows, TPIR is very specific when it comes to its audience. A kid growing up in the Philippines would have no idea how much an item or a showcase ought to cost, and before globalization kicked in, most of the brands and items on display were unfamiliar and “imported.” My jaw dropped at the gorgeous and creatively presented showcase items and the creativity the producers put in to make each Showcase Showdown unique.

Fast forward to 2010. What does 2010 hold for fans and newcomers to the game show? And how is it different from the original TPIR?

TPIR 2010 offers some updates and upgrades from the original TPIR for the iPhone and iPod Touch at the same price. The first thing that will grab your attention is the customizable 3D avatars that allow you to pimp your player. If you want to play multiplayer with friends, they can also choose and customize their avatars.

There are two game modes – 3 Strikes and Classic mode. Depending on your free time and inclination, either one will give you several minutes to hours of gameplay. One is the loneliest number so you might get a little restless playing solo. So far, TPIR 2010 is best enjoyed with friends.

The game plays out just like the tv show, with most of the rules and instructions following the tv format. Buoyed by Drew Carey’s perky tv show host voice, you need to pay attention so resist tapping anywhere on the screen to skip instructions. An option to re-watch or revisit the items/instructions would definitely be helpful.

While the app admirably recreates the mood of the original game show, complete with actual video clips and the creative presentations for the Showcase Showdown, the graphics and audio intensive game takes frequent breaks to load the next segment. It takes anywhere from 10 to 15 seconds in between the mini-games or game segments and once in a while, the app crashes.

TPIR’s main appeal is its collection of various mini-games from the show as well as some new additions in this version. The game features some old favorites – Big Wheel, Plinko, Spelling Bee, Check Out, Cliff Hangers, It’s In The Bag, Contestants’ Row, and the Showcase Showdown. New mini-games added in this version are the Clock Game, Golden Road, and Safe Crackers. The mini-games are fairly easy to play, but after a while, I’ve noticed that the same items pop up. If you’ve more or less memorized how much these items cost, then the challenge is lost.

The 3D graphics and animation are silky smooth, and I haven’t encountered any problems using the controls. The graphics are gorgeous on such a small real estate. The AI player isn’t infuriatingly good, so there’s still a chance to beat it. The in-between lulls while loading tend to be irritating after a while, however, and infrequent crashing will have you gnashing your teeth especially when you’ve advanced in the game.

At times, the mini-games feel loosely bound together even in such an attractive package. How can such an attractively designed and executed game not be as compelling it should be? I am ambivalent as to whether it’s a game to grab for your iDevice, with the plethora of other similar high quality games out there for the same price. Still, for the social animal in you (and if you love the actual game show), at $4.99, TPIR is a must have to share with family and friends.

App Summary
Title: The Price is Right ™ 2010Developer: Ludia
Reviewed Ver:1.0.0Min OS Req:Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
3.1.2
Price:$4.99App Size:120 MB
  • Gorgeous graphics and animation, especially the customizable avatars and in-game video clips
  • Faithful recreation of the beloved family game – a neat game to play with friends
  • Easy to use and navigate
  • Drew Carey’s voice from start to finish, just like the game show
  • Frequent in-between lulls for loading gets annoying after a while
  • App crashes/freezes because of its heavy graphics and animation
  • Loosely bound mini-games that don’t quite gel together into a compelling package
  • Frequently recurring products and items, that take out the challenge and novelty

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