Review by JakeFirst24

"I've seen weaker links..."

The Weakest Link is based on a once popular TV show of the same name. In it, contestants work together against a clock to build up a pyramid of money (which the eventual winner gets) by answering questions. The more questions answered correctly in a row, the higher the money pyramid gets. However, if at any time a player gets a question wrong, the pyramid starts over at the bottom. To keep that from happening, players can, before they have heard the entire question posed to them, “bank” the money. This starts the money pyramid over, but also saves the money and keeps it for the eventual winner.

The twist is that at the end of each round, a player is voted off. Most times it is the “weakest link” in the pyramid chain (i.e., the person who got the most questions incorrect). In the final round, two contestants go head-to-head and answer 5 questions. The player that answers the most correctly wins all of the banked money. Seems like a perfectly good way to begin backstabbing your friends for helping you build up a lot of cash.

You begin by choosing a game difficulty. There are three choices:

1)Easy mode: Every question is either true or false or it is multiple choice, but only has two answers to choose from.

2)Medium mode: Same as easy mode, only there are now four possible answers to choose from instead of just two.

3)Hard mode: Same as medium mode, except now all four of the choices only show you the first letter in the correct answer. For example, if the answer were “Albert Einstein,” then the correct answer choice would be “A.” If you wait several seconds, the rest of the letters to each answer show up, but that costs you time. The other players don't like having their time to build up the money pyramid wasted on you.

Next you choose one of about 30 people to play as. They each have their own jobs and “personalities,” but it really doesn't make any difference whom you play as. You then choose six other contestants to play against. You can also choose at this time how many human players will play. Honestly, the more you have, the better.

Playing is easy. On your turn you have a few moments before you must decide if you want to “bank” the money or not. After a couple of seconds, the option disappears. Other than that, you simply press the button the controller that corresponds the answer you would like to give. It's that simple. Keep in mind that the questions must be read by yourself; the host doesn't read the questions to you like she does in real life.

After the round is over, you are asked which player you want to try to vote out of the game. Again, you simply choose the button that corresponds to the name of the player you want gone. And votes are then tallied and the contestant with the most votes has to leave. At this point, you can watch the contestant slowly walk off of the set, with their head down in shame. There is a narration by the contestant about their performance (generally explaining about how that person didn't believe he/she should have been kicked off). What's truly great about this moment, though, is that any human player can press a button that causes the audience to laugh while the contestant is leaving.

Of course, the host berates the contestant before he/she leaves, and you can press the “laughing” button while the host is hammering the contestant. It's great. It does lose its luster after a while, but it is a nice touch that the game designers added.

However, the one player experience is not as good as the multi-player experience. It isn't quite the same feeling to vote your friend off, as it is to vote an unknown computer player. You also lose the sense of working together, as the computer will bank at odd times and generally tick you off with their stupidity. Problem is, even though you may finish as the strongest link in several rounds, the computer will gang up and vote you off as soon as you miss a question. At least with some human players, you can gang up on the computer just as much as it gangs up on you.

--- Bottom Line ---

The game plays very similarly to the real life game show. There is a real difference in difficulty levels, not so much in how the AI plays the game, but in how difficult it becomes to answer the questions. The graphics are nothing to write home about, and you are stuck playing as some unknown, uninteresting participant. The controls are simple and work very well. The gameplay is easy to follow, but the AI can be brutal. It will gang up and vote off human players as soon as it sees a human player make a mistake. The game is much more fun with a bunch of friends playing, but it isn't too bad as a single player game, either.

The Weakest Link is definitely not the weakest link. Goodbye.


Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 07/02/07

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