Seeing as I just got this in the mail, and I just started playing with it, I decided to go ahead and do a review on it.
The game includes, besides the DVD and an instruction manual, 24 game cards: 16 answer cards (for the four choices to each question), 4 lifeline cards, and 4 "Walk Away" cards. This means up to 4 players can play, but you must have a minimum of 2.
The game play mirrors that of Seasons 3-6, with the $25,000 milestone at Question 10, $50,000 at Question 11, and $100,000 at Question 12, with no Switch the Question lifeline as was on the show.
However, there are time limits to answer the questions: 20 seconds for the first 5, 25 for the second 5, and 30 for the final 5.
Now you're thinking, "How the heck did they format this into a DVD game and how the heck do you play, John?" Well, you put down the Answer card of the choice you think is correct, face down (to discourage cheating, probably; but you're playing against other players, so they may have a different answer than you). Meredith Vieira, the host at the time and host of this game, will then reveal the correct answer and she will then ask if anyone either walked away, used a lifeline card, or answered incorrectly. Here's where those other game cards come into play:
- Lifeline cards: Unlike the Pressman board game where players had those lifeline tokens and they played them separately from the other players in a multi-player game, the first to play a Lifeline card gets to control which lifeline is used (50:50, Phone a Friend, or Ask the Audience), and that means the other players have to commit to the use of that lifeline. This really isn't fair, because one player may think it's easy for the Phone-a-Friend but not so for the Audience. And yes, 50:50's, per Meredith during her tenure, randomly take away two wrong answers. And they could be any two, not just the two you think are already wrong to begin with.
- Walk Away cards: Like any adaptation of the game, if you're stumped on a question and you don't have any more lifelines, you can choose to Walk Away. You simply put your Walk Away card face down as if you were playing an Answer card. As usual, if someone answers incorrectly, they leave with either $0, $1,000, or $25,000 depending on the level of the current question. And of course, missing a question or walking a player means that player is out the remainder of the game, leaving the remaining players to see if they can do better or not.
Out of 5 stars on scale of such, I'd have to give it 4 1/2. I am taking 1/2 off because of the Lifeline cards, because as I pointed out, only the first player to place down a Lifeline card controls the use of that particular lifeline, with no input from the other players. As I said before, one player may think a Phone-a-Friend may know the answer, but another may think the Audience may know it.