TV Show King (2008)

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“I’m sorry… I don’t speak Japanese.”
-Chris Farley, SNL

 

 

Remember when everyone had a Nintendo Wii? Sure you do. There’s no point in lying about it. We’ve all moved on from that relationship, but every house had one. Even grandma had one, under the pretense that it was for the grandkids when they came to visit. I’ll bet she played No More Heroes when the fam wasn’t around.

Everyone wants to just pretend like it never happened. We were all under the spell of motion controls but the inevitable breakup was one of the best things to ever happen to us. And now there’s a review like this to remind you about that bad romance!

TV Show King is a game show video game for up to four players, represented by your Miis. Beyond being a great game to show off your Michael Jackson and Arnold Schwarzenegger Miis, this game is fun to just toss on the tele on a whim and play a few rounds with your intellectual friends after the party dies down.

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It originally released as digitally downloadable WiiWare, though it’s also available on iPhone and PS3 for those who couldn’t move on. As for the Wii version, Nintendo’s all-white step into irrelevance was built on the backs of party games, emphasizing simplistic multiplayer with its skittish controls. TV Show King was no exception.

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You’ve got a few selections on the main menu. Options is pretty sparse and Records just lets you view which Miis made the most cash in previous playthroughs. I had to ask myself “What is Quiz Attack?” when putting together this review. I’d never touched it. That’s because it is a single-player all-or-nothing mode where you answer as many questions as you can correctly as the difficulty continues to rise. Your first inaccurately answered question equals a game over.

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The main draw of course is the main mode. Up to four players select their Mii and then enter the game show where the goal is to earn as much cash as they can by answering trivia questions correctly. You get to pick the length of the game show with 3, 6 or 9 rounds and you can choose from three levels of difficulty with Genius being the hardest.

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That camera man REALLY loves his job.

The game show is hosted by Jerry, a freaky eyed robot with caffeinated eyebrows and a rictus grin, and his walking mammary glands Jessica. Or was it Ashley? Angela? …Bambi? Jerry explains what’s happening during the game and Bambi just struts around waving her tiny T-Rex arms at the scoreboard.

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There are random categories for the trivia such as History & Geography, Science, and Sports… though I really wish they’d left that one out. How am I supposed to know who the first woman midget bagpipe player was in the World Series 2.5 Open of Bjornberg in 1588BC? Even if you manage to get an Entertainment question, you might be a little hard pressed to recall to mind what a certain characters’ mothers’neighbors’ hair color was from Grey’s Anatomy. And there’s not enough time on the clock to Google!

Every question is multiple choice with four possible answers. Move the Wii remote to hover over your answer and then press A to pick it. If more than one player clicks on the same correct answer then the player who selected it first gets the largest chunk of the prize money.

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Player 2… you idiot.

Between rounds of trivia, Jerry will ask you if you want to spin the wheel. This is a good idea in the first few rounds of the game show since you have more to win and less to lose, but never spin the wheel in the last rounds. The wheel is out to get you. The wheel watches you while you sleep. The wheel is every evil artificial intelligence from every movie ever. The wheel will straight shank you.

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It’s surprisingly disheartening losing cash considering you’re not really taking home $40k every time you play.

The last set of rounds try to mix things up with a scratch n’ sniff homage requiring you to reveal the answers by waving your Wii remote cursor over them. After that is a final mode where you have to find the hidden answers by shining a flashlight over them, again courtesy of the motion controls.

The two players with the most money, human or computer-controlled, will make it into the finals where there’s a standoff between the two of them. First player to answer five questions correctly wins half of their opponents money and gets to stand in first place on a pedestal. Congratulations! You won TV Show King! Now turn off your Nintendo Wii and realize that you’re still poor.

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The 8-bit Review
visual Visuals: 4/10
The graphics have aged so-so with the Miis particularly looking blander than ever. This was 2008 and far more visually interesting games were going to be released on the Wii other than TV Show King, such as Monster Hunter TriTV Show King is brightly colored and as flashy as any game show but there’s little variety to the lights and action. Worst visuals in the game have to be Jerry’s face. He looks a like reanimated corpse sometimes, his facial muscles pulling out of sequence as he tries to formulate words, grinning, always grinning. Sometimes you see it in your sleep.

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audio Audio: 5/10
Jerry’s sultry voice isn’t so bad. He’s no swooner but at least he’s got enthusiasm. The in-universe game show has one theme that plays throughout. As suspected, I didn’t find anyone on YouTube who uploaded the soundtrack from this game. You’ll just have to play the game to hear it yourself. It’s not so obnoxious that it becomes tiresome, while at the same time not being anything to write home about.

visual Gameplay: 7/10
As far as game show, this one isn’t too gimmicky. It sticks to a standard formula firmly. With only three difficulty settings and no way to change up the scratch n’ sniff and flashlight reveal modes, to say nothing of the trivia categories, the gameplay gets bland pretty fast. No one’s expected to play TV Show King for 100+ hours but playing any more than two or three rounds is going to turn it into a drag fast. That is, unless you’re playing with some really energetic and competitive friends.

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And that is when TV Show King goes for insane fun. I’ve played half a dozen games with the right people and it can be a yelling, screaming blast. It’s what you bring to the game which really makes it fun. The game itself is just a good platform for the multiplayer action but you’ve got to select the right players to invite over for some couch co-op.

multiplayer  Multiplayer: 9/10
Speaking of multiplayer, there was one time we really got into this game. And I mean really. The competitive spirit was so high, we were climbing all over the couch, running around trying to grab the other players’ controllers out of their hands so they couldn’t answer the questions correctly. Bear in mind I was in my late twenties at the time.

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Friend ender.

So it happened as we were wrestling over a Wii party game that a friend of mine got up onto my shoulders and was reaching down trying to grab my controller, when I did what I thought was the best thing I could do in that situation and threw myself backward. I ended up slamming him into the wall and his butt left an indelible impression in the dry wall. Picture proof:

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Lesson learned, NPCs. Play with fire, you get burned. Play TV Show King with best friends, you get to post the indentations of their honey-baked online, complete with dollar bill for scale.

accessibility Accessibility: 9/10
TV Show King is built with accessibility in mind, given it’s a game meant for groups at parties to play whenever the bite hits. The tutorials are short and you easily learn what to do in a few moments. If you lose all your money, it won’t be because you don’t know how to play. It’ll be because you spun the wheel like a moron.

The greatest challenges in the game come from some of the odd-ball “Genius” level questions. And you’ll inevitably hear someone bemoan: “Where’s my finger?!” Ah, those good ol’ motion controls….

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What is this? A Star Wars question? Don’t play if you’re American, because the Geography questions might as well be in another language.

replay Replayability: 6/10
To this day Tv Show King is one of my more often played Wii games, best enjoyed in small helpings. The game show itself isn’t hugely addictive and its solo mode is lackluster but it has the accessibility and variety in its trivia to make for a good time every once in a blue moon. With over 3000 possible questions they can ask you, at least you won’t run across the same one every time you play.

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unique Uniqueness: 4/10
Believe it or not, TV Show King wasn’t even the only game show video game released on the Wii. You’ve still got all the other milquetoast adaptations of then popular game shows on actual TV. The Wii just attracted these sort of forgettable party games and while TV Show King is one of the better ones in my opinion, it’s still not the most memorable game nor the most unique.

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pgrade My Personal Grade: 6/10
I keep my multiplayer games at the front of my mind in case we host a friendsgiving or weekend BBQ and the conversation dies down. Played with the right people, TV Show King can be a lot of fun. It’s a great opportunity to remind your friends you’re stupid.

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Just don’t expect a masterpiece. It seems weird reviewing a slightly above average game again, but not every video game out there can be one which changed the industry forever (like Pac-Man) or one which is undeniably a work of art (like Abzû). But these kind of games need to exist, if only to fill the niche of fun that exists after everyone’s just lying on the couch after dindin.

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Aggregated Score: 6.3

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25 thoughts on “TV Show King (2008)

  1. I’ve never heard of this game! I actually do love trivia games though, and wouldn’t mind picking this one up if I find it, just for some laughs! Also, your description of the host Jerry made me laugh, but I can see how he would be creepy!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like a fun game. I’ve actually been having fun picking up a lot of Wii games for 2-5 dollars from Gamestop and this is definitely one that I would have gotten if they had it. Any kind of trivia game like this that you can play with friends is A okay in my book. I just like to compete in general and this one seems like it’d be good natured fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ooh, I remember this game! I picked it up at launch because, hey Wii Ware launch, and I also like trivia games. Yea, it’s not at all a masterpiece or even a great trivia game, but I liked the mechanic of using the pointer and racing towards the correct answer. It’s something that wasn’t done in many trivia games beforehand, if any. Great review Well-Red!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey somebody who actually knows this game! Hahaha I’m always apprehensive about reviewing lesser known titles simply because they don’t garner a lot of response, but on the flip side I like to have the chance to write about any game, big or small. You know what’s a funny troll move if you ever play TV Show King again? Pick your answer and then cover the timer with your cursor… throws some many players off. Haha!

      Liked by 1 person

      • If it was on the Wii and even moderately popular, I’ve heard of it, haha. So never fear on that front because I’ll be that guy that remembers the forgotten games for no good reason! Haha, what does covering the timer do again?

        Speaking of trivia games, I’ve enjoyed many hours of Jeopardy and Millionaire on the Wii. The first one in particular is really good on Wii because it utilizes the Miis and gives you good in-game prizes for winning. It also features Alex Trebek as a Mii which is everything I’ve needed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Covering the timer is a jerk move, at least it was when I played it last, because my opponents continually deliberated picking an answer when unsure what to pick until they ran out of time. I also generally talked over the music from the game and their thinking processes. I play to win. HA!

        We’ve got a horrible N64 Jeopardy but I’d like to try the Wii version. Trivia games have given some good memories in get-togethers for us in the past. Minus the butt-in-wall incident.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. For what it is it seems fine. I don’t usually pay much attention to game show video games, although I marked out huge for the Press Your Luck adaptation on the Wii. If you can find that one for a few bucks get it. Big bucks. Big bucks. No Whammies, and STOP!

    Liked by 1 person

    • A lot of game show video games seem very cut and paste, so TV Show King isn’t hugely special. I just had some fun memories I wanted to preserve. I’ll have to keep an eye out for your recommendation. Thanks!

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  5. I had a Wii for a short time. I had to sell it when I was in a pinch. At least I was able to get most of my money back on it. I do miss me some Wii bowling with the fam. Never got to this one, but I can see the appeal in a group setting. Remember playing Jeopardy on the NES? man… I barely remember it, but I this family friend’s daughter, who turned out to be a literature prodigy, destroyed me at it when we rented it one weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had the exact same experience but with the Nintendo GameCube. I had it for a week or two before selling it. Used the money to get the Wii. The Wii has an unfair reputation and there are some genuine gems and some fun games on it, so if you ever see it cheap (which you will) I’d recommend getting it. Shouldn’t be too hard considering how many of them Nintendo sold. I don’t remember Jeopardy, but I do remember Anticipation on the NES! Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe around three years ago I went to a garage sale and saw this lady selling a Wii for like $40 with games and all the accessories. She looked like she was down on her luck though and told her she could probably sell it for like $80-100 with the games all those extras. I felt kinda stupid for saying that because it would have been a steal. I didn’t have that much to spare at the time and that’s the last I thought about getting one. At the moment I have too many consoles to fit in our living room without looking cluttered. That’s not really that many (5), it’s just we got a rather ‘modest’ sized place. I would like to add it to the collection though because… why not? Tons of games I never played on it. In fact, that’s when me an Nintendo pretty much parted ways… ohhh Wii.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think that’s the story of many folks who also left Nintendo with the falling out of the Wii. I owned every one of their systems including handhelds from the NES, but I skipped the Wii U. It just couldn’t interest me.

        That was an incredible deal for that second-hand Wii! But in a way I’m glad your humanitarianism prevailed. She certainly could’ve sold it for more. Keep your eye out though as I’m sure there are many other good deals. Also a note on your modest living conditions, I have the same. When I was married we moved into a 1 bedroom apartment. Now things are a bit more spacious but I looked for a small entertainment center with the right amount of shelving to support the nine consoles I collected and hopefully there’s still room for the Switch when it’s released. I also had to hunt down a switchboard for the wiring but all that to say that it can be done!

        Liked by 1 person

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