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I like board game as I feel that they are a good way of getting the family together, getting the kids away from the laptop, or television screens, and getting them to spend a bit of time actually being a family member, (which for anyone with a teenager and maybe a pre-teen knows exactly what I am talking about).
So when a new board game hit the market, especially when it is taken from a rather popular television show, then there's very little doubt that certain members of a family want to play that game.
One particular game I have bought recently was in fact one such game which was spawned from a very well known, and Bafta winning game show called 'Million Pound Drop'.
Firstly, for all those that have never heard of this game, The Million Pound Drop, I must first tell you that the game show itself is aired on channel four and is usually played live, (so they say), both in front of a studio audience and in front of the cameras. The television show is hosted by Divina McCall, (which is why I tend not to watch it as I have a wretched hatred of this loud mouthed individual whose presenting skills I find more annoying than listening to someone scraping their finger nails down a chalkboard... but that's my personal opinion of course).
And as the show became more and more popular the powers that be inevitably decided to milk the format for all it was worth, deciding to bring out such things as a board game, calling it, yes you've guessed it, 'The Million Pound Drop'
This spin off board game is supposed to be for ages 12 and above and can be played by 2 or more players, but that's only a recommendation of course.
So, how do you play the game then?
Well the television show and the game are very similar, although the live television show uses questions on more current affairs, where as the game uses questions from way back in the passed.
The set up is that you start with 40 bundles of cash, each one individually wrapped in a 25K binder meaning that each bundle hold 25,000 pounds, (whether they're real in the television show I don't know but I certainly know they're not real in the board game, unless they've brought out a bankers version where the money is real).
Each person, or pair, then choses a category from a choice of two, then they are asked a question with-in that category, having to answer the question with-in a set time, (usually a minute if you follow the shows rules, although as I play this with the kids I tend to give them a little bit longer to answer).
In that set time you have to place the bundles of money on the trap doors of the four choices, A-B-C-D, whatever one you think is the correct answer, you can place bundles of money on more than one trap door.
Then, after the allotted time has lapsed, the answer is shown via the wrong answers on the trap door opening and any bundles placed on the said trap doors will drop into oblivion and are then out of the game, leaving you with the bundles of money which you may have placed on the correct answer for the next round, with each bundle of money not having dropped through one of the trap doors in taken on to the next round.
(are you still with me..? Good, you can explain it to me later then...??!!).
This bundle placing, question asking, trap door opening scenario continues until you've answered 8 questions, with the 'trap door bundle placing' choices dropping from four in the first four questions, three in the next three and finally a 50/50 choice in the final question.
What is the aim of the game..?
This is simply to answer all the eight questions and finish with as many bundles of money as you can. But you do have to answer all eight questions to win anything, you can't just go home on the first question with all the money in your pocket.
The television game itself can have its moments, especially if Devina 'I can shout loud' McCall keeps her mouth shut, and it can be quite good entertainment, depending on whether you like to see people win or lose, so the board game should be on the same sort of 'thrill' level, which it is, sort of.
But alas, it's the actual build of this board game itself that really lets it down and has made me regret spending my hard earned money on it. In fact it's that badly made that even my kids could do better with a bit of chewing gum and grease proof paper.
Please, allow me to explain.
The games idea is fine, risking a stack load of money on a single question at a time, especially a multiple choice one where you know the answer is right there in front of you, you just have to pick the right one.
But the way that Drumond Park have made this board game is pretty much a disgrace, in fact to me it feels as though they just wanted to get the game onto the open market so they could rake in as much money as possible whilst the television show was still popular, either that or one of the executives children actually spent an hour at school designing the entire thing, then decided to get his dad (or mum, I'm not sexist), into trouble by handing in this cardboard monstrosity. (No not Divina's face... although...???)
The main playing section looks the part, and when it is initially set up it looks rather smart indeed, but once you start touching it the trouble kick in, with even more trouble happening when you have to put the game away and then decide to set it back up again. The cardboard that it is made of splits on the creases, which is a terrible design flaw as there are many creases which you need to bend to put the actual board together, such as the stand which hold the board up from the ground so that the trap doors have somewhere to drop the bundles of money.
And as for the trap doors, well, they're supposed to open with the slight touch of you finger, as the leaflet claims, but whose finger did they test this with? I ask myself as I have to whack the trap doors with a hammer to get them to open, which send the bundles of money everywhere apart from through the gap itself.
Another thing that lets this game down is the fact that the questions aren't exactly brain teasers, even my youngest daughter was giving me strange looks when I asked her a few of the questions, she thought I was either having a laugh or asking her a trick question as the answers were that easy.
Although there are a couple of questions that you could say are a little harder to answer, such as what is the bell inside Big Ben tower called..? (kidding of course).
In all, if you like the television show then for the love of everything that is holy don't buy this board game as it will smash your love for the real thing.
It's designed by a hyperactive child eating a Mars bar, it's built by a one handed chimpanzee scratching it's behind with a stick and the questions are set by a Blue Peter presenter on a phone in show....
And they ask you to pay out £25.00 for this cardboard failure... what a cheek, (especially when they stick a picture of loud mouth McCall on the front, (then again I suppose you could use the image on the box to put on your front door to keep the burglars out)