It may not have a virtual Bob Barker, but The Price is Right Decades offers up just the right amount of nostalgic fun for fans of the show. You get to do everything you imagined while watching the game show from your couch– play some plinko, guess the price of dining room sets, and, of course, spin the big wheel– but you can do so in way that’s quick and convenient and quite well suited to the iPhone.
The ‘decades’ part of the game’s title has to do with the, admittedly strange, way the game is structured. There’s a single-player mode, where you play as what can only be described as a time travelling Price is Right contestant. Each time you play you’ll be in a different year, with the game changing accordingly. So if you’re in the 1970s, for instance, your avatar will be decked out in tie-dye while bidding on a Chevy Nova. It’s a neat little gimmick, though guessing the prices of household goods from three decades ago can prove challenging.
A luck-based game if ever there was one.
Each show is structured in essentially the same way, no matter which year you’re in. You start by bidding on an item (you always bid last, for some reason), and if you win you’ll get to play one of the many iconic Price is Right games. After that you’ll get to spin the big wheel and hopefully win a place in the showcase showdown. As you play games in the main mode, you’ll unlock them for free-play in the archive mode. It’s sort of weird that there’s a main career-style mode with no actual goal, but for fans of the show it’s fun to play through nonetheless.
The mini-games are all pretty straightforward, as most simply require you to guess the price of something. But the few that actually have you doing something a little more active are, for the most part, quite well done. Dropping chips in plinko is as satisfying as you imagined it to be and tossing the big red dice is simple and fun. The only somewhat annoying game we came across was golf. No matter how well we putted the ball it always ended up on the rim of the hole, millimeters shy of winning us some cash.
Big money, big money.
The Price is Right Decades is a game that’s largely dependent on nostalgia — if you’ve never seen the show you likely won’t have all that much fun — and the presentation does a good job of recreating the look and feel of the venerable game show. The sets and games all look just as you remember, though the prizes you’ll be bidding on are generally little more than a blurry jpeg. The music and sound effects are all in there of course, and while the familiar voice of Mr. Barker is nowhere to be found, the announcer is actually quite good, and thankfully he doesn’t attempt to impersonate the famed host’s voice.
What’s particularly great about The Price is Right Decades is how it manages to take a lengthy game show and reduce it to bite-sized play sessions yet still remain satisfying. No, you won’t really get to win that new car, but the process of playing for it is half the fun. And The Price is Right Decades captures that fun quite well.