Million Dollar Password Goes for Broke

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I'm a big fan of word games, but I just couldn't get into Million Dollar Password 2009 Edition from RealArcade. I've never been able to understand the popularity of Regis Philbin but that's not what put me off about this game. It was everything other than Regis, truth be told.

In general, I like cartoony graphics, but the graphics in Million Dollar Password 2009 Edition are akin to those you see in cheap-o comic books. Not even poor Regis looks like himself.

The characters that play along with contestants are all stereotypes: there's the blond bimbo, the black rapper, the stoner rock star and other mildly offensive depictions of "celebrities."

RealArcade gives you the option of playing Million Dollar Password 2009 Edition in single and multiplayer modes. In single mode, the game gives you two additional options: Quick Mode and Career Mode. In multi-player mode, the game features Quick mode and Party mode. Each mode gives you easy, medium and hard challenges as well.

When you launch either mode, the game offers to give you a tutorial on how to play. The tutorial is very well done and if you're unfamiliar with Million Dollar Password, the TV show on CBS, then you should begin there.

Launch Million Dollar Password 2009 Edition, and tap each screen to cycle forward. It took me a couple of seconds to figure that part  because there's no forward button. I tend to be slow on the uptake at times.

The object is to unscramble passwords, and then find words scattered across a grid and then it's onto more password unscrambling to climb the big money ladder to $1,000,000. The passwords are simple to decipher and I can't see Million Dollar Password holding anyone's attention for very long, but that just could be me.

Unscrambling passwords was a chore for two reasons: The first is you can't count on the letters to move reliably when you tap them. The second is the letters are composed of dots and darn difficult to make out.

If you like to play word games, there are several others better suited than Million Dollar Password 2009 Edition. For example, Scramble Live, a word game from Zynga, is a similar word twister game, appeals to me considerably more than this one.

I can't say whether fans of the TV show will like this game. I've only seen it a few times but Million Dollar Password 2009 Edition seems close to the real thing as far as I can tell.

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This app is not currently available in the App Store.

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