Last Friday night saw the long-awaited return of the Best Quiz Show on TV, namely channel 4’s Million Pound Drop, hosted by can’t-believe-she’s-45 Davina McCall.
Davina has long preached that playing along at home “is such a laugh”, so we figured we’d take her word for it (despite the fact that Davina is obviously too busy hosting to have ever played along live) and go crazy iPad style.
For those unfamiliar with the Million Pound Drop concept, it brilliantly fuses quiz show antics with an element of gambling. In a sense, it’s not far removed from Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
Essentially what happens is, you work your way through a number of questions, but instead of working your way up towards a million, you actually start off with a million, and inevitably lose some bucks along the way.
Questions have multiple answers, and you can spread your cash around if you’re not sure, with the only rule being that you must leave at least one answer blank.
And that’s the Million Pound Drop recipe in a nutshell. It’s definitely one of my guilty pleasures.
As for Million Pound Drop the app, it’s not quite what I was expecting.
You start each show with a million, but if you lose, you simply get another million handed to you straight away. I guess the developers/producers figured people would lose interest if they had to wait around for the next contestants/million.
As such, you end up wildly out of sync with the show/contestants, and all sense of playing along is lost. You might start a fresh million, for example, just as the on-screen pair face their final question.
Throwing money around on questions can be quite problematic, too. There tend to be moments of lag, and a handful of times we found ourselves losing money (money that wasn’t assigned to any answer) when we tried to make switches in the final seconds.
The other notable downside is that you tend to find yourself watching the app more than you do the show. Instead of feeling immersed in the action, it’s like you might as well be playing a generic quiz app while Davina mumbles away on your TV in the background.
That said, the Million Pound Drop app did tend to behave in terms of matching what was on TV (we were on Wi-Fi, incidentally). It was fairly impressive, given the rapid-fire nature of the show, and the fact that contestants can choose from different categories and that.
We also regularly dipped in and out of the app to check things like Facebook, and the app still functioned perfectly.
There’s also a solo game (Play Any Time as opposed to Play Along Live), but it’s worth noting that it costs £1.49, with additional categories (Sport, TV & Film, Music…) costing a further 69p each. Steep.
- Million Pound Drop is good
- Play Along Live is free
- Good job matching what’s happening on live TV
- Doesn’t really feel like playing along
- Occasional lag when deploying money
- The solo game is quite expensive
Summary: The Million Pound Drop app is worth a look if you’re a fan of the show, but after two 90-minute sessions on the iPad, I reckon we’ll go back to simply watching Davina next week.
Developer: Channel 4
Price: free @ App Store (with in-app purchases)
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.