By rights, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire shouldn't work well as a game on any platform. Why? Well, how can you have anything like the same tension and excitement with only a virtual million-quid cheque at the end?
The same is true of Deal or No Deal, of course: the toe-curling fear that you'll end up with a box of 1p simply disappears when you can have as many goes as you want until you hit the jackpot.
However, the fact that there are mobile games based on both shows demonstrates that people don't care about the lack of dramatic tension. What millions of mobile gamers want is the chance to dip in and out of the show formats, answering one question after another. Whether you scoop the big prize doesn't actually matter.
With this in mind, the key to a great mobile quizzer is, well, the questions. There need to be plenty of them to avoid repetition, with a well-tuned range of difficulties, and proper localisation to ensure the topics fall into gamers' cultural radars.
Then, the gameplay needs to be stripped down so you can just answer questions – bam-bam-bam – without unnecessary padding to plug the show's brand. Lengthy pauses and prevarication might hook viewers of a TV show, but it's got no place in a game.
That's our theory, anyway. Thankfully, it appears to be Glu's, too. The third proper edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (i.e. not a themed spin-off) follows all those principles. Even when it's got padding, in the form of whizzy 3D animations of the WWTBAM studio, they don't get in the way of the core question-answering action.
One thing that's missing, however, is Chris Tarrant. And despite our positive gut reaction, we do wonder why Gameloft is able to put Noel Edmonds in Deal or No Deal, but other publishers seem unwilling or unable to follow suit with their own TV quizzers.
But anyway, WWTBAM 3rd Edition follows the show's format closely. You start with a Fastest Finger round, but don't worry as it's not to decide whether you're allowed to play or not. Instead, it gives you bonus points to add to your score, which is used on a high-score table when you finish the game.
From then on, you know the drill: answer questions to win progressively more cash, and call upon three lifelines when you're stuck: 50:50, Ask the Audience, and Phone a Friend.
They're all well implemented, with the latter enabling you to choose between three virtual mates, each with their own personality. We tend to choose Bettie, who "has good knowledge and is sure to explain when she is guessing", as the other two options are both described as "over confident".
And that's it. You play until you either get a question wrong, or choose to take the money. Check your ranking on your high-score table, then dive in again. The question bank is large enough that repetition doesn't become a problem, increasing the game's longevity.
Quibbles? We have a few. There aren't any extra modes that go beyond the gameshow's format, which is something we've seen in other quizzer games to add a bit of variety. And the 3D studio fly-throughs are essentially useless. Easily skippable, we wonder if the space they take up could have been used for more questions, or additional modes.
Lack of Tarrant aside, though, WWTBAM 3rd Edition delivers everything fans of the show would want. It's quick, addictive, and perfect for five- or ten-minute bursts of mobile play. And yes, we're sure.