“The Apprentice” starring New York real-estate mogul Donald Trump, is one of NBC's most highly rated reality shows of all time, #1 with adults, 18-49, with estimated incomes of $75,000 or more.
Before even beginning this review I have a confession to make (this may come off as a little mean but nonetheless I just have to come out and say it) -- I’ve always thought “The Apprentice” was an attempt for a washed up Donald Trump to revive his declining career and popularity.
Back in 1992 Trump’s Plaza Hotel was forced to file Chapter 11 Bankruptcy after not being able to make his debt payments. Well I guess I wasn’t too far off the mark because now he’s back on top and hotter than ever! Although in my opinion (for what it’s worth) the show is getting a little old and stale after a few seasons but hey, whatever.
“The Apprentice” is a reality show that mixes a blend of business strategy and inter-office politics; which I’ll admit certainly makes for some interesting television at times. When I discovered it was being made into a P.C. game, I had to wonder though how it would make the leap into something playable as well as enjoyable.
And then I thought “Wow, The Apprentice would make the perfect tycoon type game, such as the popular “Coffee Tycoon and “Rollercoaster Tycoon”. Ok, this might just work after all.”
So you’d think we’d have a winner on your hands right? …well, unfortunately that would be giving the folks who made this game way too much credit.
To quote Mr. Trump’s opening line “This is not a game, this is a job interview”. Jeez, this guy sure is full of himself!
Not only is the Donald featured in this game but past boardroom cronies (Carolyn and some really old guy, his name escapes me at the moment) but past contestants are included as well. For instance, the she-devil herself, Omarosa (who incidentally went on to have a successful reality show career in her own right) and bow tie sporting Raz, now you know things are going to be bad. But how much worse can they get? Follow me on the downward spiral.
At the start of the game you choose a character for yourself and then a name for your 5 person team. Your team will compete against another 5 person team in a bunch of tasks which are a collection of min-games that have absolutely nothing to do with marketing, economics or strategy; in order to get hired by Mr. Trump.
To do so, you'll have to run around doing some silly, ridiculous tasks. Instead of a unique spin on the business tycoon genre, or even a halfway decent mini-game collection, what we get is a small selection of mini-games that look like they were programmed in Flash.
For instance there's one that features a scrambled picture that you have to put together within the time allowed.
In another game, you must manufacture a particular product (toys, lamps) quickly fitting various pieces together that are traveling down an assembly line. You will also be selling fast food or ice cream as quickly as you can, or selling souvenirs around Manhattan.
None of the mini-games require you to have any sort of business knowledge because it never gives you anything remotely close to a real business challenge (but then again neither does the show!)
In one game you will need to buy merchandise wholesale and then transport it to another part of town where you will sell it retail for a huge profit. That doesn’t require any fancy-schmancy business know- how though, in fact I think that is one of the first basic business principals that crack dealers learn as well!
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So, there you have it, a collection of games that you can download better versions of anywhere on the Web, such as Diner Dash, or any one of the gazillion tycoon games out there.
Not only are the mini- games featured here too easy, they're just not that much fun. And not to mention the fact that there are only five offered which is a downright rip-off; you can see everything this game has to offer in as little as 15-20 minutes. So why would anybody pay good money for a collection of lame games? Oh, right because the Donald is featured on the box.
If you don't manage to win a challenge you and 2 of your teammates will be hauled into the dreaded boardroom for a face-to-face with Trump and his moody little posse. So put your game face on and get ready to convince Trump not to fire you by unscrambling mixed-up letters into a word. Huh?? More on that in a moment.
You will be barked at and interrogated with questions such as “Tell me why I shouldn’t send you down to the street, instead of up to the suite.” Haha, I have to admit, I did enjoy all of the cheesy dialogue within the game. And there's nothing better than watching him unleash his arrogance on a group of young, conceited, ass-kissers all battling to become his next pee-on.
So anyway, Trump will ask you “Who would you fire?” and you respond by spelling out words like “ledger” or "accrue". Does that make any sense? Nonetheless he always seems pleased when you get the correct word and that at least you’re smart enough to know how to play scrabble!
The graphics are cheap looking real bargain bin quality. The characters have little or no animation and have no charm whatsoever. The controls work fine, that’s all well and good except there's nothing to control!
As for the sound, I will give them credit here, all of the characters featured here including Trump did their own voice-overs, which gave it a nice authentic touch.
Look, I’m not at all surprised that a company would quickly whip out a dumbed down cash-in game based on the hit T.V. show; it happens all the time with movies.
What is surprising however is how off the mark this game is and how much it completely misses the point of what makes the show entertaining in the first place.
For all of you out there that are fans of the show, you’ll be very disappointed by the final product. As for you who don’t like the show to begin with… well quite frankly I’m just surprised that you’re even stillreading this review!
Instead, we have something here that is amusing for maybe a few minutes and that’s only for die-hard Apprentice fans that have nothing better to do on a rerun night.
Let’s face it though this game whether it be good or bad doesn’t really matter all that much to Donald Trump now does it; it’s not like it will make him any less rich or any less powerful now will it?
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Posted by oxyjen on Apr 24, 2007
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