It's not easy being Prime Minister. 9 am and a memo comes onto my desk reminding me of a meeting with the Cabinet Secretary. 9.10 and a Telex is received about a Road Safety campaign. Naturally I miss it because of a meeting with Bernard. 10.30 and another phone call from Bernard comes in reminding me of a meeting with the Home Secretary but alas I have forgotten what it is about. Things do not look good...
Yes Prime Minister is an icon/menu game where, in a mad frenzy of activity, interrupted only by hours of boredom you have to move from memo box to intercom, intercom to telephone and telephone to meeting. The game has been programmed by Ode now famed for its Trivial Pursuit for Domarks. Menus and scrolling messages abound a game which is the first I can think of to be totally set in an office. Your objective - to survive a week in Government. A clock ticks away the hours and each moment is fraught with pratfalls.
You play Jim Hacker star of the television program said to be MT's favourite. Helping and hindering are Bernard and Sir Humphrey.
As you might expect Yes Prime Minister, the game, is full of jokes and one liners. Most of the conversations you have with other people are played for laughs and there are 8 few very good jokes but its mostly more smirk than belly laugh.
The game continues with you playing in one day sections over a five day week (I've never understood how 5 days can equal a week). Each day you are presented with an assortment of random problems. These will be in the form of political characters with whom you can have lengthy question and answer sessions. Your response is all multiple choice a la Adrian Mole (is Mosaic obsessed with exam formats?). I found no good way of finding the right replies so just guessed.
Many of the multiple choice questions are just based on general knowledge. Knowing things like how many watts a Gigawatt equals could possibly help. This seemed kind of irrelevant however..
The multiple choice format does raise doubt about the variety in the game. The fault with the Adrian Mole games was just this system of interaction and I thought for a moment that Yes Prime Minister could be the same. Oddly enough though, the system actually works quite well possibly because this offering was programmed by a different team.
Graphically there is not much to Yes Prime Minister. The office of the PM is quite impressive, similar to the lounge in Trivial Pursuit. But the digitised graphics of Bernard, Jim and Sir Humphrey leave a lot to be desired. In fact Humphrey seems to have gained a huge moustache in his transformation from the TV.
The only problem I can see with this game is its long-term appeal. The game used a random problem generator to ensure it is a bit different each time you play but I realised that many of the same situations kept appearing. It certainly entertains for a while - weeks certainly - months. I don't know.
Reviewer: Jason Roseaman
A successful and expensive attempt at an impossible idea - well programmed but doubt about long term appeal.