Back when MTV actually played music, there would be an occasional 30-minute break from Bon Jovi and Ton Loc. But no one complained when they couldn't hear "Wanted Dead or Alive" or "Wild Thing." Why? Because Remote Control was on! When the computer game version was released in 1989, all was right with the world. The greatest game show ever could be at my fingertips!
And it was. Most (notice I use the word "most" - details later) of my favorite categories were there, the host at least somewhat resembled Ken Ober and the wry humor of that made the game show was definitely present. However, the game was still a bit disappointing.
For one thing, the graphics are so few that it looks like one guy could have done them in a day or two. Given that game only had four colors to work with (so as to be compatible with the limited capabilities of many systems at the time), the graphics themselves look decent. There just aren't very many! Outside of the hand turning the pages of the yearbook when you select your contestant and contestants' reactions to whether or not they got a question right, there is absolutely no animation. There's even a clock on the wall eternally set at 11:45.
As I stated earlier, the categories in the game are great, reflecting those used commonly in the game show. There are somewhat straightforward ones, like those based on classic television shows ("Batman," "Laverne & Shirley," "Lucy," etc). But the really fun ones are those that are truly irreverent. In "Beat the Bishop," for example, you must solve a relatively tough math problem before a bishop character makes it across your screen (I guess you could consider this another animation). "Brady Physics" tests your knowledge of physics in the context of a typical Brady Bunch episode.
There are plenty of these fun categories, but one notable exception exists: NO "SING ALONG WITH COLIN!" Perhaps my favorite category, "Sing Along with Colin" tested your knowledge of song lyrics by having Colin Quinn sing a line followed by the contestants buzzing in and singing the rest. Well, it ain't here. Too bad.
Another thing I miss, though I can certainly understand why it isn't there, is the final prize round in which the winner had to identify the artists of nine music videos in 30 seconds. Perhaps if the game were redone for today this could happen . . . but that's not gonna happen.
All in all, Remote Control offers a pretty fun game for those that remember the show. It's very dated, though, as the questions involve television shows of the late 1980s and the graphics are quite sub-par by today's standards. Still, a bored person who doesn't mind the sound coming from his or her CPU directly might enjoy this for a trip down memory lane. Otherwise, you're better off playing You Don't Know Jack.
Graphics: What's there is okay. There's just not many of them!
Sound: Thankfully, you only have to hear the annoying music as the game boots up. The rest of the sound resembles a typewriter with the bass on 10 when a question is "read."
Enjoyment: Imagining myself in the time of glam rock and the brand new Batman movie brings back some great memories. If you were born after the 1970s, though, forget it.
Replay Value: If you like the game in general, there are tons of questions to be asked.
Remote Control is based on the MTV quiz show of the same name. During the game three contestants (computer or human controlled) compete by answering questions about various TV shows, movies, characters, or actors/actresses. There are two rounds of gameplay followed by a third "think real fast" round.
In the first two rounds of gameplay the gameboard consists of a giant TV with nine channels; one of the players chooses a channel (representing a particular category) revealing a question; the first player to buzz in and provide the correct answer earns points. The are a variety of categories available (some of these are "video high", "cop shows", "saturday night live", "soap operas", and many more) which will vary from game to game. Sometimes a surprise channel may appear which doesn't have a question, but awards or removes points from a player. These rounds end when all of the supplied questions have been exhausted. Near the end of the second round, the lowest scoring player is eliminated from the game leaving two players for the final round.
The final "think real fast" round lasts for thirty seconds; during this time the players need to answer as many short answer questions as possible to earn points. At the end of this round the player with the most points wins the game.
People who downloaded MTV's Remote Control have also downloaded:
Press Your Luck, MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head: Bunghole in One, Lemmings Chronicles, The (a.k.a. All New World of Lemmings), Beavis and Butthead in Virtual Stupidity, Lemmings Holiday, Oh No! More Lemmings, Jeopardy! 2nd Edition (2000), Muppets Inside
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