PC REVIEW: THE APPRENTICE

Let's see Trump blame Martha Stewart for this one. by Cole Smith

March 21, 2006 - Is it possible to make it through one week of TV viewing without hearing some reference to Donald Trumps hair? You can make fun of the Duck…er…I mean, the Donald, all you want but nothing that Leno, Tina Fey or John Stewart can say will make him any less rich. But let's face it, we don't hate him because he's rich, we hate him because he's arrogant. And there's nothing better than watching him execute that arrogance on a group of young, humorless, ass-kissers that are all vying to become his human footstool.

These losers, and let's face it the majority of them are going to be losers since there is only one winner, can be viewed weekly on the TV show The Apprentice. It stars the Donald and a couple of his cronies which include some middle-age hottie and some crabby old bastard that looks like he just had a salt and vinegar enema. I like this show because it's like watching a train wreck from a distance - which means you don't have to get involved. I don't ever want to be in the boardroom with those morons and I'm sure that most people don't. Which brings me to this game, The Apprentice, for the PC. Before I even read the overview on the back, I tried to imagine what could possibly make this game interesting for me. Would it interest others that really want to be on the TV show? Would I have to work with an AI team? Are people going to get yelled at? Would there be a multi-player online mode that would allow two teams to compete against each other for the love of Donald? I just couldn't wait any longer and wrestled with the plastic for three minutes before I finally went into the kitchen to get a knife. Damn wrapping.

Not only is the Donald featured in this game but past contestants are included as well including the devil-child herself, Omarosa. Now you know things are getting bad. How much worse can they get? Follow me on the downward spiral.

At the start of the game you choose a character and then a name for your five-person team. Your team will compete against another five-member team at a series of tasks that have absolutely nothing to do with marketing, economics or strategy. These tasks are nothing more than a collection of mini-games that you could download for free on the net. There's a scrambled picture that you have to put together. In another game, to manufacture a particular product, you have to quickly fit various pieces together that are traveling down an assembly line. What does this have to do with being The Apprentice? Nothing. These are tasks that might be administered during an interview for a job at McDonalds - not to help run a multi-billion dollar empire. To add insult to injury there is a food-race mini-game in which you assemble fast food and deliver it to customers. This will be good training for anyone stupid enough to enjoy this game because a job at McDonalds may be the only career in their future.

Some of the mini-games hint at economics and free enterprise. In one game you will purchase merchandise wholesale and transport it to another part of town where you will sell it retail for a profit. This is one of the first business principals that crack dealers learn so you know it can't be that difficult. The business principals covered in this game are so simple and unrealistic that I wonder if they shouldn't have put Big Bird on the cover instead of "Big Nerd" since this game seems to be clearly aimed at young kids. There's no challenge in any of these mini-games and you can complete all of the so-called challenges in less than an hour.

If you don't manage to win a challenge, you are an idiot. But maybe you were just numb all over and couldn't manage to even move your mouse or wipe the drool from your chin. In any case you and two of your teammates will be hauled into the boardroom for a face-to-face with Trump and his moody little posse. They will interrogate and berate you with questions. The only way out of this is to literally twist their words by unscrambling letters to form a business-related word. These words don't answer Trump's questions but he seems pleased that you're intelligent enough to know how to play scrabble.

The Apprentice has some of the worst production values I've seen in a game in a long time. I've seen free games that would kick this game's ass. The graphics look as though they were composed using Flash. The characters are terrible cartoon caricatures that display little to no animation and have no charm whatsoever. It's hard to tell if Trump actually did his own voiceover for the game but it sounds like him if not a little too sedate. The mini-games may control decently but they look incredibly cheap. These are not the kind of games that you want to dig into for the fun of it. The only fun you'll have with this game is discovering how terrible it really is. I can only thank God that Martha Stewart's version of the Apprentice was cancelled before it could be made into a videogame.

The bottom line? The team responsible for this game should be called into the boardroom and fired.

Features:

  • Beat The Apprentice PC game, and be guaranteed an opportunity to interview for a spot in the next Apprentice TV show
  • Compelling business management sim that will appeal to MBA types and entrepreneurs
  • High stakes interpersonal conflict and drama with contestants from the first three seasons that will appeal to fans of the show
  • Real world challenges sponsored by actual companies
  • Create a custom contestant with business skills, personality traits, and unique appearance
  • The Apprentice is NBC's second most highly rated show, #1 across all shows in adults, 18-49, with incomes of $75,000 or more

By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Writer

Rating out of 5
The Apprentice (PC)
1.1
Graphics
It's hard to describe how bad the graphics are. Imagine something like a serious version of Southpark with even worse animation.
1.5
Control
The controls work fine, it's just that there's nothing to control.
1.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Outside of some smarmy dialog by The Donald, there's nothing of interest to listen to.
1.0
Play Value
You'll be glad that there's no reason to replay any part of this game.
1.3
Overall Rating - Avoid
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
 
System: PC
Dev: Legacy Int.
Pub: Vivendi Universal
Release: Feb 2006
Players: 1
Review by Cole

Review Rating Legend
1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor
2.5 - 2.9 = Average
3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
3.5 - 3.9 = Good
4.0 - 4.4 = Great
4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
5.0 = The Best