I must be the last person in the world to be in the dark about what Deal or No Deal is. I heard about it when Dennis Quaid was on the Jon Stewart show promoting his American Dreamz movie. He said Deal or No Deal is one of those games you don't need any intelligence or skill to play. So with that initial impression in mind, I didn't have high hopes for Deal or No Deal but to Quaid's credit, the game is fairly easy to pick up.
In each round of Deal or No Deal, you're presented with a number of suitcases containing various amounts of dollars. The goal is to open the maximum amount of suitcases containing the maximum amount of money. You first select one but then open multiple ones in a bid to eliminate all the low dollar suitcases. I found the game generally did not place suitcases in order so if you open a high dollar one, chances are a low dollar one is sitting next to it. Even though I was playing by myself without the color commentary of Howie Mandel, the game has an inexplicable addictiveness to it; similar to how we still enjoy a game of go fish once in awhile. It is the sublime unknown of knowing what's in the next draw.
At the end of each suitcase selection round, you're presented with a deal to buy the suitcases. Should you choose to accept, the game is over and your score is tallied. Should you not accept, you'll get to choose more although the game does not stop if the remaining choices on deck will never match a previously refused offer. For some reason, it takes a second or two to calculate what amount to offer you. I don't know how this amount is calculated but generally the higher dollar value the suitcases, the higher the offer amount but even if you get all hundred thousand and the million dollar suitcase, no one seems to want to ever pay you full value for it. Maybe I need a Deal or No Deal expert to help me figure that one out. Or these suitcases are full of dirty drug money.
I'm a bit saddened Mandel doesn't make an appearance in the game, though, and for fans of the show, this might distract from it. It's also a loss that there is no multiplayer available. However, Deal or No Deal is an interesting game that will kill moments waiting in line or at an airport or somewhere you have an extra 5-10 minutes to spare. It's one of those games that you can keep on your cell phone and come back to from time to time.