|"This week, I 'ave been mostly|
presenting a muggle gameshow."
Round one: Cut the rope(s)
The first round sees six money amounts held aloft by at least one (£125) and at most six (£2,000) 'links' (geddit?). To bank the cash contestants need to cut those links,which they do by answering questions and spotting what 'links' (still geddit?)
|A round one question with all|
the links waiting to be cut.
Round two: Do you feel linky, punk?
After all that effort getting the money down some rascal has strung it back up! This time the teams' respective kitties are dangling by seven threads and again they need to spot connections to cut them. The first pair to cut all seven take themselves - and their cash - through to the final.
No questions this time, except for "Who, what, or where am I?". The team is asked how many links they'd like to try and cut and are given the corresponding number of clues. Get it right and the jackpot round is a little closer, get it wrong and the remaining clues are thrown over to the opposition who can steal a single bonus cut. This round is less about 'connections' and more about clues to a specific answer - think the final round of Going for Gold - so it has a fairly distinct feel from the first.
The final: Link ladder
|The final round in action.|
The verdict: Linked in
On balance I think The Link has legs. The biggest mistake probably comes in the structure of round one where they've tried to give the illusion of strategy when really there is (virtually) none. While this isn't the most disastrous of quiz show crimes, it does start to grate when for the fifth or sixth time in a show you're subjected to contestants debating out loud which links to cut when it simply doesn't matter. We're consequently subjected to a relatively large number of questions that are irrelevant; if there aren't enough links on offer to bank some money then you may as well give your buzzer finger a rest. A token bit of cash for every correct answer or perhaps the option to 'bank' links to spend later could ameliorate at least some of this.
|The show features some nice visual effects.|
Here money is 'whooshing' into Hywel's bank.
Despite these problems there are still enough positives to keep me watching for a few more episodes. It won't surprise many to learn I'm quite a fan of connection quizzes, and round one in particular presents a fairly novel take on it. The fact that you might know the connection thanks to others' answers means you can start trying to anticipate the questions introducing a fun element of metagame. I was pleased to see a couple of contestants demonstrate this in only the second episode of the series so I'm hopeful it will be a semi-regular feature. The final round is also perfectly competent, and seems fairly winnable (albeit with a bit of nerve). Mark Williams, meanwhile, though not entirely comfortable in a quiz host role, does at least seem to be having fun.
I've seen plenty of people comment that this is "Only Connect for idiots" (and that's one of the kinder remarks), and while I appreciate it's an obvious comparison to draw, I'm not sure it's a particularly fair one. It has good playalongability and not (too) much chatter, and while the question difficulty (and quality) may seem a touch low it's fairly standard for a lightweight daytime quiz. Not a must-see by any stretch, but definitely one for an iPlayer rainy day.