Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Top Ten Game Shows

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

A couple days ago I read an article giving logical ideas on how to win various games within The Price is Right. I thought it was a clever thing to talk about, and even as a six-year-old, I would yell at players making dumb decisions. Even now, there are times when I look at the players like they're idiots on Wheel of Fortune when I've known the answer for 2-3 turns and they're still buying vowels. This whole thing got me thinking about my favorite game shows, which have changed somewhat over the years. The Price is Right would have been in the top 5 if Bob Barker was still hosting. Drew Carey isn't a bad host, but I just can't stand him, so it's been knocked from the Top Ten.

10. Classic Concentration. My brother and I were into memory games when we were kids. In fact, we had like a mega-memory game and the generic one that all six-year-olds seem to own, that came in the plastic container with slots for each card. Our mega set had over 50 cards to it, since we had a hard time even laying all of them out. So, I had a good time watching other people try to remember where cards were. BUT, what made this a great game show was the rebus puzzle behind the cards. This was the first rebus I had ever seen, and I still love them. I think that I have a slight advantage over other people in reading them because of this show, LoL.

9. Wipeout. I love a good physical challenge show. And while this one may be incredibly goofy sometimes, I think it's awesome. When we lived in California I downloaded the application to apply to be on it, knowing full well that it would be more of an experience for me than a win, since I'm not that strong of a swimmer (and that's important in the final round), and I'm kinda paranoid about knocking out teeth and things like that. I think it's interesting that some of the rounds change from time to time, but I really enjoy the creativity in some of those gags! It's not like you could ever try it at home, LoL.

8. Lingo. This isn't one of the most popular games, and it's strictly words and a little luck (regarding what numbers you pull to get points and then win prizes). Basically, you stand around guessing 5-letter words. In the first two rounds, two teams of two are pitted against eachother, and they only ever get a letter to start with. They find out which letters are in the right positions and which are correct but in the wrong places, and get 5 chances to guess the word. In the final round, the better team tries to do ten of these in two minutes (you still get the first letter, but now also get a random second letter). They rarely get all ten, but that usually doesn't matter, they still win something. I'm not that good at the game, but I do get excited watching it.

7. I'm Telling! If there was one game on this list that I'd bet you hadn't heard of, it's this one. It ran on cable only, and only a season or two were made. It was a children's game show, specifically geared for brother-sister pairs. The set-up is like the NewlyWed Game, in that the brothers answer questions about the sisters and vice versa, and you get points when you're right. The losing two teams all got 10-speed bikes. The two winners took turns running through a "prize arcade." See, before the show, each kid had written down the six prizes they thought their sibling would want (out of ten). When you chose six in the final round, you were choosing the six that you wanted. If it matched, you won it. You'd always win two prizes because of the overlap in the math on that, and if you matched 10/12, you'd win all of the prizes. The only real catch? There were "boys' prizes" and "girls' prizes" so it was very sexist. My brother and I played along ALL THE TIME.

6. Supermarket Sweep. In case you haven't seen a pattern yet, my brother and I played along with this one, too. The game was pretty easy... some general questions to bring up your points, and each of the three teams rotated the players' turns. The real excitement was in the end, when you ran around the supermarket throwing foods in your cart to ring up the highest bill. There were also certain items that were announced that could get you extra stuff. Depending on how much time you had banked in the beginning, you could get extra time in the aisles. In theory, it shouldn't have been hard to rack up the bill, but you'd always see people throwing crap in their carts.

5. Wheel of Fortune. This one's a classic, and I don't think you can really argue with that. I love Vanna, mostly for her clothing. The contestants aren't always that exciting, but I generally like the puzzles, although there are certain categories that I like much more than others. Plus, it's still on, so I can catch it five times a week if I'm really bored, LoL.

4. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? So when I list this one, I'm only referring to the Regis Philbin-hosted version. This is because I believe that, arguably, most people agree he's the only true host of that show. I rank it so high for several reasons. First, the gimmick of only having it on for a couple weeks and then taking it away again was interesting. Plus, the lights and the concept and the ten possible contestants in the beginning were neat. Lastly, it came on when my now-husband and I were first starting to date, so we'd often watch the show at our respective parents' houses and talk about it on the phone.

3. Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? This show was supercool, especially from the seven-year-old's point-of-view. There was the mysterious storyline going on, plus some neat facts to learn, and lastly the running around putting the sirens on different countries/states. I always wanted to be on that show, and would have done really well since I knew my US map like the back of my hand by the time I was eight-years-old. PLUS, the prize was a trip to anyplace in the continental US! How neat!

2. Jeopardy! I love a good quiz show. I particularly love this one for several reasons, but the main ones at this point in my life are that the clues are always shown on the screen so I can read them while at the gym on the treadmill, and I have a wide berth of knowledge so this is a game I always have an excellent and a sucky category in. And I think this tends to be true for many of the contestants on the show. It's always good to watch when you're bored or on vacation and have no cable, or when you're with strangers and need an icebreaker on television, LoL.

1. Legends of the Hidden Temple. OF COURSE this is my #1 game show. It was THE COOLEST gameshow EVER. I may be too old to go on it now (in the event they bring it back), but it's still super mega awesome. There were six teams (of two) to start out with, and it always began with a physical challenge - crossing a moat. The first four teams to make it moved on. Then, on to some knowledge and listening comprehension, then some more physical stuff. But the end level was made up of running through a fun house of sorts (there were like seven different set-ups too, so it's not like you could memorize it beforehand... although there are websites out there with maps of each... I'm serious), collecting the artifact of the day by completing a task to open most of the doors, and avoiding the temple guard. Sometimes they'd also have to find part of their Pendant of Life, too. Both team members got to go in, and it just looked like so much fun! The only qualm I have about the game is that it always seemed the teams struggled with putting together the Shrine of the Silver Monkey, LoL. Oh, and it was another one that my brother and I would always talk about how we'd do each challenge if we were on a team, LoL.
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