Game shows are incredibly popular.
And they're only becoming more popular too, with viewers of the American Game Show Network seeing a surge of over 150% of the viewership in 2016 compared to just a few years earlier (10.14 million in Spring 2016 compared to 6.9 million in Spring 2012).
It’s no surprise, then, that companies are developing ways for fans of game shows to get involved with solving their puzzles and answering their questions in more ways than just watching. Game shows actually make relatively easy board and video games – the rules are simple enough for the TV show, and can largely be translated exactly across. Whether it is a physical game or a digital one, game show games are everywhere.
Jeopardy! – the show where the answers come before the questions has been around in game form for almost as long as it’s been around. The official website allows players to have a go at beating their high scores as well as their friends' and it's constantly given improvements as technology changes. The mobile version of the game is the latest modification to the Jeopardy! game format. Although, Jeopardy! is a game that benefits from the studio – the audience, the other contestants, the prizes, and Alex Trebek, it can still be a fun game to play at home and be modified slightly to add some more fun for a group of friends.
Deal or No Deal is another popular game show turned game playable by fans. The rules of the show are simple – gamble your luck on numbered boxes with prizes ranging from £1 to £250,000 to try to make the banker give you an offer better than what you possess in your mystery box. Deal or No Deal has been transformed into an easy-to-play board game, with actual boxes that represent the mystery boxes. And, if you don't want to have to get your friend to pretend to be the banker, a PC game recreates the enigmatic phone calls. You can also sink your teeth into Deal or No Deal Bingo, which reflects the nature of the game. The thrill of picking the correct boxes – or possibly getting rid of the big earners – is recreated through the online game, including picking the boxes and considering the banker's offers, which is available on a number of different websites.
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? also received the gamification treatment. The show features 15 questions between the contestant and the £1 million. Although they do receive several lifelines and the added ease of multiple choice question, as each checkpoint is passed, the lights and music add to the tension of the show. In 2002 a Game Boy Advance version was released, and countless board games of the popular quiz show are also available. However, in the non-telly version, it can be easy to skip questions you don’t know or apply some search engine knowledge for questions you’re stuck on. Flash games also exist to play on your browser that mimic the excitement of the actual TV show. If the standard black chair format doesn’t suck you in, there’s a spoof version of the game available on Sega Dreamcast and Windows from 2000: Who Wants to Beat Up a Millionaire?. So if you’re angry that you didn’t make it to a million, there’s an alternative.
The popular kids’ game show Double Dare, despite ending in 2000, lives on in game form. The show featured two teams competing to answer trivia questions and undertake messy stunts. While the forfeit and obstacle section was transformed into a computer controlled version, the game still keeps the format of the trivia section and the teams competing. While time may have aged the game’s appeal a bit, the transformation still proves an enjoyable game for kids to play.
British quiz show Pointless, which features contestants having to choose the most obscure answers, is also available as a Pointless app. The app, called one of the best versions of a game show in app form by The Sun, retains the lowest-score-wins format of the show. The game adapts more of a quiz show feel with answers chosen from a selection rather than an open guessing game, but still stretches the brain to come up with the one that is least likely to be common knowledge.
Game shows will continue to be popular as people love testing themselves. Whether you watch them or indulge in any of the game versions out there, it’s clear that we enjoy a challenge – and even more likely, we enjoy besting our friends and opponents.