Friday, October 21, 2016

Other people playing games

Happened by Game Show Forum for the first time in a while. They weren't bashing me for a change! I felt slighted, much like Richard Dawson when Match Game hauled out the star wheel.

One thing they were bashing was the game show version of Candy Crush, recently announced by CBS. That's hardly unexpected. It's a new game show, after all, and new is a dirty word on GSF. Check their list of 50 oldies, er, greatest if you don't believe me.

One of the odder complaints came from the sensible Matt Ottinger, the guy who used to run the board when it was known as his. (Apologies for the bad sentence construction.) It's Magnificent Marble Machine or Starcade all over again. The idea that we would be entertained simply watching someone else play a game.

I agree that the show sounds like a physical stunt game, based on the sparse information available right now. Which does limit its play-along value, and that's what Matt is driving at. But you could say the same about Beat the Clock, recently enshrined in the GSF list of 50 oldies, er, greatest. Hey, they put Press Your Luck at number nine on the list, and that exercise in random button-pushing was solely about watching other people, well, push a button at random.

Play-along value no doubt helps. But it's not necessarily the be-all and end-all. Otherwise, no stunt game show would last beyond the first stunt. We'll see if this Candy Crush effort can keep us interested in other people's games.


  1. The Candy Crush pilot for CBS and your reference to Sarcade got me thinking: what about a game show where we watch people play on their phones?

    1. If they ever revive Press Your Luck, maybe they could have studio audience members play a round on their mobile phones. Halfway seriously, it might liven up the format. Sort of what Millionaire does when they have a little time left over at the end of the show.

      Anyway, this Candy Crush show sounds like contestants will be running around on a big board. Not much play-along value, but no stunt game show has much play-along value.

    2. Just go to any waiting room