Game shows are making a comeback. We know that we're currently living in the era of reboots and while we continue to have the classic staples of Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, shows like Match Game, Cash Cab, and Double Dare have returned with new episodes. With apps like HQ Trivia getting over a million viewers a night, there's clearly a demand for game shows. If this trend continues, networks will look for more classic game shows to reboot. Here are the five best game shows that need to return.
This classic game show is going to be on anyone's list. Card Sharks appealed to viewers of all ages with its simple and fun concept. A contestant was asked a question regarding the answer to a survey of 100 people of a specific demographic. For example, "we surveyed 100 bachelors, how often do you order take-out?" The contestant would then give a number out of 100 and the opposing player would either pick higher or lower. Whoever got it right got to play their cards and that's when the fun began.
The contestant was shown their first card in a row of five; they could either keep it and play or replace it with the next card off the top of the deck. The contestant then guessed whether they thought the next card was higher or lower. This continued until they guessed it wrong or got all five correct. If they got it wrong all the previous correct cards were thrown out and their opponent got a chance to play their cards. However, if either contestant was unsure of whether to guess higher or lower they could freeze their card. This not only saved their spot on the row but allowed the contestant to change their card at the start of their next turn.
The winner of the main game moved on to the Money Cards round. The Money Cards board had eight cards split into three levels. The contestant would bet on whether the next card in succession would be higher or lower than their current card. When the contestant finished the first row, the last card was moved up to the next row and the money was added to their bank. If the contestant finished both rows, the last card was moved to the top line, which was known as the Big Bet, and they had to bet at least half of the remaining money on the final card.
Card Sharks was like having a casino in your living room. The questions were not complicated and it felt like a game everyone could play. This type of energy doesn't really exist in modern game shows and that's why they need to bring Card Sharks back.
'Friend or Foe?'
This was the ultimate game of trust. Nothing is more fun than watching people get stabbed in the back and that's why this game is pure entertainment. The game starts with three of the six contestants secretly choosing one of the other three contestants as their teammates. These contestants have never met before and haven't even spoken to each other prior to filming. Each pair is then given a trust fund that they share together.
The game consists of two rounds. In each round, the host asks a series of multiple-choice questions, each with four answers to choose from. The teammates have 15 seconds to agree on an answer. At the end of each round, the team with the lowest total is eliminated and must go to the "Trust Box" to determine the fate of their money.
The Trust Box is the game show version of The Prisoner's Dilemma. Each contestant tries to get their teammate to trust them while they secretly lock in their choice. If they each pick "friend," they split the money 50-50. If one teammate picks "foe" and one picks "friend" then the one who chose "foe" gets the whole pot. However, if they both pick "foe," they get nothing.
The winner moves on to the bonus round where they answer more questions to increase their trust fund, and then at the end, they go to the Trust Box.
The element of mistrust makes this show stand out and watching people work together only to tear it down at the end makes for great entertainment.
'Press Your Luck'
Press Your Luck is known for creating the catchphrase "No Whammys." The game was simple and exciting. Contestants answered questions to gain spins that they then used on The Big Board. The board flashed a light on random squares and stopped when the contestant hit their button. The value of the square they landed on was put into their account, but if they hit the Whammy they lost everything. This game had some of the craziest highs and lows of any game show. If a spin was passed to you it was required to use it. So players could have tens of thousands of dollars in their account but if they hit a Whammy on their last spin they get nothing.
The newer version of the game had Double Whammys, where not only did the contestant lose everything, they got something dumped on them as punishment.
Not many games are as brutal as Press Your Luck and that's why we need to see it again.
I know what you're thinking and no, this isn't a game show about shooting people. This was a short live show on GSN that should've been way more popular. The show has six drop zones; four of them have a contestant standing on them. At the start of the round, there is one active drop zone. Another drop zone is added after each question with the number of drop zones maxing out at five. One contestant is given a question and they then challenge an opponent to answer it. If they are correct they get $150 and they become the challenger for the next question; however, if they guess it wrong they lose all their money to the one who challenged them and they now play Russian Roulette. The contestant has his drop zone unlocked and they pull the handle. The drop zones rotate and if the drop zone lands on them they fall through a trap door and get eliminated; if not they challenge another contestant on the next question. Last one standing wins.
The winner goes to the bonus round where they have 60 seconds to answer five questions, but every ten seconds a new drop zone opens up. If they don't answer in time they get dropped, but if they get all five right in under a minute they win ten grand. The contestant can keep the $10,000 or return it and play one final game of Russian Roulette, with the number of drop zones opening during the previous segment used as the number of drop zones for the final game. If they survive, the contestant wins $100,000; if they lose, they fall and get nothing.
Getting eliminated from a game sucks—literally falling away when you lose is much worse. You feel their anxiety as the drop zones spin and that makes it must-see TV.
This was the single greatest game show ever made. It had a unique hook that separated it from all the other shows. If you haven't heard of Supermarket Sweep, I'm sorry about your lack of a childhood but I'll explain how it worked. Teams answered various questions and puzzles to add time to the Big Sweep. The Big Sweep was when the constants ran through the supermarket trying to put as many items into their cart as possible. As the seasons progressed new and exciting bonuses were added, from the bagel display to the can hunt, all these bonuses added value to your cart's total. Whoever had the most value in their cart after time expires wins.
The winning team then went on to the Bonus Sweep. In the Bonus Sweep, the team was given one minute to find three specific items. The host read a clue for the first item, and once he was done the clock started. The correct product was labeled with the show's logo and the clue for the next item was behind it. If they found all three items in under a minute, they got $5000. If not, they got $200 for every item they found.