U.S. audiences have enjoyed the thrill and contagious fun of game shows for decades. Popular shows like Jeopardy, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and The Price is Right (to name just a few) offered a more engaging experience than the traditional TV show, inviting audiences to test their skills by playing along with participants from home.
And while we tend to perceive the “game show era” as one of the past, rest assured these programs remain popular! Indeed, when ABC broadcasted the special Jeopardy! The Greatest Of All Time just two years ago, the LA Times reported that the first three episodes averaged 16.1 million, 16.5 million, and 17 million viewers, respectively.
Those aren’t quite peak numbers, but they’re awfully impressive –– and demonstrate an ongoing fascination with game shows among Americans.
As much as people still enjoy watching these shows from time to time though, they’ve also taken to engaging with them in different ways: namely, through gaming.
While assorted video games based on popular game shows have existed for quite some time, the past decade or so has made such games more accessible –– particularly with mobile app, online casino, and even console games borrowing game show material on a consistent basis.
Here, we thought we’d highlight some of the best games this trend has produced.
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Wheel of Fortune
In this legendary game show, participants try to guess a hidden phrase. Each turn, players have to spin a wheel that decides whether they will be granted money or bonuses –– or lose everything.
After the spin, players can suggest a letter as if they were playing hangman, or use money (if they’ve won some) to buy a vowel. Well, the video game –– built for major consoles just a few years ago –– more or less captures all of that! It’s a faithful adaptation featuring more than 4,000 original puzzles, which makes for extensive gameplay.
You can also customize the look of it all (from your character avatar to the environment the game show takes place in) and play in an online mode to compare your scores against those of others.
Also, have a look at Online PC Games to Play with Your Friends This Year and How to Get into Gaming – Tips for New Players
The classic TV game show Jeopardy! is essentially the ultimate trivia game, in which participants choose topics and difficulties (or at least prize potential loosely corresponding to difficulty), and then attempt to answer prompts correctly.
This version for PlayStation consoles is, like the Wheel Of Fortune-based game described above, a dead ringer for the real show –– right down to the fact that, as an AV Club review points out, you’re playing through actual episodes of the show! This is what (in the review’s words) makes the game a “rousing success.” You have the ability to play online or offline as you please, with anywhere between 1 and 3 players, essentially loading up past episodes of the real Jeopardy! but guessing along in lieu of the real contestants.
There are also add-on trivia packages you can purchase (like “Best of the 1980s”) to effectively expand the game. Oh –– and to make it all feel a bit more like the game show, in which contestants “buzz in” with buttons, the game links up to your smartphone so that you can hit a button when you’re ready to answer, and give your response (or technically the question, given the famous reverse-trivia format of Jeopardy!) vocally.
Deal Or No Deal Live
In Deal Or No Deal, contestants had to choose to set aside one of a number of briefcases containing undisclosed amounts of money, with one holding $1 million. Once the case was picked, the contestant went round by round opening other cases and eliminating their values.
After each round of eliminations, the contestant received a choice: take a sum offered by “The Banker” and based on the remaining unopened briefcases’ value, or keep eliminating more cases (knowing that if high-value cases were eliminated, the next offer would be lower).
It was just the sort of game show you couldn’t help but want to play, and the Deal Or No Deal Live game that’s now available at assorted online casinos more or less gives you that chance. It’s a fairly straightforward adaptation of the game (albeit with lower prizes) in which you play through your screen with a live host who’s helping to orchestrate the action in real-time.
Who Wants to be a Millionaire Slingo
Like Deal Or No Deal, this title comes from the online casino space, and specifically the Slingo category. For those who aren’t aware of this somewhat emergent style of game, it’s one that mixes principles from slot machines and bingo. Basically, you spin slot reels in order to pull up numbers or symbols with which to fill up a bingo card.
In this Millionaire version from the Slingo section at Foxy Games though, you are also attempting to fill in groups of symbols relating to the game show (like “50:50” markers or “phone-a-friend” symbols). Each row or column you fill in on your bingo card unveils a hidden symbol, and if you match three symbols you win the corresponding cash prize. It’s not exactly like playing Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, but when you factor in the imagery and sound effects pulled from the game show, it’s still a fun online casino experience for fans.
The Price is Right
The Price Is Right is about as iconic as a game show gets –– currently in its 50th year running and winner of eight Emmys according to GoldDerby (which incidentally ranked it second among all game shows behind only Jeopardy!). It’s a show in which participants are offered a variety of prizes, from gym equipment to Caribbean vacations.
They were then asked to guess the value of the prizes, with the person coming closest (without going over) winning the prizes. Unfortunately, this mobile version by Cadev Games won’t land you that Caribbean getaway. But it still functions as a simple, fun trivia game in which you can pick categories and guess on prizes just as contestants do in the show.
Game shows have been enjoyed over the course of decades, by multiple generations. They’re still popular today, but so too are these video game versions of them that allow fans to play through the action. We hope you enjoy some of these selections and encourage you to visit Techy Jungle’s gaming section for more game-related content.