Yes! It’s the return of 500 Questions!

“Top” throw-things-against-a-wall-and-pray-it-sticks quiz format 500 Questions returns to the US for a five episode run beginning with a two hour special on May 26th – that’s just three weeks! And some of the changes involve cutting rounds to 30 questions (looking forward to the natural denouement on Round 16 2/3rds), adding a two minute speed round and stunt casting as one of the contestants on the first night is none other than Ken Jennings!

You may remember Ken from winning over $2m on Jeopardy in a 74 game winning streak in 2004 and has managed to remain Still A Thing (he’s a mildly amusing Twitter follow). With new host Dan Harris, it’s sure to Definitely Be A Success This Time.

But if you can’t wait for that and live in Germany you can watch the UK version being filmed on the German set in Koln on the 11th and 12th of May. We are aware that neither we or the Germans are taking the US version straight, the German show is also a four-episode affair like ours (theirs is also two hours an episode although we don’t know what the UK one is going to do yet) and offers a €3m top prize.

What’s baffling that we’ve heard from a reputable source that the UK version for ITV is going to be fronted by edgy restaurant critic and brother of Victoria Giles Coren, which is such a baffling choice I can only assume someone was thinking of Gyles Brandreth and got a bit confused.

It’s Schlag den Star on Saturday!

eltonsdsJoin us from 7:15pm May 7th as we guide you through yet another LIVE episode of Schlag den Star where two top German celebrities compete against each other for €100,000 under the auspices of the people’s favourite Elton and commentator Frank Buschmann.

This episode our contestants are singer and The Voice Kids coach Johannes Strate versus football coach Arne Friedrich. Musical guests to be confirmed.

We will as ever be offering up “insight”, “fun” and “games” during the adverts and boring bits.  Do watch along!

Apps Upside Your Head: Gameshow Adventure

Question-RoundAndroid only (right now),
Google Play Store link,
Free to demo, full game unlock £3.50

And so to an app that was off my radar but asked to try out, promising to be an amalgamation of various different formats in one app.

In Gameshow Adventure you are tasked with climbing pyramids (Aztec, Egypt, Vegas), each one with fifteen rooms and in each room a game. These are multi-choice quizzes (with varying rules regarding payoffs), conundrums (anagrams), catchphrases, a bonus wheel, various puzzles and the last room is basically Deal or No Deal for big points. At various points up the pyramid you can go to a shop to spend your winnings on extra lives, passes or to even play an arcade-y game to earn more money. And there’s a bonus game you can play between rooms.

The app certainly looks and sounds great with its crisp graphics and fun sound effects. However the writing needs a bit of work – it rather bombards you with the rules at the start (there are quite a lot of mechanics in play here although they make sense when you start playing) and the various messages could probably do with a snappier edit, especially considering it’s pitched internationally. The questions aren’t greatly interesting to be honest (they’re also designed for international play) and sometimes a bit vague (“which country has the most radio stations?”). The other rounds play well, there seems to be a reasonable amount of variety in the puzzle rounds although nothing massively original (pelmanism, tower of hanoi, Simon etc).

The “gambling” games are arcadey-skill games some of which inspired by arcade classics through the prism of the Going Live phone-in game. These are fine in the main although the game of Frogger I played seemed to have a four minute time limit which is a bit much. A run through a pyramid will take you about 20-25 minutes provided you don’t crash out and lose all your lives.

You can play multiplayer pass and play and everyone gets the same questions and challenges for fairness. It keeps stats and leaderboards.

This would make for a pretty good quiz machine with a few tweaks, it certainly looks and sounds the part. As it is £3.50 for the full game unlock feels a bit steep in the current app climate. However the first pyramid is entirely free to play (with adverts in the shops) and I do think once you know what you’re doing it’s quite fun – I did shell out in the end.

Pick Pockets

This is quite interesting because we hadn’t heard of it before (was it a broadcast pilot?) But from 1988 and Tyne Tees-land here’s Pick Pockets, in which a bowtied Tom O’ Connor hosts a snooker-based quiz, not unlike a proto-Big Break.


With thanks to Gordon Donaldson for alerting us to the existence of this.

The Crystal Maze Live Experience Experienced

I was very cynical when news of this first broke – great, some posh hipsters are going to piss all over my childhood. The good news is that that initial opinion is very much unwarranted. However you do need to go into this on the understanding that it’s an interactive theatrical adaptation of the TV show rather than a straight redo.

With that in mind I’m going to put the rest under a cut. If you don’t want to be spoiled then don’t click under the cut. I won’t be revealing *everything* to keep some surprises, but I wouldn’t be able to give proper criticism without some spoilers so on your own head be it.

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Still time to vote…

In retrospect I should have put this up here yesterday…