Exit Stage Right

By | May 23, 2012

OK, so the VERY EXCITING news today is that Exit (aka Escape Game DERO!) has been picked up by SyFy in the US. SyFy’s track record in this sort of thing is actually pretty good – Estate of Panic was a Bother’s Bar favourite, Total Blackout is close to the source show, Cha$e was an OK stab at Run For Money even if it was a bit charmless. Looking forward to this immensely.

Also sounding very exciting is a show called The Great Escape beginning on June 24th on the US TNT, where people are challenged to escape situations. Tickety-tock.

27 thoughts on “Exit Stage Right

  1. Andrew

    That IS exciting!

    I still miss Estate of Panic. Alas.

  2. David

    Well, they’ve come up with a Million Pound Drop knockoff- Say hello to Israel’s Money Pump…(it’s not geoblocked in the US at least)


    This is from a translation from a Wikipedia page and the video, so it may not be 100% exact, but here’s the format…

    -Two contestants try to keep as much of a million shekels as possible over 8 questions.

    -The couple are given a choice of three categories for each question, they choose one.

    -Each player is at their own podium, slanted in a way where they can’t see each other.

    -The four possible answers are given, then the question. They can lock in their answers as soon as the question is finished, which is important.

    -Because after a three second countdown, the “money pump” starts taking away money at the rate of approx. 10K per second. The pump stops when both players lock in an answer.

    -At least one of them must have the correct answer for them to continue- but picking the same answer as your partner is important too.

    -If you split answers, so long as one of them is right, that’s fine, but you can only do this twice in the first seven questions- do it a third time and you’re out.

    -When you split answers, you also speed up the Money Pump for the following questions- the first time it goes up to 15K/second, the second time to 20K/second.

    -The money pump is a nice effect- they have a spherical monitor in the middle with computer-generated bills flying around, and two long tube-shaped monitors on the sides taking the money away from the center, and the number of bills in the center decrease as the money left goes down. There’s also a cutaway of a camera in a plastic tube with money blowing around- I suspect that’s in another area for more effect.

    -You have two helps in the first seven questions. You can either choose to confer on a question together before the question is asked (but the pump will continue to go), or after one person has locked in, that person can “takeover” a question (thus locking in the other player to that answer).

    -The eighth and final question is a little different. You still have the same choice of three categories, After you pick the category however, you must decide between one of two question types.

    -You can play pretty much like normal: 4 possible answers, 3 seconds before you start losing money, and you may confer- but you can only lock in one answer.

    -Or you can try a question with 8 possible answers, of which 2 are correct. The advantage to this is you have 12 seconds before you start losing money. Again, you may confer before you lock in the two answers, both of which must be right to win the money.

    It’s definitely faster paced than MPD- and in theory easier to keep the entire million than MPD because of the ability to split answers and the 3 second grace period before you start losing money…It may be a bit of a knockoff, but it’s a good one.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Watching this now, it’s a shame they have no physical way of representing the pump, but it does look quite nice.

      Given they’re using a split screen anyway, I think they should just have the contestants playing back to back, to accentuate the idea they can’t help each other. You don’t really see the money leaving the sphere anyway.

      1. art begotti

        An idea for physical representation that would be impractical, but interesting: The money is presented in stacks of bills, held over a spinning rubber wheel of sorts. If they take too long, the stack is lowered onto the wheel, which spits the money out of the stack into a shredder/over a cliff/into a bear pit or whatever other physical way of representing that the money is gone. Sort of like an ATM spitting out money like its life depended on it. That way, you could also see a clear representation of how much money is left in the stack, and as a bonus, the contestants could “take the money home with them” if they won.

        1. David B

          Yeah, that’s a bit like a ‘card fountain’ that magicians use to fire cards into the air.

          1. art begotti

            YES. Card fountain. I knew there had to be a name for it, I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me.

      2. David

        It probably saves them time in the long run just doing the computerized representation- if they did an actual pump, there could be so many things that go wrong (it clogs up, they can’t shut it down quickly, it probably would make a lot of noise, etc.)

        Actually, I would have put one of those smart glass windows between them- you know, one that is clear when the power is off then turns opaque when you turn the power on? Since I believe they have to use the option to conference before they see the question anyway, it’d be a cool effect to activate it before the question is asked..

        1. Alex

          Ooh, they can have the nice blind wall from The Waiting Game’s endgame.

          1. Qusion

            Or the toilet wall from Big Brother 5 – one day I shall have sufficient money to have a bathroom with a window made of the same stuff.

    2. The Banker's Nephew

      For whatever reason, all I could think when watching this was that it would make a good competitive show.
      Possibly two teams, lower money (say, 50 grand in each bank) and lower pump rates, ~4 questions each, whoever had the most money at the end took it home and played for the money left in the opponents’ bank or something.
      …I had very little to do today.

        1. The Banker's Nephew

          …Basically, yeah.
          I didn’t see that before. I’m not particularly creative in the summer. Or the winter. Or fall or spring, for that matter.

        1. Andy "Kesh" Sullivan

          I’ve been discussing Battle For Money with my anime group, and they love it!

    1. David

      The second episode is better than the first IMO- I suspect the first episode was a pilot. Pretty cool though…

      1. Daniel

        Yep, the first episode was a pilot that aired in the middle of the night without any promotion (actually the week before the last Run for Money in which Battle was advertised). Lots of improvements in the second ep/first proper episode. It’s not as good as Run for Money but still enjoyable. And it has already given us a new ‘…. for Money’ record in the results.

    2. Poochy.EXE

      A quick overview of the rules, for those who don’t understand Japanese:

      * Each player starts out with an equal amount of money. Female players are also each given a small shield, which has proven mostly useless so far.
      * If a player is hit by a Battle Ball, he/she is out of the game and must hand all their money over to the player who hit them. (If a player is eliminated but not by another player, his/her money is simply removed from the game.)
      * Players can get a Battle Android Shinobi, which will both protect them and attack other players. Each player can only have one active Shinobi at a time. They can listen and follow orders from their owners, but they never seem to speak.
      * If a Shinobi scores a hit, the player who owns the Shinobi gets credit for the hit. The color-coded armbands indicate which player owns which Shinobi.
      * If a Shinobi is hit, it is deactivated and will sit in place where it was hit. Any player who gets their hands on another pair of armbands can then put one on it to reactivate it and become its new owner.
      * When the clock hits 20:00, the green Battle Balls become ineffective. New red ones are then introduced into the game.
      * When the clock hits 00:00, if there is more than one player left standing, none of them win anything.
      * Like RFM, there is a way for players to quit the game and take all their money so far, although this can vary from episode to episode. In the second episode, it was mentioned that this can only be used while there are still 4 or more players in the game; once it’s down to 3, it’s all or nothing for those 3.

        1. Brig Bother Post author

          I’m watching it, but I’m not quite buying it so far, .i don’t think the dynamic is quite so compelling as Run For Money – it’s lots of waiting for encounters amongst people who are basically matched, then watching people play dodgeball badly without them having to make interesting decisions.

          I think quite a lot if this could be mitigated if ut wasn’t 100 minutes long. 20 minutes in I’m thinking ‘Christ, still 80 more?’

          Celebrity Adventure Dodgeball is a fun idea, but it will have to be much tighter if ut wants to sell I think.

  3. Gizensha

    …When did the US and UK seemingly swap places for prevalence of the action/adventure genre, anyway?

    Not that I’m complaining that the US are doing so many these days, just… Couldn’t ITV or Channel 4 or someone pick a couple of these up? Or come up with some new British ones (Or at least hastily reformatted French ones)?

  4. Travis P

    According to Endemol Joe. Million Pound Drop is set to return in mid-June. Which means it will return on Friday 15th June for a new one month series.

    I doubt they will make any changes since the last series was blatanly predictible. It will probably be the same again.

    1. David B

      Thanks for this.

      The problem I’ve always had with this format, relatively competent though it is otherwise, is that they’ve devised something where the contestants DON’T talk to each other during the questions (apart from that one lifeline). That seems mighty silly to me – working out the answer is usually the most interesting bit…

      Also, I wonder if they’ve really thought about ways to defeat the contestants communicating with each other through visual cues.


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