I think it’s a pun on Wheel of Fortune, but I’m not sure

By | September 9, 2021

Yesterday a new Jackbox game premiered ahead of the “fall” release of Jackbox Party Pack 8, and this is the one likely to be most interesting to Bother’s Bar readers, The Wheel of Enormous Proportions, as it’s the most quiz formatty.

In each round you’re asked three questions, usually Wipeout-esque but there’s normally one in each set that switches things up. Answering correctly earns you points, but doing best on each question earns you extra slices on the Wheel. After each set of three, in secret you put your slices on the twenty-segmented wheel and it’s spun a few times. Each time the Wheel spins your name, you win the increasing pot (although if you share your slice with someone else the points are split). Continue with rounds of questioning and spins until someone reaches a point threshold – at that point any time they earn more points on the Wheel (and only then) they get to spin the Winner’s Wheel, a twelve segmented wheel, some of which have their name on, the others are skulls. Spin your name and you win the game, spin a skull and you go back to the main game and await getting spun in again. Each go on the Winner’s Wheel there are more win spaces and fewer skulls.

There are some extra fillips, but that’s basically the format.

So based on a single playing of the game, what do I think? I absolutely dig the presentation and music. The game has lots of interesting and fun ideas but… I think it might have a pacing issue. Basically, each question takes about 90 seconds to resolve and there are three in a batch, then there a few minutes of wheel spinning and then back to questions. Because you can only win on the Wheel, it’s very possible that people will get near/past the threshold towards the end of round two and then… it’s about another five minutes before anyone gets the chance to resolve the game, and indeed crossing the threshold earning points in the quiz is irrelevant really. Not sure what the solution is really, perhaps turning the third round into alternating question/spin/question/spin which brings up its own set of issues.

TL;DR – good ideas but probably an iteration away from greatness, although luckily Jackbox tend to make sequels of games with potential, so look out for a better version of this in the Jackbox Party Pack 11.

Shooting zombies

By | September 7, 2021

So. Recently-ish I’ve been “getting into” the latest Call of Duty (Cold War) on XBox which is not something I thought I’d be saying, and having spent a fair bit of time getting shot in multiplayer (my Kill Elim/Death ratio is not great, but I’m wicked at objective capturing) recently I’ve been getting into the latest Zombie mode, and apparently getting into it in a big way, as I’ve just dropped *mumble* quids on the several-years-old Black Ops 3 (Christ, and supposedly it’s Nintendo that holds value) and its suite of zombie stuff. For the uninitiated, you and your team must try and survive increasingly difficult waves of zombies, using the earned credits to make your gun more powerful and buying perks and that, but if shooting things wasn’t fun enough, where the interest for me lies is that most of the maps made have some sort of light-puzzling task-based narrative quest which you can totally ignore if you want but come with their own rewards if you can see them through to the end, which you have to do whilst taking on the horde.

I sort of hate myself for it, but I’m in now.

I feel like there ought to have been a zombie episode of Ed Hall paintball-em-up X-Fire, but I don’t think there is as far as I know.

Under Mike Wood

By | September 5, 2021

In the correct universe, Michael Underwood would be at least as big as Stephen Mulhern, probably fronting a grown-up version of Jungle Run and at least cover hosting This Morning with his wife Angelica Bell. Unfortunately we live in a world where he fronted Bingo Night Live and became a teacher.

Still, what a teacher to have! He fronted so many great shows in the early 2000s – the golden age (by a distance) of Jungle Run, the entertaining Eliminator and for all you younger kids, Ministry of Mayhem. And of course he was one of the first kids to do The Crystal Maze.

So we’re extremely excited that one of our favourite podcasts, Jack’s Throwback Attack, has done a ninety minute interview with him and we’re extremely looking forward to listening to it.

Sunday Lunner

By | September 5, 2021

It’s between lunch and dinner. Anyway, here are some things that have caught my eye the last few days.

I know ABBA are all the rage this week, AND RIGHTLY SO, but Tia Kofi off of Rupaul’s Drag Race has been making a bit of a name for themselves in the electropop world of late, but nothing prepared us for a cover of Kandifloss (with a ‘K’) “hit” I Want It All. For relevance, this was the song Chantelle Houghton had to learn and sing as a civilian on Celebrity Big Brother to prove her celeb credentials. A 90 second demo version of the original was put on Spotify a little while ago.

You can buy/stream the EP here. Thanks to BB Spy for the heads up.

NEXT UP: [A] Question of Sport has returned with new “youth” “vibe” with new host Paddy McGuinness and new captains Sam Quek and Ugo Monye, I was quite surprised at how much it had been gutted (although they may change the rounds week to week), only a variant of the Picture Board turning up of the classic rounds. The most interesting bit was probably the Are Sportspeople Actually Any Good At Sports (my title) bit leading to a round where whoever did best in the challenge got more relatable questions in the following round (Tokyo 2020 vs Tokyo 1964 this week), but there was an odd chatshow bit whilst one team was trying to come up with answers to a multipart question. Yes, we have less content to get to know the contestant’s personalities better.

Overall it’s OK, although sports quiz fans probably won’t like the fewer questions on offer and it probably needs to be funnier for a general audience.

One thing that hasn’t changed from the past few years is the quite weird thing where normally you’d expect the stakes to increase as the quiz progresses, but QoS frontloads over half the points in the first five minutes. I’m not sure how much it “matters” matters, but it’s always struck me as a curious bit of formatting all the same.

Looks like GamesMaster is still happening, then

By | September 2, 2021

Forwarded to me on Twitter last night:

Nothing says videogaming in 2021 than the word “newb”!

Wow, Futurenet is still a thing, old school. Regardless of the rights and many wrongs of bringing back GamesMaster as a TV brand in the year 2021, if indeed this is the case, can we at least hope they will show the challenges in such a way the viewer can follow? Go 8 Bit got this spectacularly wrong quite a lot of the time – irritating cut aways, shrinking the screens to 60% real estate, not telling us where we should be looking to see who’s winning, really we should be doing it to at least the same standard Hewland was managing almost thirty years ago.

Sky One is dead

By | September 1, 2021

Sorry, the Bar was down yesterday but it’s back now whether you like it or not. Anyway, it was Sky One’s last day yesterday so let us celebrate its passing with one of its best ever shows, the Masked Singer beating, Montreux winning Wild Things, of which this appears to be the only full ep on Youtube. It’s from series 3 which changed the format a little bit.