Front Game Rules
Two players compete, with the help of four celebrities. During play, a contestant picks a celebrity and a star in his/her column to light up (for instance, "Christopher Hewitt at the top" or "Peter Scolari at the middle.") The celebrity is asked a question which is then answered by the celeb (no true bluffs here; the stars are given a list of choices and pick what they think is the right answer). After an answer is given, the player can then either agree or disagree with the celeb. If they judge correctly, they continue play. Otherwise, control passes to their opponent.
Whenever the four stars that surround a screen are lit, that screen is exposed and part of a word puzzle is revealed. During a player's turn, s/he may elect to guess the puzzle, at the risk of losing control if incorrect. The first player to solve two puzzles wins the game, a prize worth about $3,500-$4,000, and advances to the Blitz Bonanza board. (Note: There may be a rule involving a "Blitz," in which one person reveals all but one screen and the other player guesses the puzzle, but at this time I have no information regarding this possibility. If anyone can help me out, let me know.)
In the bonus round, the champion is presented with another word puzzle. In order to reveal portions of the board, s/he must spin a wheel. When the wheel stops, the screen highlighted in the board is exposed. If a spin lands on a screen that has already been revealed, that spin is lost. If, after 4 spins of the wheel, fewer than 4 screens have been exposed, the player can then elect to solve the puzzle immediately or give up the prize won in the front game for one more spin.
|After all spins have been played, the champion then has 10 seconds to review the puzzle and make a guess. During this time, the four celebrities write down their guesses. If the champion guesses the puzzle correctly, s/he wins a jackpot that starts at $10,000 and grows by $5,000 each time until it freezes at $25,000. If unsuccessful, the contestant can still win money if the celebrities knew the puzzle. The player wins $250 for each celebrity that guessed correctly.|
To say the least, this was an interesting combination of games. The agree/disagree method was directly ripped from Hollywood Squares (and considering that Merrill Heatter co-produced the show, it's hardly surprising), and the word puzzle was yet another Wheel of Fortune knockoff. Peter Marshall does a respectable job as host, and his presence helped make the show a little more watchable. Still, many elements of the game seemed forced. The applause was canned, the zingers had no zing, and the bonus round didn't have any real charm. And the less said about that theme music, the better (I will admit that the tune was catchy, but whoever decided to put those singers in there should be fired).