Front Game Rules
|Two players compete. The object of the game was to fill "contracts" by answering questions, and be the first to bank $1,000. At the start of each round, the three windows on the game board mix their contents. The upper two windows determine which categories the contract can be played with, as well as the value of each question, while the bottom window displayed the number of questions in the contract. In the example on the right, the player could attempt a contract about European Countries (worth $500) or World Wars (worth $750). Question values ranged from $100 to $200. If a Bullseye appeared in the bottom window, the player could make the contract of any length.|
|A player kept control until s/he missed a question. Whenever a contract was completed, the player had a choice to make. S/he could either bank the money, which would be theirs to keep regardless of the outcome of the game, but would pass control to their opponents; or s/he could retain control of the board but leave the money in the pot, making it possible for the other player to steal control and snatch the bank. The first player to $1,000 won the game and played the bonus round. (Later in the show's run, question values ranged from $200 - $300, and it took $2,000 to win)|
|In the bonus round, the windows concealed amounts of money from $100 - $200 ($200 - $300 Later in the run), Bullseyes, and lightning. Players spun the windows as many times as they wanted, and could stop at any time. If a Bullseye came up, that window was frozen (and since only one window had lightning, if that window was frozen the player was in the clear). If lightning showed up at any time, the player lost everything. If three Bullseyes came up, the player's total in the round was doubled and s/he also won a prize package. If a player managed to spin 10 times in a row, the player won the prizes and $5,000.|
In the show's second season, the format was changed so that celebrities played for their favorite charities. Called "Celebrity Bullseye" (natch), the rules were the same as the civvie version, only that celebs stayed on for a whole week. Chalk another one up for adding celebrities to a game show unsuccessfully. (Witness Password All-Stars, Celebrity Hot Potato, and Whew! - these shows also tried in vain to salvage ratings by adding celebrities)
It's not often that my philosophy on video games gets to manifest itself in my other interests, but I can draw numerous parallels from this show and my vintage gaming background. Most people, when they sing Bullseye's praises, mention the awesome set and the cool music they use. Kinda like the N64 drones who drool over a game for its 3-D graphics and stereo sound. But in both cases, the game is where the quality falters. In the case of this show, the gameplay is slow and complicated. It feels like a slower, less exciting version of The Joker's Wild. And yet again, that bonus round is your standard "Avoid the bad guy" fare. And I've mentioned this before, but Jim Lange's hosting style nearly grinds the pace of the show to a halt. Couldn't they have found someone who could get the show moving faster?
Gameplay: 1 pt.
Host: 2 pts.
Presentation: 2 pts.
Execution: 2 pt.
Total Score: 7 pts.