Front Game Rules
|Three players, one a returning champion, compete. Each game begins with the "Challengers Sprint", which is one minute of rapid-fire questioning, often about current events. Players win $100 for buzzing in with the right answer, while they lose $100 for being wrong. After the minute is over, the player with the most money gets control of the board.|
|Each round has six categories; each category has three questions ranging from $150 to $250 (these values double in the second round). After seeing the three question choices, the contestants lock in which question they would like to play. If a question is chosen by only one player, that question is read to that player, who must answer the question (as wrong answers and deadballs deduct from your score). If two players choose the same question, the question is read to both of them, and the players can buzz in as soon as they think they know the answer. If all three players pick the same question, then the values of all questions in that category double, and the player who answers correctly can answer either or both remaining questions for extra money.|
|After two rounds of play, the "Final Challenge" is played. Like before, the Final Challenge is based on one category, and has three questions, with each player choosing which question they want and how much they want to risk. The easy question is posted at even odds (bet $300, win $300), the moderate question has 2:1 odds (bet $300, win $600) and the hardest question has 3:1 odds (bet $300, win $900). If more than one player picks the same question, the player who wagered the most gets to answer. The player with the most money wins the game and returns the next day (although everyone gets to keep their money).|
End Game Rules
|Once a champion wins 3 straight games, s/he is entitled to play the "Ultimate Challenge" for a chance at a huge cash jackpot. Yet again, the Ultimate Challenge is a 1 category/3 question affair. After host Dick Clark reads the question, the player has 5 seconds to ponder the answer and guess. If the contestant gets all three questions right, s/he wins a cash jackpot that starts at $25,000 and grows by $1000 each day until won.|
The Challengers taped its shows on the Friday before the episodes were to be aired, so that current events could be among the questions. Each episode began with announcer giving the date ("This is September 5, 1990."), and sometimes "This Week on TV" was used as a category (with equal billing given to each network - this was syndicated, after all).
Also notable about this show was is payment structure. Each player who won money on the show received his/her prize in the form of a Citibank Visa card, with their score as the balance.
This was a kinda neat show. The element of secretly picking which question you want to play added an element of strategy to the game, the questions allowed for buzzer battles (something I always like to see in game shows), and the final round made it so that virtually any deficit could be overcome (and any lead could be blown). Dick Clark does a great job hosting, as always. Unfortunately, there are also a couple faults: The gameplay goes a bit slowly, the endgame is played rarely if ever (although I've heard they tweaked the format after a while), and the awarding of money by way of a credit card didn't work for me. And of course, Clark's hosting job of The Challengers opened up a hosting spot for the revival of The $100,000 Pyramid, and we all know what happened after that...
Gameplay: 2 pts.
Host: 3 pts.
Presentation: 2 pt.
Execution: 1 pts.
Total Score: 8 pts.