Front Game Rules
|Two teams of two players competed. One member of each team was dressed and decorated with clues as to his/her personality, so that his/her teammate (who hadn't met the contestant until he/she came onstage) could deduce the contestant's hobbies and interests for use during the game. The decorated contestant also made a pose for the player as an extra clue.|
|When the round begins, the decorated player's partner ran to the first of six "stores", each offering four prizes. The runner selected the prize he/she believes his/her teammate selected as the prize they wanted to win, and brought it back to center stage. If it was the selected prize, the runner put the prize in the shopping bag in front of them and went to the next store. If it wasn't, host Pearson read a clue to the correct item. The first team established the time to beat, the second team then tried to do it faster. Whichever team had the fastest time wins the game. The runner gets a $500 gift certificate, the decorated player wins the six prizes he/she chose.|
End Game Rules - "The Birthday Party"
|The team now had 75 seconds to pick gifts for seven well-known celebrities or fictional characters. On a wall were a number of different items to be used as gifts. One by one, a personality's caricature appeared at the end of a long table. One person had to find a suitable gift for the person (i.e., A parrot for Jimmy Buffett, a polo mallet for Ralph Lauren), and throw it to the other player, who then places it in a box and sends it across the table. If it's the right gift, it's accepted and the next caricature pops up; otherwise, it's rejected and sent back. Each time the team gets the right gift for a celebrity, they earn a $100 gift certificate. If they get all 7, they win a vacation as well as $2000 spending money.|
Every episode, a member of the studio audience was chosen to model the prizes for the front game. This person was given the moniker "Denise/Dennis du Jour" and got $100. Early in the run, the winners played an extra game called "Denise du Jour's Double-up Derby", where the team tried to guess which prize Denise/Dennis chose out of four available. If correct, Denise/Dennis got the prize and the team played for $2000 spending money in the bonus round rather than $1000.
Not bad. Jay Wolpert has a reputation for pitching curveballs, and this is another show that has a little weirdness to it (what show other than Let's Make a Deal has ever referred to their players as "strangely dressed"?). The game itself is appealing, as the runners try to make snap judgments on people they've barely met. The Birthday Party is also an interesting round, although I never understood why there was a line that the gift-finder has to stay behind; why not just widen the gap between the team and have the gift-finder run over to the gift-wrapper with their selection? Ron Pearson has an animated personality, which sometimes serves to make the show more fun to watch, but othertimes gets in the way of the game.