In each round, the players are given the first letter to the string on which they'll be building. This letter will also represent the first letter to every answer in that round. For each question, the host will read a series of clues that relate to a person, place, or thing. As the host reads clues, the answer is spelled to the players, one letter at a time. If a player buzzes in and answers correctly, he/she wins $50 in the first two rounds, and gets to either add a letter to the string or force that duty on his/her opponent. If a contstant answers incorrectly, the clues continue for the other player.
For each letter that is added to the string, $25 is added to the pot for the round. If a word of 5 letters or more is spelled, though, the player who placed the last letter is "Spellbound" and the other player wins the money in the pot. A board below the word, will display what letters are available to be placed, so that the contestant cannot create a string of gibberish. In the third round, clues are worth $100 each with letters in the string worth $50 each, while the fourth round has $200 clues and letters adding $100 to the pot. If time is running short during the fourth round, the questions will be dropped, and players will simply alternate letter-adding responsibilities with each turn. After four rounds, the player with the most money gets to keep it and advances to the bonus round. If the score is tied at the end, a tiebreaker clue will be played.
Before the show begins, the studio audinece is invited to write down the longest word they can think of that begins with a particular letter.of the alphabet. (Proper names don't count.) The person who comes up with the longest word gets to come up on stage to face the champion. If there's a tie for the longest word, a drawing will be held among the tying audience members. The audience player then goes against the champ in the same fashion as the speed round noted above. If the champion can get the audience member to spell a word first, he/she wins $5000 and the audience member gets $10 for each letter in the word. If the champion completes a word first, he gets $50 for every letter in the word, and the audience player picks up $1000. Champs return for a maximum of three days.
The concept of forming a word one letter at a time has always been an interesting one to me. I only played this game a few times as a kid, but every game I played with my friends was a hoot. The bonus round has a nice little twist regarding having an audience member compete against the champion for the day.
Much like Luck of the Draw, it would be difficult to separate this game from Blockbusters, should that format ever come back. I can't help but wonder if this is a better kids' game than an adult's game.
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