Monday, June 5, 2006

Top 5 Price is Right Pricing Games

It's time to embrace my game show geekdom once again with a top five on the best pricing games on "The Price is Right." There have been just over 100 to date with around 70 still active on the show. I always harp on how difficult it is for me to rank things, but I was starving for new content. What follows is a five-to-one list of the games that may not be the best from a gameplay point of a view, but I "mark out" most over when they appear.

Would be a good time for honorable mentions, but like I said, I hate ranking these things mostly because I tend to like a lot of things pretty equally. I don't think I could even cobble together a bottom five, but time will tell.

5. Check Game - Otherwise known as the one nobody knows how to play. The giant checks and all the contestant's struggles qualify its placement for me, but it is a pretty decent game to boot. Trivia bit for the casual fans: it used to be called "Blank Check," which is admittingly a cooler name, but they had to drop it for fear of lawsuit from a company who made a show by the same name 12 years prior.

4. Hurdles - The only non-active (fan term, "retired") game on the list, and it was only active from the late 70s into the early 80s, so allow me to explain. A hurdler is attached to a grocery item. The contestant must pick from three pairs of products the one item that costs less than the hurdler. Then, Bob Barker or the contestant fires a starter's pistol that sends the runner down the track. If he costs more than the selected item, he "jumps" the hurdle. If he does this all three times, the player wins. Take one look at the the setup they used for this game and you just know it was doomed to mechanical breakdown. That sadly cost its life on the show, but I loved watching the "race" and the game was a pretty decent exercise in pricing too.

3. Check-Out - Really, really difficult game, but one with a cool set that's fun to play along with. You basically have to guess the price of five grocery items within $2.00 above or below their actual combined total.

2. Race Game - It's that game where they run around, throw prices on some prizes, and pull a handle to see how many they have right. Everything from the set, to the racing music, to the prize music typically used in this game make it awesome. A classic.

1. Punch-a-Bunch - My favorite. As proven by the success of "Deal or No Deal" and other no-brain games, everybody loves a big ol' pick-and-choose for cash, and this is no exception. Although with inflation taking its course, a lot of the picks are a non-issue. Most contestants walk for 5k, some for 1k, but basically all of them turn down anything lower. Still, I love to see it more than any other game.

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