#15: Joker (Pricing Game)
The Price Is Right: 1994-2008
It's not uncommen to see some pricing games mixed to create new games. I mean, if you look back, elements of Double Digits & Mystery Price were combined to create one of my favorite games, Temptation. Then you got elements of Clock Game, Race Game and Dice Game to create one of the most frantic games ever, Bonkers. But what happens when you try to mix elements of Shell Game, 5 Price Tags, Master Key & throwing out any aspect known to man about one playing card?
Well, you get what has been deemed by many as one of the worst pricing games in the shows 38 year tenure; Joker.
The rules for Joker are like this. Correctly price a small item and you get to eliminate one of 5 cards from your hand. The goal in this game is to eliminate the Joker. In this game, you get 4 small items to correctly price. Meaning, you can eliminate 4 cards, leaving one card left in your hand. After 4 small items, if the joker has been discarded, you win. Now, this brings up a Major Flaw in this game. You can play this game perfectly and still lose. You can correctly guess all 4 items and get all 4 discards and the Joker would be the lone card standing, rendering everything you've done useless. Another bad mark on this game is that the main set looks god-awful. It looks like it was designed by a 10 year old and built by a middle school shop class.
Although I do admit that the small item podium looked decent enough. In this case, the contestant had to decide if it was 35 dollars or the other way around at 53 dollars.
And the reveal was very cool as well, with the correct price dropping down. But alas, not even a cool reveal can save this game. The cheapness of the main setup & it being a blatant carbon copy of 3 other popular games in the rotation, not to mention that you can be perfect and lose thanks to bad luck, makes this a terrible pricing game.
Now, our contestant has played the game perfectly and has eliminated all the cards that he could. If he discarded the Joker, he wins.
Surely this good contestant won't have a cruel twist of fate happen to him.
GAH! It sucks when you're perfect and still lose. That's the worst thing that can happen to you on this game and it happened more than it didn't.
Some people out there called this exciting and intriguing, I call this a fatal flaw in this game. It should have been 1 free discard and the opportunity to win 4 more. Or do what Shell Game Does and have the number of opportunities to match the amount of shells that are in the game. What shocks me is that this game lasted 14 years in the rotation before this game was unceremoniously axed in 2008. I don't recall it ever being played during Drew's first few months on the show, and it's probably a good thing that it didn't happen. This game was cheap in every single way: Setup, look, feel & the way that a contestant can lose. It truly is one of the worst pricing games of all time.
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