#104: Double Digits
The confusion, banality, and terribleness are multiplied by Double Digits here
CBS: (Early 1973)
The Price Is Right in 1973 was a simpler time. The games were simple, the prizes were simple, the contestants could understand the rules to the games, and it was only 30 minutes long. Because the games were simple, the play-along factor at home was high and thus would explain why it has been running non-stop for about 40 years. However, in 1973 a game would come along that made you feel confused, nauseous and overall not very pleasant.
No, I'm not talking about the first version of Bullseye. At least that game had a simple premise, even though it was balls hard to play, and was never won. But the game that gets the nod this time is one of the most confusing games of all time. It was ugly to look at as well as watch someone to play it. It's time to bring about Double Digits.
Double Digits was played for a car...and it seems we had some recycling going on. Look at the Bullseye picture above and the Double Digits board. The Eggcrate placement is exactly the same. So it looks like they recycled the board, but the result....is uglier. The bright pink on green and all those question marks on the board. Although this would be the first pricing game to have its name on the board, it doesn't mean much when the gameplay gets explained. I'm just wondering who created this game, The Riddler?
Anyways, the game itself is just as puzzling as one of his quandaries to anybody not named Batman. The contestant is shown a small, two digit prize and is shown the second number of that prize's price. I should mention the design of the numbers on the board. While the Eggcrate design is fine...for an electronic sense, the ones that are covered up look ugly. They should have been either Eggcrate electronics themselves, or maybe something more solid. Either way, it makes an ugly game even uglier. The contestant is shown two other numbers, whether it be a 2 or 3, you know something like that, kind of like One Away in a way. The number that they think is the correct first number of the small prize goes into the price of the car., meaning that the digit pulls double duty in a way. I'm already confused about the gameplay, and I bet all of the viewers at home were confused as well.
Heck, even the contestant was admitting to Bob that she still kinda needed some help with figuring out the game. Bob was also looking kinda confused with this game as well. I guess the question marks were symbolic for this game. If you have them above your head, you've mastered Double Digits. Personally, if you master Double Digits, you deserve a doctorate in advanced quantum physics. It's that confusing to me.
The contestant does the same thing for the next 3 small prizes and after its all said and done, they would have filled out the price of the car. If they got all 4 of the smaller prizes right, then they would have the exact price of the car. If they didn't, then all they won was the small prizes that they did guess right. The game would take about 3-4 minutes, and afterwards, the next game was often Double Prices, a far superior game. The length of time to play, the confusion of the rules and the ugly board doomed the game from the word go and was quickly scrapped. Now, there is some confusion as to how many times it was played. Some reports say it was only played twice, like Professor Price. Others say it was played 4-5 times, like Bullseye (1) and even further confusing is that others claim that sometimes it was played with different rules. Man, the history of this game is even as more confusing as the game itself.
Either way, the game was way too confusing for it's own good. If it was simplified, then it wouldn't have been that bad of a pricing game. Maybe instead of making the contestant price 4 other items, they give them the price of the item and then say that one of the numbers in that price is also in the price of the car. Repeat the scene 3 more times and if they are unsure, they can change the price. If they are even further unsure, they can keep the gifts, which would amount to around $1,000 or so, so it would be worth their while to stop. Wait a minute.....
I JUST DESCRIBED TEMPTATION!
Yes, Temptation is often called the "phoenix that rose from the ashes of Double Digits". And I'm glad it was created. It's one of my favorite games and I hope to play it sometime, if I get to come on down. So, at least something good came out of the drek that was Double Digits.
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