It’s fair to think of game shows as things of the past. Once among the most popular shows on television, they now feel old fashioned and have largely been replaced by competitive reality series. We still like to watch ordinary people compete on TV, but rather than watching them in games of strategy or chance, we tend to gravitate more toward skill-based competitions; we want to see who can cook, sing, or perform better than their competitors.
However, these trends don’t mean that we’re completely leaving the entertainment of game shows behind. In fact, some popular game show formats have experienced something of a resurgence in the last five years or so thanks to the rise of mobile gaming.
Just a few months ago, a list of noteworthy game show apps for Android was written up, and it clearly demonstrates how one of the newest forms of gaming is reviving some of our older beloved TV shows. That’s not to say that more people are necessarily tuning in to watch Family Feud reruns, but it’s clear from the selection that many of the most popular old game shows have gained new popularity as mobile games. Apps for Deal Or No Deal, Jeopardy!, and even Wheel Of Fortune have faithfully adapted game show competition to allow fans to do what they always wanted when they watched old episodes: play out the games and try their luck themselves! The games don’t have the life-changing cash payouts that the actual contestants on game shows hoped to win, but they’re fun to play nonetheless.
Then again, we’ve also seen some other innovative corners of the gaming industry using old game shows as inspiration for games that do have cash payouts. That doesn’t mean they can make you a millionaire overnight, but it does show that even modern gamers still enjoy the chance to win money through game show concepts. One noteworthy example of this concept is the “Boss The Lotto” game that can be found online. In this game, you simply begin picking balls before choosing whether or not to cash out with what those balls revealed. As a result, the game is essentially a slightly altered version of Deal Or No Deal. Players can place a wager before starting, and that wager determines the highest possible jackpot. Then players pick six balls and decide whether to cash out or keep picking in hopes of a higher reward.
These are just a few examples out of many, but they show that even in relatively cutting-edge corners of the gaming industry—app stores and online platforms, both of which involve constant development and refinement of gaming concepts—old game shows have enduring popularity. And we’re now seeing modern versions of competitive reality television taking note and expanding their platforms to include mobile integration. Through tools like The Voice app, for instance, viewers of modern competitive reality shows are able to participate in the action, not through games but through actual votes and interactions.
It all stems back to some of the oldest game shows on TV inspiring viewers to want to take part. When we see people completing tasks and challenges to win prizes, we want to experience the same thing. And for many years, that wasn’t really possible. But even as game shows have slowly begun to disappear, they’ve risen anew in mobile gaming platforms. And with a new wave of competitive programs taking the place of old game shows, technology is being embraced to give viewers ways to tap into the action in real time.