Lifespan: June 2002 - Present
Host: Mark L. Walberg
Announcer: Burton Richardson
Produced by: Gunnar Wettenberg Productions
Front Game Rules
||Four players begin the game. Each player is spotted $150, and one person is randomly selected as the "Challenger". The challenger is shown a question and must force another player to answer it. At that point, three possible choices are shown and the challenged player has 10 seconds to answer. A right answer earns $150; a wrong answer forfeits all the money to the challenger and forces the challenged player to play Russian Roulette.
|When a contestant is forced to play Russian Roulette, s/he pulls a handle next to them. After the handle is pulled, a series of "drop zones" spin around each of the six chambers of the studio. The first question has 1 drop zone in play; each subsequent question adds a drop zone up to a maximum of 5. If a drop zone stops on the player's circle, a trap door under the player opens and that person drops out of the game (literally). Otherwise, play continues with the challenged player becoming the new Challenger. If time runs short, the handle is pulled to determine who is eliminated, with only the leader being safe from the drop. (If there is no outright leader, everyone is in danger.) If a dropped player had any money, it is forfeited and split evenly among the remaining players. The three remaining contestants advance to round 2.
||In the second round, each question has four answer choices, and right answers earn $200. Aside from that, the same rules apply. When a second contestant is removed from the game, the two players left go on to the third round.
In the third round, each question is worth $250, and instead of a player choosing an opponent to challenge (as there is only one), a player has the option of either challenging their opponent to answer the question or taking the question him/herself (running the risk of losing all his/her winnings to the other player if incorrect). If no player drops on account of a drop zone when time is called, the player with the least amount of money is dropped (and all his/her winnings go to the other player). The last person standing goes to the bonus round.
End Game Rules
|The winning player now has 60 seconds to answer 10 questions correctly. Every 10 seconds, one of the six trap doors opens up on its way around the stage to the contestant's zone. If an incorrect answer is given or time runs out, the contestant is dropped and given $250 for each correct answer given. If all 10 questions are answered correctly, the player gets $10,000.
At that point, the contestant has one final decision to make; either keep the money or play Russian Roulette one final time, using the number of drop zones opened in the first part of the bonus round (so if you did it in 50-59 seconds, there'd be 5 drop zones; 40-49 seconds, 4 drop zones; etc.) If the player survived the final spin, his/her $10,000 became $100,000; if the player dropped, the $10,000 was lost (although front game winnings were safe).
Eliminated players drop 6 feet onto a padded mat under the play area (which, obviously, is raised above the studio floor). Obviously, players have to sign a waiver disclaiming the show of any injuries. To date, only one injury (a twisted ankle) has been reported.
Originally, the bonus round involved answering 5 brain-teaser questions correctly in under 60 seconds. When this resulted in two $100,000 wins within the first 65 episodes, the current format was instituted.
Loogaroo Looks it Over
Gameplay: 3 pts.
An excellent mixture of knowledge, strategy, and plain old luck.
Host: 3 pts.
The "Most Improved Game Show Host" award definitely goes to Mark L. Wahlberg. From second banana on Shop 'Til You Drop to here - quite an evolution.
Presentation: 2 pts.
Tell me you don't hold your breath when the drop zones start to slow down. Great music, too.
Execution: 1 pt.
The first bonus round was too easy. The second was too hard. Surely they could've figured out some sort of happy medium.
Total Score: 9 pts.
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