2. THE BANK JOB
This is another British invention, with the premise built around the idea of a heist. Four players walk into a vault. They are given a 90-second time limit, and the host starts asking questions. If a player buzzes in with a correct answer, the clock is stopped, and the player gets to choose a bank box to open, most contain money bundles of varying amounts, a couple allow the player to steal a bundle from another player, and one causes that player to lose all of their money from that round. They are then allowed to leave the vault if they so choose – they must leave before time runs out, and if all four players leave the vault, the one with the least amount of money is eliminated. Rounds 2 and 3 have slightly different formats, but the general idea and strategy is still the same.
How long do you dare to stay inside the vault? How much money is enough to guarantee you’ll go through to the next round? Do you risk getting the Bankrupt, or having the other players steal some of your money? This is a great game of nerves, knowledge, and luck, and I could see this being a great party game. I almost disqualified it from the list, as I have learned of an online version, but as far as I know, it’s only single-player, and it’s only playable in the U.K.
1. POKER FACE/THE CON TEST
This made the top of the list thanks to that little part of me that enjoys when my friends are douchebags to each other. Allow me to explain.
There are six players, and they are all asked the same set of multiple-choice questions, and they all answer by pressing buttons on their podium. No one knows who chose what answer, but the host does tell everyone what answer is correct, and everyone who was correct gets some money. At the end of the round, they alone know how many answers they got right, and how much money they have, but they have no idea how their opponents did.
The player with the least amount of money will lose that money and be eliminated – unless someone decides to ‘fold’, leaving the game and taking their money with them. Players are each given a little time to try and convince someone to fold before the final countdown. Each round eliminates another player, until is only one left, and the last man standing gets a huge cash bonus.
I love this idea for a number of reasons – first, it would be possible to win the game without getting a single question right, as long as you’re a good bluffer. And secondly, I can easily picture my friends needling each other, trying to get somebody to fold.
The only problem I can see is that it might be difficult to make this into a video game, just from a logistical standpoint. You would need multiple controllers, and it doesn’t really work with less than four players, so that would likely mean a console – again, the WiiU would be the ideal system for this, allowing players to actually see a running tally of their own score without putting it on the TV.
Even so, how would one regulate the “bluff” period where players try to convince others to fold? Probably a ten-second maximum where the player involved can press a button to indicate they’re done to save time. And if there’s no real money at stake, why would anybody fold? You’d have to make that money worth something, maybe implement a leveling system with unlockable features and customization options? I’m not sure what would do the trick, but despite these small issues, I still believe it all can be done, or else I would’ve left it off the list.
This is a phenomenal game of Chicken via trivia – and I think it would be really interesting to see who would flinch and who wouldn’t.