Shutting Down The Smooch

It’s been a good year or so with the Smooch, but I have decided to close the blog down effective next week. It’s been a good ride, but I would not call the website a failure.

What I learned from doing this website was that there is sometimes an “I” in team, but luckily, because of the great reviews that came in from Thomas, we have started a new blog that will be announced on the social media in a few weeks. It’s going in-depth on anything media, and it’ll be very lengthy, and maybe you’ll see a ton more writing from me, aside from that 4-month burnout that happened.

I can announce, however, that I have started a new GAME SHOW themed blog over at ShinyFloorGame.com which will be home to game show reviews (all of which will be brand new and revived versions of the shows featured here and at HJGE)  and maybe even some fun meta-games in the near future.

It’s been personally troublesome in my life for the last year, and I am pretty sure it will be the same next year as well, but hopefully, there will be good things happening in the future.

I’d like to thank everybody who has visited the website, shared an article or left a comment. Even if it was just 2 viewers a day, it was still interesting. The only reason I’m closing this is because I’m taking it into a new direction, and I am pretty sure something called “TEAM” would be awkward, if I’m writing a good chunk of articles like last time 😛

Expect great things from SFG and the lengthy walls of text that will talk about all things media.

“From Both Sides” – My Time With Internet Drama.

Hello, my name is Jordan Hass. I used to get banned from message boards from shit posting as a kid (mostly spamming with multiple posts, instead of editing the original one) and I have been trying my best to be a funny person on the internet with absolutely no success.

Most of the time, I am a pretty chill person, as laid back as it gets. I enjoy video games, watching Netflix (Chill optional) and watching weird YouTube videos like whatever the heck this is:

Growing up with YouTube and being able to write, and even a tiny webcam, I was making a few silly videos on the side. I was happy entertaining people by commentating on TV Shows and writing about game shows. But I have a dark, shady past.

I was once, you guessed it, an internet troll.

To me, Internet trolling was kind of a silly thing, I felt it was a candid camera sort of situation, where you and a friend would goof around until a moderator cleans up the mess (I wasn’t partiularly fond of the goatse spamming, I was more in favor of the goofy kind of stuff like going to a Final Fantasy Message Board to explain my dislike for the series (because to me, it was boring, so I didn’t have to get in character)

Eventually, I even participated in those goofy YouTube commentary things, I talked over youtube videos like a Retsupurae, but I was mocking people dressed as anime characters (many of which probably spent months making the costumes for me to wonder “what’s with the yaoi”? Unaware, it was because I was learning about my bisexuality)

But doing this on the Something Awful message boards had a price – and that price was to make an apology video (I knew it’ll probably be commentated on, but I never ever played Gradius ever) and thus this video above is what you have.

It was the first time I ever felt depressed, like seriously depressed. “Nobody wants me here”. But then it was that day (same day as a nice 1-day probation) that it hit me – I’m doing the same shit to these people.

It was at that time, that I dropped that stage in my life, to begin my writing project on the internet.

Feeling neglected, I really wanted a place to write and give my goofy things, and because places like Reddit and Buzzfeed weren’t as big as they were now. I created a website called “Busy Street” (because Information Super Highway). It was supposed to be a skewer of internet culture, but at the same time, I was writing whatever I felt like writing that day. Anything from impersonating 90s video game articles to writing about stuff you can buy at Goodwill.

But what audiences really seemed to enjoy – was my talk on ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.

Yes, the video above which came after I invited a dozen or so SA members to riff on a TGWTG video, would be the same dumb thing that people gravitated towards. At the time, I just started college, and it was a way to help with my anxiety, writing about stuff.

Originally, the idea was to just say that TGWTG was nothing more than “Irate Gamer” ripoffs, because at the time everybody was mocking Chris Bores aka “Irate Gamer” because he was doing the Angry Reviewing schtick (then again, in High School, I was angry reviewing Anime, so I guess I’m a hypocrite, whoops.)

I reviewed Kickassia, I reviewed Suburban Knights. I talked about a few reviewers and  called them all the teenage edgelord terms like “fag” “retarded”, etc. I was, for lack of a better word, not very nice. I got blocked by various reviewers, and I really do not blame them. I was really mean, and I never even knew the guys. We could have been good friends and not even know it!

But the site was Angry Reviewing the Angry Reviewing website (and just about everybody else who did that thing in the late 2000s), but I was surrounding myself with people telling me “how great it is” and “how honest I was”.

And while I was honest in most of my reviews – “it’s a character they play, they aren’t being who they really are, my big fear is people saying movie sucks because The Angry Movie Man said so instead of actually watching the movie to find out”.

I too, became a character.

I had to portray this man who was dropping these almost scathing heel-promos because of people like Welshy (who later included my likeness in a video, and somehow that wound up getting me an IMDb page, Not a single college project up there, but my face on a video, yes).

It was getting old on my psyche. I needed to stop. I did not want to damage these reviewers, the same way I was damaging the people in my commentary videos. It was one of those times when I wish I could just have said “look, you can like whatever, there is so many options out there” and instead wen’t “lol don’t like it don’t watch it is bullshit am i right? he he he”

I was poking fun at the personal life of an Internet reviewer named Noah Antwiller aka “Spoony” and his relationships and fandom. I never knew the guy, but you assume you do, because he makes videos. There are actual people who actually know him, and they should be the ones complaining about him, not some jackass with a low-end DSL line.

A ton of people mock reviewers and commentators, and that is I suppose part of the system now. Linkara says “Ad Block is ruining people”, but then we saw the rise of places like Patreon and Kickstarter and that eased some of the pain.

I, myself, never owned a Patreon, because I am not that big of a name, I’ve tried to make pretty sure that when I drop and move on, that I leave everything behind, except those I really care about. I’ve had friends who have been with me for a decade and can tell you the story, and also the enemies who I’m sure will revise my point to say something else. (Also, sorry, I am not “playing the victim” to earn the shill-bucks)

So let’s just say that a nice group of people, famous for making Zoe Quinn’s life a living hell last year and helped create “GamerGate” that we’ve come to know and loathe (This isn’t an argument for/against gamergate, I wrote about that here)

And what they are planning on doing is simply posting pictures of myself and impersonating me and saying what I normally hear from people who graduated from Strawman 101 – call names and hope it works (now “Hipster” isn’t that bad, that was my personal blog, Hipster Jordan’s Garbage Emporium), but then you get into the “cuck” and “sjw” and all these weird red-pill MGOTW terminology and it’s kind of… awkward?

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The reason I am so confused is I really don’t understand why the sudden attack on me? Aside from the fact that most of these people have been “followers” of my work on BusyStreet, and that closed down half a decade ago… there really isn’t much I can think of that would piss them off?

Is it because I gave forgiveness to a person who was also a commentator mocking teenagers and children? And therefore “learned the error of my ways”?

Was it because I “became an evil Social Justice Warrior” because I actually believe in feminism, and maybe not being a shitty person to women online?

Or is it just because out of boredom, and all the targets you could possibly come up with – I am the one that deserves it the most… the “troll” that became good.

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I’m glad to know I’m somebody’s icon on skype for a conversation about Gamergate… Do people who are for the “ethics in game journalism” turned “EVERYTHING IS AN SJW CONSPIRACY TO MAKE EVERYTHING MORE ETHNIC AND GAY” actually know who I am?

Let alone, would they care?

I admit, it’s very scary, because I’ve seen the damage this behavior leads, and the lives it has ruined. But coming from a person who enjoys problematic shows like South Park, and believes that there is room in life for guns-a-blazin dude with hot chicks next to walking simulator 2016.

I just saw it as neo-conservatism vs progressiveness, because politics are always a hot button topic that’s ripe for arguments and drama.

And I know what many of the “victim blaming” responses could be.

“Well you shouldn’t have been on social media”
It’s how I keep in contact with all my friends from across not just America, but the world.

“Well you probably deserved it for all the shit you’ve done”
Probably, but what makes what’s going on right now any different than the shit I’ve done?

“You’re an SJW, why would anybody believe you”
The same reason some people believe Rush Limbaugh and tune-in every morning.

“Well Negative Publicity is Still Publicity”
Not if it’s to hijack twitch chats for live streams (I mean I get maybe 2-3 people, and if 10 people show up, I get the feeling there is a problem)

I know for a fact, barely anybody is going to read this. I’m a white, cis male being attacked on the internet because I am an easy target for a group of people upset that I wouldn’t want to get involved with a group who wants people with mental health problems to inflict self-harm or commit suicide on livestream.

The ones that would, do so because they love Internet Drama. I’ve been there too, even during this gator nonsense. So-and-so said this, such-and-such posted that…. and this, this is just one more of those, but it’s more personal, because it’s me and my reputation. It’s a very dangerous and sociopathic view of the world if you want people to be just as sad and miserable as you (“but i’m smiling” you might say, “it’s top kek” as you wonder why you have to pretend to be somebody you’re not just to get rid of the stereotype that nerds are losers and virgins)

I’ve become the very person I’ve mocked half a decade ago, and soon, I might end up being another face on the SJW “Boycott” Toteboard…

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Only difference is, unlike those people listed, I really don’t have that much of a talent in doing anything but taking selfies while eating ice cream sandwiches.

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I have no idea what’s coming next, but I know I’m going to start being a little more private on social media for the next few months because of it. Which is sad, because I pride myself on actually being pretty-open with everybody.

So if you see my stupid mug calling you a “cuck” or “beta bitch” or “james garfield”, that is not me… that is just somebody else trying to get to me!

And if I have stepped on your toes because of the stuff I’ve done in the past, I hope I can have your forgiveness. Sorry for being a jerk to you. We can all be creative together!

And if you’re part of the “We do not forgive/forget” crowd, there are dangers with Mob Rule.

I really hope that one day, we do end up “without Harassment” and when that day comes, we can literally “settle it in smash” (but then move onto lamer debates like Pirates and Ninjas) or maybe one of those Splatfests?

My final thought is that change is something that is a part of life, we grow-up, we rent apartments, we change jobs, and some of the shit that we used to like, we stop, like Third Wave Ska, or “that emo scene period”. And that if you focus too much on what has changed, you lose track of what you can do to adapt and change with it.

And now to go to my own “Safe Space” that I call “bed”, because I’ve spent a few hours writing this, and damn it, I am not going to bother edit this wall of text… I’m sure most of it is coherent.

REVIEW: Jackbox Party Pack 2

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Jackbox Party Pack 2 is the sequel to 2014’s Jackbox Party Pack 1, which contained Drawful, Fibbage, Word Spud, Lie Swatter and You Don’t Know Jack….

In the 2015 release, you have 5 games, including a return to Fibbage, and no You Don’t Know Jack, whaaaa?

If you want a TL;DR Review – all the people who received advanced copies (From Last Tuesday to Monday) are the ONLY people who will get mileage from this, otherwise, it’s only worth it if you have a HUGE video game stream turn out. (or a large group of friends)

And now let’s go through all the nooks and crannies of the games.

Fibbage 2 is a simple game, similar to baulderdash, or any real quiz show. You get a funny statement about a true fact. “Be sure to visit so-and-so place for the _____ museum” and on your cell phones (or laptops) you can write down a blank that is very misleading (or close-to) the correct answer. Once everybody answered, or time runs out, you must pick “the truth” (the correct answer) for points. If you’re wrong, the points go to another player. But this time around, Fibbage 2 offers “The De-Fib-ulator” which makes any one question a 50/50 gamble.

I think the de-fib-ulator is a nice idea, but unfortunately when playing with it, doesn’t give it that much risk, and when I used it, was spent on the correct answer and a comically wrong in-joke answer. It’s a step back, but they do offer an “audience vote” for a thumbs cup (for the funny answer).

I enjoy the idea of the funny answers, but the problem with Fibbage is that there are two ways to play it.

You are serious about your Fibs (The name of a dog should be “Rover” or “Spike”)
or You aren’t serious and just want to have fun dumb answers (The dog is named “John Cena”)

So while last year’s is fun, you might have some fun with this installment too, more questions is always better, and there isn’t so much repeated statements compared to last year’s, especially on Final Fibbage. But would love to see it turn into more “episodic” play in future installments like YDKJ, which is also hosted by Cookie. (It’s a “Good”)

Ear Wax is Jackbox’s take on Card’s Against Humanity or SFX Quiplash, a statement is given in Quiplash form, then on the mobile phones (which is the controller for all these games) they pick from an assortment of different SFX that only they can choose, it’s all randomized (so like CAH, the “deck” is shuffled to the players, in the form of SFX). One player is the judge and picks from 3 prompts, the others must make a great sound package of two tracks…. then they play them in order.

While it’s a funny idea, the pacing of the game is verrrrrrry slow. The SFX do not immediately go one-after-the-other there is a 1 second pause with minor record scratch kind of ruins the punchline for many jokes. And while it’s a great use of multi-media to make a card-like party game, it is also one of the few games that just gets boring after a couple play-throughs, It only goes up to 8 players, but does come with “AUDIENCE VOTE” as well. (It’s a “Meh”)

Bomb Corp. is the game I played the most, because it comes in 1 player mode (and goes up to 4), it’s a mix of “Keep Talking and No One will Explode” and “McPixel” where you have to cut wires based on logic puzzles (if X is blue, cut the Nth wire). And some of the variety changes in the game as you progress. It’s quirky, and stands out as the only game featured that’s for low number of players AND without an audience feature. If you’re not good at logic puzzles, it’s really not a game for you, and after a while (when you defuse all the bombs) all that’s left is The Grind, which I feel is the best part of the ENTIRE Jackbox Party Pack this year. (It’s a “Good”)

Bidiots is a game people say is like the South Korean reality show “The Genius” (because it’s logic, mixed with sabotage) Each player is given two prompts to draw, and then given $3,000 to buy art in “auction” format. Each phone is also given personalized information about the art being auctioned off and who possibly made it. (“Rainbow is worth $2,300”) but unlike last year’s “Drawful”, it isn’t as comical, you’re kind of just sitting there hoping to buy the most expensive art pieces and make sure others pay more than it’s worth.

The problem with Bidiots is the random luck element of the pricing. In each purchase, the artist gets 50% of the price (so if the auction ends at $1000, someone gets $500) and that means that artists ultimately could lose simply because they didn’t get a fair share of the art, (two players art could be worth $3,000 and end up getting 2000-3000 bids, ending with a player getting an xtra 2k 3k over others who wound up with $800-$1200 pieces).

It’s not that confusing – buy low, hope it’s worth high, read the texts for info. But I would have enjoyed a Drawful 2 along with Bidiots, the idea of naming the pieces was one of the best parts of Jackbox 1, but this time around, that comedy is scattered. (It’s a “Bad”)

Quiplash XL came out in March, and I was so excited to play it… until I realized I am not a big-time stream person. Quiplash’s main draw is two players answer prompts (like CAH) with something funny, and then you vote. The problem is, I am not a big-time famous youtuber nor a famous Twitch streamer, so in any given day, I might only have 6 or 7 people playing. That doesn’t make for fun quiplashing. Especially if the audience vote matters a lot in the points-earning process. If you have 3 friends, do NOT even bother playing Quiplash, this is supposed to be a game for LARGE parties, and that’s not including the 8 player ones the original Jackbox was meant for. This is a game for “Twitch Streamers” and the DLC (which came out last month BTW for $1) is included in this package.

I felt that while Quiplash is a very comical game, it’s a game that when it reaches “The Last Lash” (a low-scoring final) you only want to play it a few more times. CAH worked because of people who aren’t crafty or hilarious, however, Quiplash is superior in that it requires that creativity. I can’t fault the game for being almost unplayable with low audiences, but more or less, it’s for twitch users and youtubers with huge audiences to vote and stream. (It’s a “Meh”)

FINAL SUMMARY

Jackbox Party Pack 2 offers 5 interesting games for the low price of $25 (that’s like $5 per game) and includes the return to the fan favorite, Fibbage. However, many of the games offerings requires almost a large audience base, which doesn’t make it a “party” it makes it a “twitch game”. While that means Jackbox has cornered the market with that genre, it means that video game “party games” are pushed away with this release.

You will have fun with this game, you will smile and laugh and have a good time, and that’s what Jackbox is all about, but most of the time, you’ll feel lonely and depressed, because the only way to really play it is on someone else’s twitch.

So my conclusion is buy it if you want to play Fibbage with friends at a party some time, but if you are curious about playing it, just hope to god someone on Twitch is playing it and you can join-in. Otherwise, just buy it and stream it and hope you have the audience to get players.

Not a single game in here is awful, or terrible, they are all fun and unique in their own way. But you do feel like that guy who had a “hang-out” party with a few friends having drinks, and the next door neighbors have invited the entire town and they showed up.

Maybe next year, we will see more Fibbage and some more creative ideas, but gearing it to the Twitch market, and in a way, focusing on “games like Cards Against Humanity” did more of a disservice to the party pack, than last year’s variety of games like Word Spud.

There is a way to disable “audience mode” and there is a “family filter” you could have if you want to play with your younger brother, which is fantastic. If there was a percentage rating for this game, I would give it a clear 7.5. but we don’t give number reviews, it’s simply out of is it good or bad or whatever, and this time around, some are good some are whatever.

BUT BE SURE TOSUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW AND RATE AND COMMENT AND I DO VIDEOS EVERY MONDAY FRIDAY WEDNESDAY, EVERY OTHER THURSDAY, AND SUNDAYS WHEN I AM NOT HUNGOVER FROM A SATURDAY STREAM WHERE I DRINK WITH MY FRIENDS YOUTUBER AND YOUTUBER2

MEH RATING

REVIEW: Chain Reaction

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When I was told GSN was bringing back “Chain Reaction”. I was admittedly confused. GSN does not have that good of a track record when it comes to revivals, sometimes they are great revivals but not good enough to return (like The Pyramid) other times it’s a disaster (Lingo) and other times, they just revive shows and you just go “Okay, sure” like Minute to Win It.

Chain Reaction would NOT be on my list of shows I’d ever want to see revived… I’d much rather have Card Sharks or Tattletales or if I had to pick a word game, “Blackout”… what about “Whew!”? Can “Whew!” come back?

Most of this was caused of the original GSN run of Chain Reaction. Between it’s annoying intro, it’s bland hosting, and it’s end-game format from “GO!”, there were problems…

But after seeing GSN’s remake of Chain Reaction… while there are a few problems, most of my worries were gone after the first 5 minutes.

Chain Reaction works like this, there is two “main words” and 5 words that connect to them.

FRISBEE
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SALAD

When you start the game, you decide where you want a letter revealed to help you out. Under Frisbee or Above Salad…

You say Frisbee…

FRISBEE
{G}
{}
{}
{}
{}
SALAD

and now you can make a guess… Frisbee Golf would be a good one. Because that’s a Frisbee G.

FRISBEE
{GOLF}
{}
{}
{}
{}
SALAD

You win $100 in Round 1 for that correct guess, $200 in Round 2, $300 in Round 3… as you keep going. But if you guess wrong, the play goes to the other team to guess the clue.

FRISBEE
GOLF
CLUB
SODA
JERK
CHICKEN
SALAD

And that’s a single chain for a single round. In Round 4, there is a “gambling round” where you pay anywhere from $100 to $500 to reveal a letter and make your guess. If you’re right, you win the money you bet, if you’re wrong, you lose the money you gambled…. it’s a make or break round… but like most people, it’s a real broken round.

Whoever has the most money after 4 rounds will go onto the final round to win another $5,000.

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All they need to do is simply guess 7 words that have the first three letters revealed that pair up with a single word to win. (These contestants were looking for DELICIOUS). If they could do that, they can win $5,000 more.

I can safely say, I enjoy this version of “Chain Reaction” more, “Psycho Mike” Mike Catherwood is someone you just love on this show. He is lovable on Loveline, and he’s lovable on this show. He is excited to host the show, willing to have jokes with the two pairs of contestants, and actually wants to see people win.

He is in a way, one of the better game show hosts to show up in quite some time. I’d say he’s more of a Radio DJ than a comedian, but he knows how to play to the audience and juggle the show. The set, as you have seen, isn’t a “dark shiny floor game” like most game shows before it. You see purples and pinks. It feels like you’re seeing a bunch of oversized tablets from the apple store, or something they probably grabbed from the Idiottest Set.

The banter is actually what makes the show sell, to me, even more than the game itself. Because if you just took the word game at face value – it’s really boring, and the format would not be worth reviving from the 1980s. However, if you add a personable host, and you tweak it just a little that the game itself is “half the show”, then you have an entertaining block.

Mike loves talking to the teams, he loves wondering about who they are, how they became friends or wives… the game really comes second… but not so much that the game isn’t going at all times.

The bad part of the show is simply the “fourth round” (the gamble round), because if you want to talk financials – $1,500 would be given out between the teams ($100 x 5, $200 x 5, $300 x 5) and $1,500 could only buy you roughly 3 letters each on the chain before crapping out. (that’s for both teams). So if you get stuck on a word, or if there is a plural in the chain (SADDLE BAG/BAGS) you could cost some big money, even if you knew it. I’d much rather have had a twist where the center word would be revealed with maybe $100, then $200, then $300 and so on for each word found. But that might be breaking the game if you’re handing out $2,100 like there is no tomorrow.

You get a nice mix of comedy, and word game, that feels less claustrophic (although the set does need a little more curvature, it looks like a shoebox diorama was just enlarged) and more engaging to the audience. They do try and pull some family feud risque words on the board from time to time, but it’s not that bad of a show.

I mean, if you played an absolute perfect game, you could win $9,000. But really it’s a smaller $5,000 prize, because it’s more obtainable to win. And then maybe that extra $1,100 from the front game (it’s always $1,100. I have no idea why… sometimes $1,400).

I’d say if you pair this game up with IdiotTest for an hour block, you have a nice mix of team games and comedy, that are both great thinking puzzles. 🙂

GOOD RATING

 

REVIEW: Hive Minds

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When it comes to game shows on BBC2, they usually remind me of shows that PBS would air in an attempt to be “sophisticated” and “smart”. Only Connect is a really smart show, that involves two teams of three people as they solve connecting clues that get harder as it progresses.

So it’s no surprise when you see that they have created a show in similar “tournament team” format, but instead of connecting clues, it’s also “find the answer” similar to the old game show “Now You See It”

Instead of my normal review structure of “explaining the rules” I am going to simply say it changes each round, and each round gets more complicated. All of it feels like a casual game you would play on flash in 2005, or maybe on your smartphone in 2009.

There is a clue, and a word. You need to find the word, the longer it takes, the less points you earn, but the more “boxes” go missing to make it easier to find it.

Some rounds have multiple answers, some rounds have one answer, some rounds have multiple answers and multiple questions.

Points fluctuate and somebody wins, rinse, repeat.

Unlike “Only Connect”, which is a good show because it’s intelligence relies on bizarre chains, and the “Connect Wall” is actually somewhat of a cool set feature. (Game Shows are OBSESSED with Contestants vs Walls)

This show doesn’t have a wall, it has mostly contestants staring at screens, but unlike “Idiot Test” on GSN and unlike something like “Beat The Brain”, this show has them murmuring and maybe they can find it.

There is play along in trying to answer and find the answers in “the hive”, but at the same time… it’s a quiz that really should have just been a two teams trying to win a small cash prize element. This is a show that shouldn’t have been a “tournament”.

Fiona Bruce serves as the presenter, but there isn’t much she can do in this. She can come up with creative comments for the teams. But unlike “Only Connect” which can give Victoria Coren Mitchell some wiggle room for entertaining jokes… Fiona could only do so much.

It’s a good idea, but a boring format, it’s not the worst show on television, but with a mis-step in figuring out the rules, and the format, it’s a show that might just put me to sleep.

BAD RATING

REVIEW: Geeks Who Drink

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Geeks Who Drink is a “game show” that’s more of a loose panel game, hosted by Zachary Levi in which two teams of three (two regular people, one “celebrity”… if you recognize them) compete against each other to see who can have “the biggest bar tab” and win the cash and a few “geeky prizes” (a lightsaber, an xbox one, and fandango gift certificates)

In the first episode I saw, they had a few games, and here we go – each person gets asked a statement and must pick either/or for $10. They ask all 6 people, so a possible $30 each, then they do it again.

Then the next round is an “on the buzzer” round for $20, with three questions on a different topic.

Then they take a break to “drink” (the set is very cheap, but they spared no expense on the booze)

When we return, we are introduced to the teams and play a “video” for $20 and a question for it. Then we have a round where they must sort 7 items by 7 things and whoever is the fastest wins another $50.

Then they drink some more for the commercial break.

Then they have a math question for a possible $100. Then they have a “challenge” between the celebrities where the winner decides the final category in the final round.

In the final round, the players go back and forth trying to list something from the category, if they can’t figure it out, they are eliminated, but the rest get to play on. Whoever is the last team standing wins $100 for every person left (a possible $300)

So if you were doing your math correctly – means that the final round is really all that could matter.

Did I mention the booze? They do drink a whole lot on the show, there are servers handing audience members cocktails and large pints like that’s the budget… but you know, NERDS!

Zachary Levi as far as hosting is concerned, is pretty… um… I wouldn’t say “terrible”, I’d say “pandering”. It’s a geek show, he’s a geek, being a geek is cool. You are cool, you are a geek, you would like this because you’re a geek and this is a geeky show.

We have been five years without Attack of the Show, something tells me the “Nerd Bus” is probably fading, but you can’t fault Syfy for having a steady format that’s essentially “Nerdy Hollywood Game Night”.

The questions are that of the “nerdy” variety – it’s comic books, sci-fi movies, cartoons, video games, and unlike “King of the Nerds” does not try and make the contestants into characters, they are all around nice enough people… even Zackary Levi…. at least when he’s not throwing the question cards everywhere and acting like “your annoying drunk friend”.

The format is sort of there, even if it’s broken at times (I would have made the math question possibly $50 instead of $100) and the prizes in store are really nice. The trivia is there, and it’s faithful to the pub quiz it’s based on.

So if you want a nice 22 minute game show where it’s pandering to “the geek demo” (non-existant, but that’s neither here nor there) and love to see the sound-proof walls on a soundstage, next to all four cameras they have on set, and all 24 people in the audience, then this is the game show for you.

It’s not as bad as other “nerdy game shows” (pop quiz hot shot), but it’s not as good based on the production values and the way they situate their acts. There is something there, but most of the time, it screams cheap if the winners get $240 and a prop lightsaber. (Roughly $2000 in prizes) but hey, maybe it’ll get better if there is a Season 2?

GOOD RATING