Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Play Your Cards Right'

Rating:4 User: Davey Davey

Play Your Cards Right was a game show aired on ITV and hosted by Bruce Forsyth. This game is based on the original series that ran from 1980 to 1987, after which it ran again from 1994 to 1999 which is the series I remember best, and then it was revived once more in 2002 for a quite dreadful series which thankfully lasted only one year.

The game begins with a decent redition of the original theme tune, which sadly turns out to be the only trace of sound the game has as there is none during the game itself. The title screen features a nicely drawn caricature of Bruce Forsyth, displaying his overly massive chin.

The gameplay follows the game show quite well. The players are asked a question from a survey of 100 people, one such question being "100 married women were asked Do you wish your husband talked to you more about his work? How many said yes?" If it's your turn to answer you have to guess the number it will be between 0 and 99, example 48, then the other player has to guess whether it'll be higher or lower than that number, they could guess lower and it turns out it is lower than 48 and they take control of the board, if they are wrong then you take control. Unlike the show the game never reveals what the number is unless they are "spot on", I can presume this is done to prevent getting the question again and answering it easily and instead keeps you guessing.

Now it's onto the cards, here there are five cards drawn out with the first card, known as the base card, being shown. The player who won the question goes first to try and reveal all five cards correctly. To do this they can first either change the base card or keep it, then they can either choose to go higher or lower or they can choose to freeze and protect their cards. If they guess wrong or get a pair, which as they say "You don't get anything for a pair, not in this game", they lose their turn and all their progression and the other player gets a free go. They cannot change their card as they didn't win the question. The first player to reveal all their cards wins the round and the first to two rounds wins the game and advances to the Prize Cards round.

This can be as fun as the show but you are better off playing as two players as the computer player is quite unrealistic, they will often go higher than a nine which obviously lower is the best option as there are more cards lower.

The Prize Cards round consists of eight cards total - a base card, three cards in the bottom row, three in the middle and one at the top. This differs slightly from the show. The aim is mostly the same, you have to go through the board starting on 200 points and score as much points as possible. Before each card the players makes a bet depending on their card, for example if you have a 7 you can go casually and make the minimum bet of 50 on it being higher, but if it's an ace you can bet the whole score on lower. But if you lose all your points the round is over and you score nothing.

This is where it's different from the show - you start on 200 points but you are asked a question at the start and if you get it right you get 50 additional points but if you are wrong you lose 50 points, this is missing from the game. Also, when you reach the second row you get another 200 points "out of the goodness of our hearts", but here you do not. Finally if you reach the top of the board and have 4000 points or more you have the chance to go for the car (WOW WEEEE) but here this does not exist, you simply have to score anything and you win. So when I do it I also try to go for 4000, just to make things more exciting.

Play Your Cards Right is quite a good adaptation of the classic show but has its flaws and inconsistances that slightly dampens its fun in the long run. I still enjoyed playing this though, even though I eventually resorted to playing two player games by myself to maximise its fun. But at least it works well unlike most game show conversions.