14 May British TV shows inspiring slot games
For as long as there have been TV networks in Britain, there have been game shows. But it wasn’t until the late 1950’s that the UK went game show mad, as cash prizes were used for the first time – and the high stakes made for unmissable viewing.
Nearly 70 years later, and game shows are still a regular fixture on Britain’s TV schedules. Households will spend weekday evenings arguing over whether they should tune in to The Chase or Pointless, and Saturday evening TV has a plethora of game shows with even bigger prizes.
There are countless different game show formats that have helped keep the nation hooked for years. But the biggest sign people are hooked on a new show is when it starts influencing spin off merchandise, from board games to slot machines.
How the popularity of TV game shows influenced the gaming industry
Back in 1998, ITV cleared out their prime-time schedule for two weeks to air a new game show titled “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”. It quickly became water cooler television, and the network got its best ratings in more than a decade – inspiring other networks to devise more quiz shows of their own.
Who Wants to be a Millionaire? became an international sensation, with more than 100 countries launching their own versions, and inspiring other successful game shows like The Weakest Link. To this day, quiz shows remain the most successful format, as viewers like the chance to play along at home and imagine themselves doing better than the contestants on-screen.
Naturally, this quiz element makes these shows perfect to be translated into board games, and the gaming industry certainly took influence too. A PlayStation edition of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? was released in 1999 (just in time for Christmas!), the first of many major game shows to release interactive editions for the whole family to play.
Now, there are very few British families who haven’t found themselves arguing after playing a tense board game adapted from a TV game show. Even the formats without a quiz element, such as the game of chance that is Deal or No Deal, have been successfully translated to a game you can play at home.
How TV game shows became major slot games
If you have been to a pub at any point in the last 15 years, chances are you will have seen game show inspired arcade games next to the traditional fruit machines. Over in online casinos, things have been taken a step further, a variety of UK casino providers have now created slots inspired by many traditional British game show formats.
Just like board game and video game spin-offs, these casino games have proved popular for their interactive elements. The rules may be different, but they give viewers the chance to take part in the challenge for themselves.
And for those without the extensive general knowledge needed to win big on the real thing, then it is good news. The formats have been changed to make the rules simpler and chart a clearer path to winning.
The best game show inspired slots
The game show that has inspired the widest array of slot challenges is Deal or No Deal. There are currently several games inspired by the show that you can play online.
Deal or No Deal: Go All the Way is the traditional challenge; styled like a pub fruit machine, it’s a 5-reel 5-line slot where you can maximize your winnings from the banker. But there are countless other spin-offs, including Deal or No Deal: Perfect Play, and Deal or No Deal: What is in Your Box – the format has been adapted to every single type of slot game you can think of.
Who Wants to be a Millionaire?: Many classic quiz shows have also been adapted to fit the slots format, and Who Wants to be a Millionaire? is a prime example of this. This is a six-reel slot that is styled like a classic fruit machine, where the player only answering questions in the hot seat if they want to win more free spins.
Other game show formats have been changed completely to become exciting slot games. The action-oriented challenges in Channel 4’s classic show The Crystal Maze have translated well to slots.
In the Crystal Maze: Win Zones, the four different “zones” from the game show map have been changed into unique reels, all of which can dramatically change the outcome of the game. Even the game show formats you cannot turn into a board game can successfully become slots.
Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen: More recently, classic reality game shows have been transformed into slots. Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen is now a five-reel slot game, where users have to spin under the watchful eyes of the angry chef – who could throw knives at your reels at random, making it almost as intense as working in his kitchen.
So far, there are very few slots dedicated to today’s popular game shows; hit shows like Pointless still do not have their own spin-off games. As classic shows are finding new audiences via their slot reinventions, expect today’s major game shows to get their own challenges in the future.