the hardest rules from a classic game show to understand
what classic game show had the most difficult rules to understand?
feel free to discuss
It depends what type of game show or which game show you're talking about? We have to chose from dozens of classic game shows.
I am not certain, but I am almost certain that, to me, Battlestars' rules were hard to understand. Also Hit Man's rules were hard to understand (except for the endgame). Wordplay could fall into that category as well.
Then again, maybe it could be because I don't have any interest in such shows or something, or never got to see some of the shows on the local NBC affiliate that I got NBC from (Bangor, Maine or Detroit).
For me, it's probably the Big Money Lightning Round from the dying days of Password on ABC, a convoluted process that does make sense in hindsight, but getting there was definitely not half the fun. Even Allen Ludden himself seemed to have little patience with it, based on the few examples of it that have survived to the present day.
For the uninitiated, the Big Money Lightning Round was played in three stages, each of which involved guessing three Passwords in 30 seconds or less. Simple enough, but the way it was scored involved some of the most complicated math ever seen on a 1970s game show. In the first stage, each Password was worth $25, and if you got all three you received a bonus of $5 for every second left on the clock. For example, if you got all three words with 12 seconds left on the clock, that's $75 + $60 (or 12 x $5), for a total of $135. In stage two, each Password was worth the total from stage one, and the bonus was $10 per second left; to continue our example, let's say you got all three words with 9 seconds left. That's $405 (3 x $135) + $90 (9 x $10), yielding $495. Still with me? Finally, in the third stage, you had to get all three Passwords within the 30 seconds, and if you did your total from the first two stages was multiplied by ten to give you your final takeaway, which in our example would be $4,950. Otherwise, you simply won the $495. (The game could also end on either the first or second stages if you didn't get any of the three words before time expired.)
It was actually a fairly ingenious way of infusing larger sums of money into what had heretofore been a simple little low-stakes word game, and to its credit, it did try to reward good (or at least fast) players with larger potential payouts. But it was, perhaps, too far ahead of its time. The math wasn't intuitive, the complicated scoring structure tripped up Allen more than once, and when you coupled this with the "play, pass or double" option in the main game (and the attendant raising of the winning score from 25 to 50 points) and the bizarre contestant-elimination round before the main game even began, you understand why this incarnation of Password isn't very well-remembered today. It was a valiant effort, and frankly by this point something had to be done to revitalize the sinking ship that was Password, but the classic word game all but collapsed under the weight of all these newfangled rules and strategies. Password Plus was a far more natural evolution of the format for a new generation, one that didn't come across like a hopelessly jury-rigged mess.
On TPiR, some still don't understand the unwritten rule while playing TEN Chances (Zero Rule).