Peter Tomarken was the host of this game show, his only one for first-run syndication, in the 1988/89 season. It spawned home games for MS-DOS and Commodore 64, and was exported to the BBC Television Service. Wipeout would be an ideal game to port to TNT Basic or Stencyl. Once again, I thank William Sydnor Jr. for providing images.
The first round of gameplay had three contestants. A board with 16 possible answers was shown to them, after which Tomarken read the question, which always had more than one possible answer. For example, “Which of these television sitcoms featured lyrics in their main theme songs?” On the board, there were 11 correct answers to the question, as well as five incorrect answers, or Wipeouts, hence the program’s title.
Starting with the contestant in the leftmost position, players chose answers off the board. The first correct answer was valued at $25. Each additional correct answer was worth $25 more than the previous answer. Any player could pass at any time. If a player picked a Wipeout, he lost all his accumulated money, and control passed to the next contestant to the right. Also, behind one of the correct answers was the Hot Spot, which awarded a special prize if the contestant won the game while holding the Hot Spot. If a player wiped out at any time, he lost the prize; the "Hot Spot" was returned to gameplay behind one of the remaining correct answers. The round ended when either all the correct answers or all the incorrect answers were chosen. At the end of the round, the player in third place was eliminated.
In the second round, or “Challenge Round”, the two remaining players would pick answers from the board, this time with eight correct and four incorrect answers. The winner of the first round started by stating how many correct answers he could give without hitting a Wipeout. The players would outbid each other until one player either was challenged or bid eight answers. If he completed his bid, he won the board. If he answered incorrectly, the opponent had to choose only one correct answer to win the board. The first player to win two boards won the game, a prize and the right to play the bonus round.
The bonus round was played on a board with 12 possible answers. Half were right, the other half were wrong. Tomarken gave a topic that pertained to the six right answers. The object was to find all six correct answers within 60 seconds. The board had touch screens around the frame of each monitor, and the player would run to the game board, touch six answers, run back and hit a plunger. (Running shoes were provided, in case the day’s winner was a woman who had worn high-heeled shoes.) The total number of correct answers selected was then shown to the player, and then he could change the answers by deselecting wrong ones first. If the contestant got all six correct answers, he won a new car.
Send email to James H. Vipond