Sunday, May 12, 2013

GSV Pilot Review #2: Gambit (1979)

GAMBIT (1979)

A Heatter-Quigley Production
Host: Wink Martindale
Dealer: Debbie Bartlett
Director: Jerome Shaw
Music: Stan Worth (The music was the same as Las Vegas Gambit)
Network: Unknown. If you, tell me.

Gambit was and will always be a classic. Why would they want to tinker around with a great format? Well they did. And it crashed and burned. 1979 came around and Heatter-Quigley wanted to pitch a revival with Wink, who would've potentially pulled double duty with Tic Tac Dough. The core of the main game stayed the same: answer questions to win cards, get 21. The game modifications just didn't click however.
Voila. The poster board slate.
Yes, that's a giant skeeball-type machine awkwardly placed in the center stage. More about that later.

With your host Wink...
And our new card dealer, Debbie Bartlett

MAIN GAME:  Get 21 or as close to it without going over. Answer a question correctly to earn the right to take or pass a card as dealt by Debbie.
Get 21, and you win this pot. The pot increased by $500 after every game it was not won. And clearly, Pacman  is in the background as part of the set and he would have made his debut here.
The Gambit Answer Machine. This was the first big problem, IMHO.
The form of the questions themselves is where the trouble started. Instead of knowledge questions like the original, the questions were Scrabble-like clues to a Hangman-style answer. Example below:

We're playing for a 3....
The clue: "He gets up very early."
The Gambit Answer Machine will then randomly select the number of letters revealed in the answer.
 It actually kind of resembles a Scrabble Sprint Round.

The clue again: He gets up very early. Naturally, we're looking for "Rooster."
  Two out of three games won the match and a chance at the pinball bonus game.

BONUS GAME:  The winning couple was given six balls, three for the husband, and three for the wife. The balls were just rolled into the board, there was no aiming at all. Wherever the ball rolled determined the prize. 
If the ball was rolled into a hole in a prize column, an ace, or a jack, it stayed there...

Get two balls under a prize column and win that prize....
Get two balls in either Ace plus either Jack, and you win a car for getting 21....

If the ball fell into one of those red dead zones, the ball was lost for the remainder of the bonus game.

Or  light all six letters in the word Gambit and win $10,000.

The couple could also light up the letters in the word Gambit for $10,000. Once the ball fell into a letter hole, it was popped back out and remained in play. The lit letters carried over into other bonus games. 
In order words, if a couple lit three of the letters in one bonus game and they won the following match, those three letters would stay lit, and they would only have to light the other three. Simple huh?

So long!

FINAL IMPRESSIONS: The answer board just did not work for Gambit, IMHO, I much preferred the general knowledge questions. The bonus game was completely out of place. Wink was Wink. The Answer Machine thankfully did not make it on Las Vegas Gambit. So now we know that there was a small relatively obscure entry into the history of Gambit. Ok b'bye.