Game shows tend to have different formulas. They try to be unique and distinct from the usual shows and one of them had a very interesting format to it. The show we are talking about is The Crystal Maze. The show aired from 1990 until 1995 with a revival special in 1996. The show had 6 seasons with over 80 episodes excluding the revival. The Crystal Maze initially had Robert O’Brien as the host from 1990 until 1993 with Ed Tudor-Pole taking over from 1993 until the show’s final episode in 1995. In the 2016 revival special Stephen Merchant hosts it with special appearances from O’Brien.
While the show is Crystal Maze, the game mechanics aren’t entirely that of a maze. The area is divided into five different parts. The first four parts serve as like the preliminary zones for the players to compete on. Speaking of the players we usually have a team of 6 people which can vary. There would be a captain and a vice captain. The objective of the team in these four zones is to get as much crystals as possible. The zones are divided as the Aztec, Industrial, Medieval and Futuristic. In each zone, the team will compete in four different challenges. The team captain chooses a member of the team to do a challenge.
The challenges are Mental, Mystery, Physical and Skill. The Mental challenges are usually brain busting challenges, the Physical challenge involves strength or speed challenges, the Skill challenge is about accuracy and dexterity and the Mystery challenge is usually a mixture of two or three of the previous challenges. When they successfully complete a challenge they gain a crystal or the challenge itself is to get the crystal. When it comes to failure the team member is usually locked inside. This happens when they run out of time or when they do something wrong in one of the challenges but the latter is a rare case.
Team members that are locked inside the room can be set free if the team gives up a crystal. After four zones are conquered, they head to the final zone which is the Crystal Dome. This like the jackpot round and the more crystals they have means the more time they can use inside the Crystal Dome. The objective is to get 100 gold tokens flying in the air. However getting silver tokens would cancel out a gold token. If they managed to get all 100 gold tokens then they win the prize. They still do get a consolation prize if they fail to do so. The Crystal Maze was definitely fun for what it was. It wasn’t the typical game show where you had to answer questions. In fact the show didn’t have a live audience or even music which made it good.