Poll

Which period of Concentration is your favorite?

Original Concentration: Games that straddle, forfeit one gift, gag gifts, B&W rebuses, no bonus round
1 (4.2%)
Seasons 1-4 of Narz Concentration with original Double Play format and Bonus Number squares
2 (8.3%)
Final season of Narz Concentration with three-call game, four Wild Card Game, and "matching" Double Play format
2 (8.3%)
Classic Concentration: one loss or interrupted game rule
3 (12.5%)
Classic Concentration: Two strikes format
5 (20.8%)
Classic Concentration: Best of Three format
11 (45.8%)

Total Members Voted: 24

Author Topic: What is your favorite game format from all versions of (Classic) Concentration?  (Read 851 times)

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Offline pannoni1

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Feel free to include extra explanations within each era, for example pre-and post one car and your done for the original format of Classic Concentration, or other features like the bonus wheel in the original Concentration or 5 Bonus Car Seconds in the later portion of the Two Strikes format in CC to add to the game.
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Offline Briguy

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My vote was for the Classic Concentration Best-of-Three format. That way, even the departing contestant could walk off with a ton of loot and had a fighting chance.

Second on my list would be the final season of Narz Concentration with the modified Double Play format. Could play for some really nice prizes there. It inspired me to even create my own "what if I were in charge" prize packages that would sorta fit the budget.

Still, it's fun and exciting to see someone uncover all four prize packages then the wild card ... and then get all the loot by a last-second solve of the second puzzle. I don't know if anyone did that twice in one show (thus winning both cars in the process; at least in the shows aired so far on Buzzr it's yet to happen) but for 1977-1978, whatever the winnings total would be a really impressive haul.

And unlike the original NBC era which is nice in and of itself both contestants throughout the Narz and (after the first two-strike rule came to be) Trebek runs gave both contestants a fighting chance. On the original and in the early months of Classic, you could get a solve on the first pick and the poor opponent (especially if he were the challenger) didn't get any chance to play ... or failing that you'd have the champion get on a lucky streak, solve the puzzle without giving control up and the poor one-and-done challenger is left without a chance to play.

Brian

P.S. Incidentally, what was the rule on the original NBC Concentration regarding who started a game; was it the challenger or champion? (We know that the challenger started on Classic during the early months when one-and-done was in place.)

Offline vnisanian2001

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Best Two out of Three. There's a reason they had it for two years, as well as for what was already described in this thread.

In addition, this format was not rerun on NBC in the early 90's. So to say that I have been in for a treat since Buzzr started showing it would be an understatement.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2022, 12:20:34 PM by vnisanian2001 »

Offline Ccook

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On the original, the challenger always went first. When an undefeated champion (20 games) departed, the first turn of the two new contestants was determined backstage by a coin toss.
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Offline pannoni1

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Now that I've gave it some thought, I'll rank them from best to least.

1. Classic Concentration, Best of Three. This was the first version of any kind I grew up watching, and it helped me really enjoy the franchise for what it is, even if I couldn't get to see it again between the end of NBC reruns and YouTube uploads, with the exception of a PC game here and there. It truly was CC at its peak, as it allowed a better chance for the second game to be solved without resorting to a speedup, allowed a player who one just one game to still win a decent hall even if s/he didn't win the match. The theming of the sets seemed to be at its peak without being too bizarre like in the second period of the Two Strikes. The 1989 Tournament of Champions used this format, and the Cash Pot later in this run was a nice addition.

2. Original Concentration. There was a reason that if a show held the record for the longest running daytime game show until TPIR passed it in 1987, it had to really be a fun watch. The hosts were great, especially Hugh Downs the various gag prizes were funny, and you still had some interesting twists from time to time like a mystery envelope, a great prizes (sometimes a car) for finding both Wild Cards, and theme shows such as to the Boy/Girl Scouts, celebrity Christmas shows, and of course, tournaments of champions. Just not enough color to land it at the top, and it's always one loss and you're out, even if it had the longest appearance limit of all versions.

3. Narz Concentration, final season. The matching addition to the Double Play round added an extra degree of anticipation prior to the puzzles itself, and the difficulty loosened from the toughness of earlier in the run. Since the expanded Double Play ate up time, it was wise to make the three-call games and extra Wild Card games, and best of all, the four Head Starts meant it was pretty common to get a nice run of prizes. Like what BriGuy said, both contestants got an equal chance. This season also added a bunch of now classic cues from The Price Is Right, and with Johnny Olsen reading the plugs, you could be wondering what show you're really watching.

4. Classic Concentration, "One and Done" format. It was great to see an energetic Alex hosting a new show while having a computerized game board taking the technology to the last level. Unfortunately, the unfairness of the interrupted game providing some losers getting a second chance while others with a full game don't. It's still a good show at this point, but its missing a few things, like Take cards (at least early on) as well as some set additions that came along later.

5. Narz Concentration, Seasons 1-4. The addition of rebuses in color was nice, as was the occasional bonus game if there was extra time after the second game, especially if there was a third puzzle with foreigner currency. That said, the lack of returning champs and especially in seasons 3-4, the difficult Double Play puzzles meant that a car win was very hard to come by, since many puzzles were on the lines of "Charles DeGualle was the President of France during World War II". Some changes toward the end of its fourth season, like the occasional three-call and four Wild Card game, would carry over to its final season.

6. Classic Concentration, Two Strikes. Note that this mostly applies to the final year (1990-91), and not the spring/summer 1988 original format, which basically was similar was a progression from the original era. The reduction of Wild Cards from three to one in the second game also made it more likely to have shorter second games again, the set had excessive greenery/foliage, and it certainly seemed that the show had run its course. Worst of all was the bonus round clock resetting to 35 seconds if a champion was defeated by a challenger, limiting car wins, as the "5 Bonus Car Seconds" usually didn't prove to effective when it actually was won.
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Offline Superballer

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I must also ask, did everyone on here like Classic Concentration's format better when they would reveal 2 or 4 puzzle pieces to begin the game, or when they started a game with the whole board covered? 

Offline Briguy

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I must also ask, did everyone on here like Classic Concentration's format better when they would reveal 2 or 4 puzzle pieces to begin the game, or when they started a game with the whole board covered?

I thought they did that, at least at times, only when time was running short and they wanted to have at least a few matches happen.

Brian

Offline GuyWithFace

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I would like to submit more Concentration formats for consideration, all of which have footage available for viewing on YouTube:

-The 1985 format which would later become Classic Concentration (3 of 10 episodes available). This involved matching related words in the front game for $100 per match, whereas the endgame involved matching prizes to win them (as well as a $5,000 bonus for making all seven matches).

-The 1988-1990 format utilized in the United Kingdom (21 of 23 episodes available). Where it primarily differs from Classic Concentration is that the endgame involves matching vacation destinations with the seventh match awarding a holiday to that location, and the episodes produced in 1989 replaced a Take with Swap.

-The 1992 format Classic Concentration II (clips of an office runthrough available courtesy of the Wink Martindale group), which featured a minigame where contestants matched words to make phrases to add money to a jackpot.

-The 1997 format utilized in Australia (clips of 3 episodes available). Where it primarily differs from Classic Concentration is that the endgame has a single car, gives a "Head Start" prior to beginning the timer, and (as with the United Kingdom format) involves matching prizes with the seventh match awarding that prize.
The above is my opinion and mine alone.

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Offline SamJ93

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On the original, the challenger always went first. When an undefeated champion (20 games) departed, the first turn of the two new contestants was determined backstage by a coin toss.

Wasn't there only one contestant during the entire original run who was retired undefeated?

Offline blozier2006

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Wasn't there only one contestant during the entire original run who was retired undefeated?
Two. Ruth Horowitz, in the fall of 1966 (AFAIK she went on to win that year's Challenge of Champions), and Terri Lee Coffin, in early 1973.

Offline b_masters8

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On the original, the challenger always went first. When an undefeated champion (20 games) departed, the first turn of the two new contestants was determined backstage by a coin toss.

Also true of Card Sharks, whenever two new players came in after a champion had exhausted his/her Money Cards appearance chances (7 victories/MCs on NBC, 5 on CBS).