Game Changer: The game show that changes every episode

Josh+Ruben%2C+Zac+Oyama+and+Brennan+Lee+Mulligan+make+some+noise+in+episode+3+of+season+4.

Josh Ruben, Zac Oyama and Brennan Lee Mulligan make some noise in episode 3 of season 4.

The show Game Changer is an extremely unique take on the game show formula. Some things are constant: The host, Sam Reich, gives an energetic introduction, and each contestant (usually there’s three of them) enters onto a vibrantly colored set, stands behind a podium with a number display in front, and awaits the show. The game itself? As the name suggests, it changes every time. 

 

Although they all take place in the same set, each game’s ruleset vastly changes for every episode. It’s treated like a game show anthology, with a constant aesthetic laid over a staggering variety of unique and innovative games. It’s difficult to get across the types of games that are made for each episode without spoiling, so here are vague descriptions of seven of them:

 

Episode 5 of season 3 has amazing actors performing some of the worst dialogue ever written.

 

Episode 2 of Season 2 has contestants negotiating their prize for a punishment. For example, “liking an ex’s last 25 posts on Instagram” sold for $200.

 

Episode 5 of season 4 is a musical. The problem, of course, is that there is no script.

 

Episode 5 of season 1 has contestants one and two investigating the murder of the third. 

 

Episode 7 of season 3 is (not) a completely normal game of Jeopardy!. Hint: stay away from the sea-serpent.

 

Episode 7 of season 4 has contestants facing off against the ultimate challenge: emotional vulnerability.

 

Episodes 9 and 10 of season 4 are titled “Survivor.

 

The episodes are extremely varied and innovative. Because most games aren’t made to last more than one episode, they are each crafted with extreme care and attention – each episode needs a reason to exist. Sam Reich, the host and creator of the show explained in a Q&A that filming an episode can sometimes feel like pulling off a rocket launch, with months upon months of planning. The best episodes aren’t just game shows – they’re journeys. And when the mechanics are simple, the episodes are carried by the contestants.

 

The company that makes the show is called Dropout, which is a collection of comedy actors, writers, and improvisers that all work closely together to create shows and sketches. The contestants, crew and host all know each other, and Game Changer takes advantage of that. Games are tailored to the specific talents of the contestants, if an episode is based on improvisation, then only the funniest improvisers show up. The contestants bring as much to the show as the game itself.

 

The company went through very tough times in terms of funding and support in the last few years, so it’s heartwarming to see them back up and running. In fact, Game Changer has been a source of inspiration for other game shows from the group. The game of lies and secrets in episode 6 of season 3 is now the premise of a full spinoff show coming on April 11th called Dirty Laundry. Similarly, the fan favorite improv game in episode 2 of season 1 is getting its own spinoff called Make Some Noise, and so is the musical-based game of episode 5 of season 4 (a personal favorite), which will be called Untitled Musical Show (both with premiere dates unrevealed).

 

In all, I give Game Changer a 10/10, for being the most unique game show I have ever seen, and I highly recommend for anyone to check it out.