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Home Game

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1978 Ideal Toys home game of Tic-Tac-Dough, back when the Wink Martindale version was called The New Tic-Tac-Dough (plugged by Jay Stewart as a consolation prize)

"You don't get to come back tomorrow. You don't even get a lousy copy of our home game. You're a complete loser!"
Don Pardo, "Weird Al" Yankovic's I Lost on Jeopardy!

When a Game Show has been around for a while, loyal fans will want to play the game at home. In fact, the very first radio quiz shows had home games in the form of quiz books, originally created as advertising premiums.

Home adaptations of television game shows are made mostly of paper, cardboard and plastic, and often the game play has to be changed significantly to fit the relevant constraints. Since the 1980s, many home games have been created for popular home computers and video game consoles. Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune are probably two of the biggest examples in recent years, at least from the game show front. The opposite has also occurred, with adaptations of board games into game shows becoming home games themselves, such as TV Scrabble, and Trivial Pursuit Game Show (based on Wink Martindale's version of Trivial Pursuit for The Family Channel) — which used photos from the pilot on the box.

Often given as a Consolation Prize in the actual game show, naturally as Product Placement.

Matt Ottinger has more information on home versions of game shows.

You may be looking for the Survival Horror indie game Home, or the OFF fan-game HOME.

Fictional examples:

  • In The Running Man film, an audience member who gets to choose the next stalker to send after Richards, is given a copy of The Running Man home game. It is not elaborated how the home game manages to recreate a game show that kills its contestants. On the other hand, the real home computer game based on the film might as well be considered a defictionalization of the said prize.
    • Smash TV, an arcade game that can be described as a combination of The Running Man and RoboCop, awards 'Our Exciting Home Game' as a prize in the final level. It goes meta in the console ports — you're awarded a Home Game in the Home Game!
  • When Garfield of Garfield and Friends has a Dream Sequence in which he is a contestant on a game show called Name That Fish, one of the things he wins is a copy of the home game. It appears to be a box with fish sticking out.
  • In a Numberwang sketch on That Mitchell and Webb Look, the overly-complicated game show is revealed to have an equally-complicated home game. It features a pair of 400-sided dice that are too small to see with the human eye, a wig of the host's hair, a rotating board, and a 37-volume rule book (each book being roughly dictionary-sized), "so you can say 'That's Numberwang!' with confidence!" without going to jail for violating the copyright laws that surround the game.
  • In an episode of The Fairly OddParents, a knight tries to pull out the Sword in the Stone, but apparently breaks his arm doing it. He is then awarded the "Sword in the Stone Home Game"...and breaks his fingers trying to pull it out.
  • Homestar Runner: Parodied in the e-mail "geddup noise", where Homestar's game/talk show "The Show" offers runners-up "a year's supply of our home game": it is labelled as the "Stupid Home Edition", and promotes that you can "mostly play by oneself", and that it has "few prizes!"
  • In an episode of Histeria!, the Spanish Inquisition gives its victims the "Convert or Die" home game if they choose the latter in order to make their time on Death Row more enjoyable.
  • In France, Questions pour un champion has one. Often given as a consolation prize, naturally.
  • In Ratchet: Deadlocked, the announcer will occasionally remind viewers to purchase the Dreadzone Home Game. Given that Dreadzone is essentially a reality TV show about brutal gladiatorial combat, well...
  • Parodied in Whose Line Is It Anyway?. Apparently, it comes with a blow-up doll version of Drew Carey. At other times, Drew claimed that the home game was a mail-in premium from ABC; one would later receive "a desk and four stools" if they sent in their money.
  • A Saturday Night Live sketch featured a game show called I'm Gonna Have Sex With Your Wife. It consists of the sleazy host taking each contestant's wife off-stage and having sex with them. At the end, the two runners-up are given the "I'm Gonna Have Sex With your Wife home game":
    Contestant: It's just a phone number!
    Host: Yeah, it's mine. Just give it to your wives; they'll know what to do.
  • Johnny Carson once poked fun at the trend when he hosted the Oscars during the '70s with the claim that "those of you who don't win will receive 'The Oscars Home Game'."
  • The first Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? home game was eventually packaged with a disclaimer advising buyers that it was for entertainment only and offered absolutely no actual cash prize, as so many people who did not grasp that it was only a game tried to claim the million-pound TV show prize for successfully completing it.
    This game is for entertainment only and all cash values used within it are completely notional.
  • George Carlin did a bit on game shows on his FM/AM album:
    Even the worst contestant of the month gets a copy of the home game, a little pat on the ass ("Thank you, honey, God love ya")...


Video Example(s):


Brain Game: Home Version

One of the prizes you can "win" in Shovelware's Brain Game is a "Home Version" of the game, which includes a recreation of the soundstage, six player tokens, a set of question cards, and even a "miniature audience."

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