Two contestants, usually a male and a female, faced their respective game boards which, when opened, revealed a drawing. The objective was to find a hidden object within the drawing and successfully trace its outline. In order to do so, the players had to answer true-or-false questions and score points based on a timer clicking down from 10. A correct answer removed part of the picture (the camouflage) and the player had 10 seconds to find the object and trace its outline with a long stick. For each pass or mistraced picture, the value of the board (which began at 200 points) was reduced by 10 points. Once a player reached 30 points, she was shown a picture of the object.. The winner received a prize package based on her total score, and the higher scorer of the day played the bonus round.
The show was a modest success for ABC, and was revamped by Chuck Barris in 1980 for a few months in syndication. The game was now played for cash, and three games were played in each show; tracing the front-game picture won that money and led to the bonus game.
A Camouflage completely unrelated to these formats aired on GSN in 2007, where the object was to find words within words.
This show provides examples of:
- The Announcer: Johnny Gilbert on the original, Barris standby Johnny Jacobs on the 1980 reboot.
- Bonus Round: Trace an object in a larger drawing within 15 seconds, win a new car. On the 1980 version, the format initially allowed for three cars to be won. Partway through the run, the format was changed to a tournament style with only the last bonus game being played for the car; the first two were played for $1,000 and made a bit easier to compensate.
- A Day in the Limelight: Johnny Gilbert filled in for Morrow on January 8, 1962 (the show's anniversary), with Chet Gould announcing.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: Longtime Nickelodeon game show fans might see Camouflage's main element (hidden pictures) for the first time and be reminded of Finders Keepers, which had a similar concept of finding hidden objects to win, either in pictures or in the famous house that the kids got to rampage through.
- Game Show Host: Don Morrow on the original, Tom Campbell in 1980.
- Home Game: One was made by Milton Bradley but, instead of picture drawings, the object was hidden under five layers of vector shapes on acetate sheets. It also contained separate sheets for players to put over their TV screens and play along with the show.
- Show the Folks at Home: The viewers saw the object as it was shown to the contestant after s/he reached 30 points.
- Think Music: A lilting 10-second interlude as the players studied their boards after answering a question.