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The Price Is Right Board Game Review and Rules

Originally premiering in 1956 and changing to its current format in 1972, The Price Is Right has been a mainstay of daytime TV for decades. When I was a kid I was a huge fan of the show as I regularly watched on the rare sick/snow day and during the summer. While I am not as big of fan of the show as I once was, I still consider it to be one of if not my favorite gameshow. The premise of the show is simple as players win prizes by being the best as guessing their actual prices. The popularity of the show has lead to quite a few tie-ins over the years which includes quite a few board games. Most of these board games are basically the same except for some variations to modernize the game. Today I am looking at the 1986 version of the main The Price Is Right board game. The Price Is Right does a good job replicating the gameshow even though some poor design choices and the fact that it is outdated has lead to a game that is basically a simple guessing game.

How to Play | My Thoughts | Should You Buy? | Comments

How to Play The Price Is Right

Note: These rules are for the 1986 version of the game. The rules should be similar for the other versions of the main game but may have some slight rule tweaks and may include different games.

Setup

  • Separate the play money by their values to set up the bank.
  • Sort the cards by their individual decks and shuffle each deck separately.
  • Set the tiles, gameboards, and pricers off to the side as they will be used later.
  • Choose who will be the MC for the game. Players can also choose to have the players rotate who is the MC before each qualifying round.

Qualifying Rounds

Like the gameshow The Price Is Right board game will have players play a qualifying round between each game to determine who will get to play the next game.

A qualifying round begins with the MC player choosing the A, B, C, or D letter tile and placing it on the table. The MC will then draw an item card from the green deck. The number on the back corresponding to letter tile that was drawn will determine the price for the item. The MC will be the only person to know this price.

Qualifying Round in The Price Is Right
The MC chose the B tile so this mini-microwave oven will be worth $80.

All of the bidding players will then take one of the pricers. Each player will use the pricer to submit their guess at the item’s price without showing the other players. After all of the players have made their guess the MC will reveal the actual price. The player who bid closest to the actual price without going over will win. If everyone bids too high another item will be bid on. If there is a tie for the closest bid the tied bidders will bid on another item. If the winner bid exactly right they will receive a $100 bonus.

Qualifying Round in The Price Is Right
In this qualifying round the top player has bid too much so they could not win even if they bid the closest. As the second player bid exactly right they will win and receive a $100 bonus.

The MC will pay the winner money equal to the actual price of the item. The winner will also get to play the next solo game. How to play the solo games can be found in the Games section below.

Showcase

The players will play all ten of the games in order with qualifying rounds in between. When all of the games are finished the players will count up how much money they collected during the game. The two players that collected the most money will get to compete in the showcase.

Setup

  • The MC will choose a letter tile and place it face up on the table.
  • The MC will randomly select a showcase for each player. The MC will draw one orange and two blue cards for each player. The cards will be placed picture side up in front of the corresponding player.

Playing the Game

Each player will try to guess the value of the three items in their showcase. They will use their pricer to lock in their guess. If a player thinks their showcase is worth over $10,000 they will input the last four digits and tell the other players that there is a one at the beginning of their bid.

Showcase Showdown in The Price Is Right
In this showcase the top player is bidding on a grand piano, an electric dryer, and a canoe. The bottom player is bidding on a 7-day Caribbean cruise, a chain saw, and a stand-up mixer. The top player bid $5,871 on their showcase while the bottom player bid $2,500 for their showcase.

Once each player has made their guess the MC will reveal the actual values. The player who bid closest to the actual price without going over will win the showcase. They will receive money equal to the value of their showcase.

Showcase for The Price Is Right
The two players have made their bids. The top player bid $5,871 and the actual value was $9,741. The bottom player bid $2,500 and their showcase was worth $2,601. The bottom player is closest to the actual value of their showcase so they will win all three prizes.

End of Game

The game will end after the Showcase. The players will total their winnings during the game. The player who won the most money will win the game.

Games

Any Number

Setup

  • Place the Any Number gamecard face up on the table.
  • Draw a card from the Any Number deck.
  • The MC will look at the prices and put the number tiles on the corresponding spaces on the gamecard face down.

Playing the Game

The player will choose one number between 0-9. The MC will reveal the corresponding tile on the gamecard.

The player will keep choosing new numbers until all of the tiles have been revealed for one of the prizes. The MC will pay the player the corresponding amount of money of the prize whose full price was revealed. If the player wins the piggy bank amount it will be rounded up to the next dollar.

Any Number in The Price Is Right
As the player has chosen all of the numbers in the car’s price they have won the car.

Danger Price

Setup

  • Place the Danger Price gamecard face up on the table.
  • The MC will choose a letter tile and place it face up on the table.
  • The MC draws four items cards from the blue deck.
  • The MC chooses one of the four items to be the danger price without the contestant knowing which one they chose. They will place the number tiles on the gamecard to display the price of that item.
  • The four item cards are then placed picture side up on the gamecard.

Playing the Game

The contestant will choose the three cards they don’t think match the danger price. If the contestant picks the item that corresponds with the danger price they will lose and receive nothing. If they correctly pick the three items that don’t match the danger price they will receive cash equal to the actual value (based on the letter tile that was chosen) of all four items.

Danger Price in The Price Is Right
In this game the player has to choose the three prizes that they don’t think are priced at $463. If they successfully find all three prizes they will win all four prizes.

Hi-Lo

  • Place the Hi-Lo gamecard face up on the table.
  • Choose a letter tile and place it face up on the table.
  • Draw six cards from the purple deck and place them picture side up on the gamecard.
  • Draw a card from the orange deck. This is the prize that the players are trying to win.

Playing the Game

The contestant will look at the six purple item cards and try to determine which three are the most expensive and which three are the least expensive. The contestant will place the three highest priced items on the Hi side of the gamecard and the three lowest on the Lo side of the gamecard. All of the cards will then be revealed and players will compare their actual prices (based on the letter tile). If any of the choices were wrong the player wins nothing. If all six cards were placed correctly the player will receive money equal to the price (based on the letter tile) of the orange card that was drawn.

Hi Lo in The Price Is Right
The player has decided that they think the three items along the top row are the most expensive and the three items on the bottom row are the cheapest. If the player is correct they will win the game.

Lucky Seven

Setup

  • Place the Lucky Seven gamecard and a letter tile face up on the table.
  • Choose an orange card.
  • The MC will find the number tiles that correspond to the actual price of the item. They will place these tiles face down on the corresponding spaces on the board.
  • The contest will be given $7.

Playing the Game

The contestant will try to guess the value of the item one number at a time starting with the number on the left. After the contestant makes the guess the MC will reveal the actual number. The contestant will have to give back $1 for each number their guess was away from the actual number.

If the player loses all seven dollars they will lose the game. If the player has any money left after guessing all four numbers they will win. They will receive money equal to the value of the item.

Lucky Seven in The Price Is Right
In this game the player thought the first number in the car’s price was a nine. Since they were off by two they will have to give up two of their seven dollars.

One Away

Setup

  • Place the One Away board on the table as well as a letter tile.
  • The MC will draw an orange card.
  • The MC will pick a tile for each digit in the price of the item that is either one higher or one lower than the actual price. These tiles will be placed face up on the gamecard.

Playing the Game

The contestant will then choose for each digit whether the actual price is one higher or one lower. They will dial in their total guess with one of the pricers. If the contestant made any errors in their first guess the MC will tell them how many numbers are wrong. The contestant will then get a second chance to change their guess to try and correct the errors.

If any of the numbers are wrong in the second guess the player will lose. If all of the numbers are correct they will receive the value of the item in cash.

One Away in The Price Is Right
In this game each digit of the price shown is off by one. For example the first number can either be a three or a five. The player has to correctly change the numbers in order to win the game.

Squeeze Play

Setup

  • Place the Squeeze Play gamecard and a letter tile on the table.
  • Draw a card from the orange deck.
  • The MC will take the number tiles equal to the price of the item and arrange them to show the actual price. They will then choose another number tile and place it in any position in the price (including the first or last number).
  • The MC will then place the tiles face up on the gamecard.

Playing the Game

The contestant chooses which number they think was added to the price. If they pick the wrong number they will lose. If they pick the right number they will receive money from the bank equal to the item’s price.

Squeeze Play in The Price Is Right
One of the numbers in the week for two in Bermuda price on the right is not actually in the price. The player has to find the number that has been inserted into the price.

Safecracker

Setup

  • Place the Safecracker gamecard and a letter tile on the table.
  • Draw an item from the blue deck.
  • The MC will find the tiles that correspond to the actual price. They will mix them up and place them on the gamecard.
  • Choose two other blue cards which will act as additional prizes for the game.

Playing the Game

The contestant will rearrange the three tiles to what they think is the actual price. If the contestant picks the correct price they will receive money equal to the price of all three items.

Safecracker in The Price Is Right
In this game the player is trying to figure out the price of the snow ski equipment. The price is made up of the numbers 9, 5, and 1. For example they could be worth 591, 519, 951, 915, 195, or 159. If the player guesses the right price they will win all three blue prizes.

Secret X

Setup

  • Place the Secret X gamecard and a letter price tile on the table.
  • Draw two green cards and three blue cards.
  • The MC will take one X tile and two blank tiles and mix them up. They will then randomly place the three tiles on the three spaces in the middle column face down.
  • The contestant is given a X tile which they will place on one of the spaces in the left column.

Playing the Game

The MC will choose one of the two green cards and find its actual price based on the letter tile. They will then make up a price for the item. They will tell the contestant both prices without indicating which is which. If the contestant guesses the correct price they will receive a X tile which they will place in the right column. The MC will then do the other green card in the same way. If the player guesses this card correctly they will also receive a X to place in the right column.

Secret X Game in The Price Is Right
To begin the game this player placed the X in the top left corner. During the game they got one of the two prices correct so they placed the X in the bottom right corner.

The middle tiles will then be flipped over. If the contestant has three Xs in a row they will win the game. They will receive money equal to the value of the three blue cards.

Secret X in The Price is Right
The middle tiles have been revealed. As there are three Xs in a row the player will win the game.

Switcheroo

Setup

  • Place the Switcheroo gamecard on the table.
  • Draw a Switcheroo card.
  • The MC will fill in the spaces on the gameboard with the correct numbers. They will not fill in the circled spaces (third column) though.
  • The numbers that would go in the third column are given to the contestant.

Playing the Game

The contestant will use the tiles they are given to fill in the blanks in the item prices. Once they have placed all of the tiles the MC will tell them how many they have correct. The contestant will then be given an opportunity to rearrange the tiles to hopefully correct their mistakes.

When the player has finalized their guesses the MC will pay them money equal to the prices that they got correct.

Switcheroo in The Price Is Right
The contestant in this game has to determine where the numbers on the left go in the empty spaces on the gamecard. The player will win the prizes that they price correctly.

3 Strikes

Setup

  • Place the 3 Strikes gamecard on the table along with a letter tile.
  • Draw an orange card.
  • Find the tiles that correspond to the numbers in the actual price and three X tiles.
  • Place the tiles face down on the table and mix them up.

Playing the Game

The contestant will draw one tile at a time. If the drawn tile is a X it will be placed at the bottom of the board. If the tile is a number the player will try to guess the position in the price that it belongs. If the player is correct the tile will be placed in that position on the board. If they are wrong the tile will be turned face down and mixed up with the rest of the tiles.

The contestant will then draw another tile. This will continue until one of two things happen. If all three Xs are drawn the player will lose. If the player is able to correctly place all of the numbers they will receive money equal to the price of the item.

3 Strikes in Price is Right
In this game the player has already picked several of the tiles. They have found the right positions for three of the numbers. They have also drawn two of the Xs. If their next draw is a X the player will lose. If their next draw is the last number though they will win the game.

My Thoughts on The Price is Right

Despite being a fan of The Price is Right I can’t say that I had high expectations for the board game. These game show board games are usually exactly what you would expect as they try to replicate the show as closely as they can. They deserve credit for trying to remain true to the original show but this usually leads to games that are kind of dull. Without electronic components this usually results in replicating the gameplay to a degree but lacking any of the excitement as there is nothing up for grabs outside of bragging rights. For most game shows it is really easy to adapt them to a board game as the necessary information could easily be put on cards. I was not so sure how this would work for The Price Is Right as it features quite a few different games.

The Price Is Right Board Game ends up playing a lot like these other game show board games. While it has issues I have to say that I was kind of surprised that the show adapts to a board game better than I expected. Without the use of electronic components I honestly think the board game did almost as good of job as could be expected. The qualifying rounds are basically the same as the show except that all of the players secretly bid by themselves instead of players taking turns like on the show. You will then get the opportunity to play one of the ten games taken from the show. With the board game being over 30 years old I was expecting some of the games to no longer be used on the show. I was pleasantly surprised to see that all of the games featured in the 1986 version are still used on the show today. Pretty much all of these games are played by taking an item card and then playing some sort of game revolving around the item’s price.

For the most part I think The Price is Right Board Game does a good job replicating the show. Outside of the clunkiness of setting up some of the games they do a good job adapting the games to work in a board game setting. While the designer(s) probably chose the games that were the easiest to adapt I give them credit as playing the board game feels like you are on the show. That is without the excitement and the opportunity to actually win prizes. For this reason I think fans of The Price Is Right could enjoy the board game. The game is easy to play where children should have no problem playing it.

While you can have some fun with The Price Is Right board game, there are quite a few issues that keep the game from being as good as it could have been.

This is not entirely the game’s fault but the biggest problem with the game is that it is quite outdated at this point. There have been various versions of this game created over the years but there really haven’t been any versions released in over a decade. The game I played was created in 1986 and it has not aged well in some ways. I want to point out that the game is a couple years older than me but even if that wasn’t the case it is still hard to guess the prices of items from over 30 years ago. Due to inflation and other factors things are priced quite differently today. This makes the game considerably more difficult since you will basically just be guessing unless you have an unnatural recollection of prices from the 1980s. This makes the games quite hard to win unless the players are lucky. I don’t know what games the more recent versions have but I would probably recommend picking up one of the newest versions just so the prices are a little less outdated.

The problem with you having to guess the prices is not helped by the fact that the game decided to include four prices for each item. I am assuming the various prices were added in order to randomize the game some in order to prevent players from memorizing the prices after extended plays. I give the game credit for trying to add some variety to the game. The problem is that I don’t think anyone would have played the game enough to memorize the prices and the four different prices just makes the game worse. The problem with the four prices is that they can be wildly different. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if some of the prices were randomly chosen for the items. This becomes a problem because it forces players to just make random guesses at an item’s price as your knowledge of prices won’t help you much. This isn’t helped by the fact that you only get a generic picture of the items you are bidding on with no detail about its quality level. The game ultimately becomes a guessing game eliminating any benefit you would receive from actually being good at guessing the items’ prices.

The fact that the game becomes a glorified guessing game is probably the game’s biggest issue but it also doesn’t do a great job choosing the games either. I first want to complain about the fact that the game doesn’t include the big wheel from the Showcase Showdown. I could see not including a vertical wheel as it probably would have added a lot to the cost. I don’t know why it couldn’t have included a normal spinner to replace the wheel though. The big wheel is one of the best parts of the show and it is sadly missing from the board game. On top of that I think the game could have done a better job choosing the games. Some of the included games were probably more popular in the 1980s but several of the games included in this version are not that popular anymore. The biggest problem with the choice of games is the fact that they all just seem like more of the same. All of the included games are basic pricing games with only slight tweaks differentiating them.

There is no way it could have fixed them but the board game also suffers from issues due to the format of the show that it is trying to emulate. Just like the show the prizes you have the opportunity to win will likely determine who will win the game. The players who get the opportunity to win a car for example are going to have a significant advantage in the game since if you win it you are basically guaranteed to make the Showdown. Then there is the fact that only one player can play each individual game. This means that all of the other players outside of the MC will have to just sit there and watch another player play the game. Players will spend a lot of time just sitting around waiting for the other players. If you are particularly bad at the qualifying rounds you will likely spend most of the game just watching other players play the game.

As for the components I would say that they are decent but nothing special. The game includes quite a few cards. When you add in the four prices for each item you will be able to play a lot of games before you have to worry about repeating any prices. The card quality is okay even if they are a little bland. The gamecards are decent and do a good enough job replicating the boards from the show. The tiles are durable even though they feel like they were taken from a game like Upwords. The pricers work pretty well. The biggest problem with the components is the fact that the setup time for each individual game is longer than it probably should have been. Basically the components are what you would expect from a 1980s Milton Bradley mass market board game.

Should You Buy The Price is Right?

I got to say that I have mixed feelings about The Price is Right board game. I didn’t think a board game would do very good job replicating the game show and yet I think it did better than I was expecting. The board game does a pretty good job replicating the pricing games even if the setup is a little long. Fans of the game show can have some fun with the game as it is easy to play. Unfortunately the board game has quite a few problems. All of the versions of the game are outdated at this point with some being really outdated. In addition the game decided to have four prices for each item. These two factors basically turn the game into a guessing game as educated guesses don’t help you much in the game. The game is also missing the big wheel and a lot of the games play pretty much the same. There is also a lot of downtime as you watch the other players play the individual games.

If you aren’t a big fan of The Price is Right the board game will not be for you. Fans of the show can have some fun with the game as long as they don’t care that it is basically just a simple guessing game at this point. If you are a big fan of the show and can get a good price on it you should maybe consider picking up The Price is Right board game.

Buy The Price is Right Board Game online: Amazon (1976 Edition, 1986 Edition, 1998 Edition, Endless Games Version), eBay

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