In 1990, a computer game based on "The Price is Right" was released for the PC and the Commodore 64. For the TPiR fan, this seemed like it would be a great thing... finally, a chance to play your favorite pricing games at home.

There was only one problem... the game wasn't at all a faithful adaptation of TPiR. It looks more like it was put together as quickly as possible in order to get it onto the market and make a fast buck off of it. Like they were worried about "The Price is Right" suddenly declining in popularity after 18 years.

So the TPiR computer game wasn't any fun to play. But it is fun to make fun of. And that's why this site was created. To take you through every part of the TPiR computer game and point out all of the flaws in it. Both the PC version and the Commodore 64 version are covered here. There's an easy way to tell the two apart -- the PC version uses a blue background, while the Commodore version uses a black background.

So let's start at the beginning of the game. To begin, you're asked how many people (1-4) will be playing. You enter the appropriate number, then type in everybody's name and decide which digital face most closely resembles each person. So far, it's just what you would expect from a game show computer game.

With computer players filling in any gaps, you're placed in Contestants' Row in the order in which you entered your names (Contestants' Row apparently now consists of podia... this does not bode well for the rest of the game, but at this point, you don't pay much attention to it).

And, like the show, you all bid on a prize. In this game, all of the prizes come from fake sponsors with names that closely resemble real companies. And the prices usually correspond to approximate prices you would find at those companies (for example, a prize from KuMart will cost less than a similar prize from Rears). At least this helps to combat the fact that in any TPiR home game, unless there's sponsorship (and there never has been yet), it becomes a really boring "guess the random number" game.

The rules match the show -- the person closest to the ARP of the prize wins and gets to play a pricing game. If all four players overbid, then you all bid again. There is no bonus for a perfect bid.

The pricing games are what make this computer game such a pain to play... but we'll get to those in a moment.

After the pricing game, a computer player is called down to replace the one that left. A new prize is presented and everybody bids again. One problem here: No matter who won the previous One Bid, bidding always starts from the far left. Every time.

After three One Bids, the "Spin the Wheel" game is played (the Showcase Showdown). Then, the game again asks you how many people are playing. Yes, in this version of TPiR, at the halfway point, Contestants' Row is cleared and four new players are called on down. Of course, you can just enter all the same people again, but you shouldn't have to.

Three more One Bids, three more pricing games, another Spin the Wheel, then the Final Showcase Challenge. Then the game ends. And if you're smart, you go play something else.

Because the reason this game is no fun lies in the presentation of the pricing games, Showcase Showdown, and Showcase (in other words, the entire danged show). Why are these elements so bad? Well, click on a link on the next page and find out. Read about the game's 17 pricing games and other stuff. Enjoy my commentary and plenty of screen grabs. And be glad you never owned this game (unless you did, in which case, my sincerest sympathy).

To the index!

[Note: I do not own these games, nor do I know where you would be able to find them (it's been a long while since I downloaded these). All of the images are likely copyright to somebody other than me. Used without permission. The site's all in fun, anyway.]