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Family Feud


Hoskat

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Genre: Gameshow

Publisher: Gametek

Total time played: 4 Hours

Short review: A dated version of the classic game show. The game moves much slower than it needs to and some of the clues are near impossible to guess.


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Just like the show, but slower

The characters are charming, the host definitely favors Richard Dawson as he kisses all the women. But, the pace of the game is way too slow. While the character reactions are a nice touch the first time you see them after playing through a full game you will wish there was a way to skip them. This is not unique to Family Feud, most of the GameTek game show ports on the NES are full of charm but move too slow.

How would I know that?

What makes Family Feud fun is guessing the answers. But, a combination of a game close to 30 years old and the limited hardware of the NES makes many of the clues impossible to guess. Unfortunately, the computer take every opportunity to guess the right answer if you make one misstep.

Examples of hard/impossible to guess clues:

Name something flammable in your house: Oily Rags

Name a city with a professional basketball team: Kansas City, St. Louis (um, those cities had ABA teams in the 1970s, but that was old news even when this game came out)

What is something in your house that you wish was in your car? Stereo (What?? Even in the 80’s most cars had stereos in them).

Name a color of cake frosting: Vanilla, chocolate (I mean, those aren’t colors…luckily brown and white still worked)

Name a popular form of recreation: I mean, none of the answers were surprising but the category is so broad you would likely never guess them all.

How man years does a bed last? A couple of issues with this one. There are 11 answers, all are multiples of 5 except randomly “8” is one of the answers. Also, 100 years is an answer. You would have to be really lucky to guess all these numbers.

How to win

Winning a single game isn’t too bad. Be the first family to 300 points and you play the bonus round. In the bonus round your goal is to get 200 points, if you do, you win $5,000, if you don’t, you win the number of points you earned in dollars.

Winning a single game isn’t too hard, it may take a few tries, but, it is doable. But, to beat Family Feud you must win $20,000. What this means is you must win 4 games in a row and always score 200 points in the fast money bonus round. If you don’t get $200 points in the “fast money” round you get to keep going but the more games you play the more likely the computer is to eventually win. This is why the game is challenging.

Brute force or pen and paper

When I was a teenager my mind was a steel trap. You could tell me your phone number or birthday and I’d remember it forever. Now I’m 35 and can’t remember what I had for breakfast. I tried multiple times to beat Family Feud by just playing over and over again. But, since my memory isn’t what it used to be I never seemed to get any better. Even when the same category would pop up I wouldn’t remember the answers.

So, I created an excel sheet with tabs for how many answers were on the question and made notes of every puzzle I played. Sure, this is kind of cheating, but, come on, I’m never going to guess “oily rags” for flammable items in my house or “windstorm” for things people are afraid of.

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Donald is looking a little rough in that blue shirt.

So Close

After taking the time to note every category and answer for 3 nights I ended up winning 6 games in a row and getting $16,390 (remember, $20,000 wins the game). The thing is, on this run I didn’t see any categories I’d seen before which means I didn’t need my excel sheet. I eventually got to the point where I believed the game was possible to beat without taking notes, but, since I’ve already got so many notes I kept taking them.

Final thoughts

When the game came out I’m sure it was as good as a game show game could be. In 2017 there are just too many better ways to spend your time, better game show games, heck, there are so many game shows now you could probably be a contestant on a real game show. The farther away from the release of this game, the harder it is to guess the clues. It’s not a bad game, it just hasn’t aged well.

Stats

14 total attempts

32 total rounds played

19 rounds won

10 times made it to 2nd round

3 times made it to 3rd round

2 times to 4th and 5th round

1 time to 6th round

Total Questions Seen

101 unique questions

3 answers – 4

4 answers – 20

5 answers – 23

6 answers – 21

7 answers – 15

8 answers – 9

9 answers – 2

10 answers – 4

11 answers – 3

Number of repeat questions

12 questions seen 2 times

0 questions seen 3 times

Number of fast money questions seen

86 questions seen

8 repeat questions

Families played against

9 different families

Ewing, Williams, Burton, Jackson, Trump, Brady, Carson, Reagen, Murphy

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