"Hip Hop Squares" Review

Set Design- 10
Gameplay- 8
Show Flow- 6
Play-Along Factor- 10
Potential Viewer Ratings- 5
Host- 6
Overall Rating- 7.5

Premise- Two contestants play a series of tic-tac-toe games. Contestants take turns choosing squares and play the game like a normal tic-tac-toe game.  Once a square is selected, a question will be asked to the celebrity in the square and the contestant will have to determine whether their answer is true or false. If the contestant guesses correctly, they win the square; otherwise, their opponent wins the square. A contestant wins a round by either getting three squares in row vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, or by getting five squares on the game board. In the second round, one square is secretly designated as the “G-Spot”, similar to the Secret Square. If the contestant picks the G-Spot and guess correctly, they will win the square and a $1,000 bonus. Each round is worth $500 and if time runs out, the contestants will be awarded $100 for each square they have on the board. The contestant with the most cash wins the game and plays the bonus round.

In the bonus round, the contestant has to choose either the top, middle, or bottom row of stars. The row of selected stars are asked a question and the three stars would each give an answer. If the contestant picks the star with the correct answer, they will win a $2,500 bonus. If they choose a star with the wrong answer, they will win nothing extra.

And now, for the review…

Over the past few years, MTV has been creating a series of good original game shows such as Silent Library and The Substitute, and their streak continues with the debut of Hip Hop Squares. MTV2 did a good job of putting a spin on Hollywood Squares to appeal to today’s young, urban audience. The celebrities look relaxed and like they are having a good time on the show since the producers have given them the green light to act more like themselves. This show is making a good attempt on making a party out of the show, like with the panelists on Match Game. The gameplay is solid, but slow compared to the original series. Host Peter Rosenberg does a decent job of hosting the show, although he slows down the pace of the show with his attempts at making a funny comment after every contestant’s prediction. The only other criticism I have about the show is the lack of enthusiasm and energy from the announcer at the beginning of the show and the show’s low prize budget. While I do like the clever renaming of the Secret Square and the new bonus round, I believe that the show should offer music-related prizes, like VIP concert tickets or an Apple prize package. There’s no appeal to a simple $2,500 grand prize. That value could easily be hidden behind a cool prize.

Overall, Hip Hop Squares is a good show to watch and I like how MTV2 sticks to the original Hollywood Squares format. However, the show would work better as a weeknight series rather than a weekly game show. The celebrities and the contestants look like they are having a lot of fun on the show and Hip Hop Squares has already proven to be a success on MTV2 by setting a ratings record for the network.

Watch new episodes of Hip Hop Squares every Tuesday night at 11:00pm on MTV2!
**All screenshots have been taken from the actual episodes of Hip Hop Squares. No ownership is implied.**
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