The gameplay is essentially the same: two contestants play tic-tac-toe to try to get three-in-a-row (or a five-square win) by predicting whether or not the celebrities are giving correct answers to questions. Each squares earns contestants £50 and a three-in-a-row/five-square win earns contestants a £500 bonus. A total of five rounds are played and they are as followed:
Round 1: Normal
Round 2: Secret Square (Correct guess wins contestant a prize associated with the Secret Square celebrity)
Round 3: Square Essentials (the celebrities read a fact about themselves and the contestants must determine whether the statement is true or false)
Round 4: Square Miles (Secret Square game for a trip)
Round 5: Double Square (Dollar Values are doubled)
The contestant with the most money advances to the Question Line bonus round. In the bonus round, a line of three celebrities are selected, each containing a category, and the contestant chooses which question category he/she wants to face. Each question has multiple answers and the contestant has to provide nine correct answers to their selected question in 30 seconds. Each correct answer is worth £1,000 and nine correct answers wins £20,000.
For those you who were fans of Hollywood/Celebrity Squares back in the 2000s and earlier, this one will take some getting used to for a one reason: the hour-long format. The 60-minute format is a bit lengthy for a show like this. It’s like if Match Game/Blankety Blanks were to be stretched in the same fashion; it would get tiresome and seem never-ending after a while. However, I can see why the producers chose to expand the timeframe to allow more time for witty banter and amusing anecdotes among the celebrities, host and contestants rather than bypassing that and rushing through each game due to the half-hour time constraint. The great chemistry between the celebrities and the host makes this show fun to watch for the entire hour and it’s not boring and lackluster like the Hollywood Squares half of NBC’s Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour.
Other than that, the ITV 2014 version of Celebrity Squares is a good revival of the classic game show with solid celebrity lineups, unique rounds, great prizes at stake and Warwick Davis as a respectable host to succeed Bob Monkhouse. The only criticism I have about Davis is his use of the auto cue prompts after certain questions to squeeze in a quick one-liner. It really doesn’t add much to the show and as clever as he is, Davis would be better off coming up with jokes off-the-cuff. The other aspect that makes the hour-long format easy to watch is how each round is unique, especially the Square Essentials (similar to the first half of the 2003 Hollywood Squares bonus game) that creatively offer viewers and contestants fun facts and tidbits about the
stars themselves. I predict this weekly, hour-long game show will be recommissioned for a second series and I’ll be a bit shocked if we don’t see Celebrity Squares next year.
Check out new episodes of Celebrity Squares Wednesdays at 8:00pm BST on ITV!
**All screenshots have been taken from the actual episodes of Celebrity Squares. No ownership is implied.**