Popular Internet Game Show Made A Video Game You Can Play Right Now

Image: Dropout
Image: Dropout

What if a game show took one of its games and made it into a video game? Is that confusing? Well, it happened. On May 1,Dropout TV’s Sam Reich, host of the internet game show/social experiment Game Changer, announced the release of a new video game based on a specific game played on a recent episode of the show.

Like other episodes from the series—whose premise is that the game contestants must play changes every time— much of the joy of “Deja Vu” comes from watching the contestants figure out the signature twist and work to outsmart host Reich. The aptly titled “Deja Vu” put three contestants against each other in a series of challenges that they have to repeat over and over again. Among challenges like solving math problems or answering general trivia questions, one asked players to navigate a video game maze, themed to match the show’s colorful set design.

That game is now available for free on the indie game storefront itch.io (the password to play is GC123). While Reich repeated the phrase “I’ve created a game just for you” throughout the entire episode, he didn’t actually make this video game—the credit goes to indie developer Colin Watterson. Reich notes that the game “works well on PC, badly on Mac.” Like in the episode of Game Changer, players attempting to navigate the maze do so by choosing to go either left or right at several junctions. Awaiting players who choose the wrong path are a series of hilarious deaths. According to a behind-the-scenes video from Dropout, the deaths were meant to “feel both arbitrary and like a loving parody of Oregon Trail,” said Reich. The deaths are caused by misadventures like putting a Q-tip too far into an earor water going down the wrong pipe while drinking. However, if you paid attention during the episode, you will already know the correct path to take to victory.

In the behind-the-scenes of the episode, Reich revealed that the maze wasn’t the only thing inspired by game design. The entire concept of “Deja Vu” (repeating a series of events over and over again and incrementally getting better) was inspired by indie platformer Celeste, which itself puts players through a lot of deaths and restarts. This is the sixth season of Game Changer and Reich says he has started to turn more to game design for inspiration, so hopefully we will see even more inventive (and perhaps familiar) shenanigans in the future. I say put the Dropout cast in a battle royale. I’ll put my money on Amy Vorphal being the first one out and Katie Marovitch coming out on top.


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