Family Feud (SNES)

Lately I’ve been watching a bunch of those “Worst Gameshow Answers” videos on YouTube. Most of them end up being Family Feud answers and it’s just so much fun watching Steve Harvey’s over the top reactions to the crazy things the contestants end up saying. But that got me thinking about how well I would do if I was ever on the show. Thankfully, there have been versions of Family Feud released on nearly every system, so the only problem is picking which one to play.

In case you’ve never seen the show, I’ll give a quick rundown of how the game works. Before the show, 100 random people were asked open ended questions and their answers were recorded. Then during the game, the contestants are asked those same questions and awarded point based on how many people gave that same answer. Whichever team earns the most points after several questions wins the game and is allowed to play the “Fast Money” round for a chance at the Grand Prize. Now that we know how to play, let’s pop in the SNES home version and see if we have what it takes to win the Grand Prize.

Gameplay

We start up the game, pick 1 family mode, and are surprisingly brought to an options screen before anything else. Just a few basic options, do we want music, and do we want the timer. The one that threw me off a little was Bullseye Round. I’m not familiar with a Bullseye Round, so for this first game we’re going to turn that off. With our options set, we then get to pick and name our family. There are only a couple of preset families to choose from, and it really doesn’t matter in the long run, so we just go with the first family it gives us. There is also an option to put in a code if we are returning champions. But this is our first game, so we don’t have a code this time around.

Once we’re done, the AI family is named, and we can start the game. Looks like the Grand Prize we’re playing for is going to be set at $5000. Let’s hope we win! Not that we’ll actually see any of that money…

The first members of each family step up to the podium to see who will control the round. Hands on the buzzer and we are given the first question. “Name something besides an old diary that would bring back memories.”

Well that could be just about anything, but first thing that comes to my mind is old pictures. Turns out that was the top answer with 44 out of 100 people saying the same thing. What a good way to start.

Since we got the top answer, we are given the option to play this round, or pass it to the other family. Obviously, we’re going to play it. For our next guess, we go with a yearbook. Not a very high scoring answer, but at least it’s on the board.

After those two answers though, my brain just kind of shut down. It always seems so easy when you’re watching the show. But when you have the timer ticking down in front of you, it puts a lot of stress on you. I ended up saying Old Toys, and Old Clothes. Neither of which were on the board. Then I went really stupid and said friends. In my head it made sense. Oh hey, I haven’t seen you in forever. Remember when we used to do stuff together? To this I got a mocking “Good Answer” chant coming from the audience, and my third strike.

Since we weren’t able to fill in the board, the other family has a chance to steal it. All they need to do is get a single right answer and all the points become theirs. Thankfully, they don’t have any answers either.

After their wrong answer, the remaining answers are revealed so we can feel stupid. I was at least close when I said clothes though. But I guess they were looking for something more specific now that I see Wedding Dress and Army uUniform. Oh well, I still get the points for the first round.

Time for the second question. “Name a place where you talk to someone through a glass window”. A glass window?… OH! Like at the bank? Turns out that was another top answer and we gain control of the board again.

Now we have a bit of a problem though, because those aren’t very common. Where else have we ever seen glass windows like that?… how about in jail? I’ve never personally seen it, but in movies they usually have to use those phones to talk to people behind the glass. Not only was that a right answer, but it shows a bit of cleverness by the game. I said “Prison” which ended up being a right answer for “Jail”. So I guess we don’t have to get an exact match on our answers.

After that, I can’t think of any other place where you would see those. I guess maybe the Drive Thru? It’s not the same type, but you’re kind of talking to people through a window. Maybe enough people thought the same thing. But no. Stupid me, I even double down and try Fast Food, thinking Drive Thru might not be recognized. But it’s still wrong.

I have no idea where else you might see those… Pharmacy? Gotta keep those drugs away from the addicts… but no, that’s three strikes for me, and we lose control of the board.

Thankfully, the Hall family doesn’t have a clue either. Turns out the other answers are Movies, Doctor’s Office, and Gas Station. I understand the movies, they’re in those little booths. I don’t know WHY they’re in those little booths, but they are. I have never seen a gas station where I talk to someone through a window though.

Whatever, I won the round, and I have a good lead on the other family. This brings us to the 3rd question. “Name a sport or game in which you need a rope.” Well that’s easy. It’s THE rope sport. Tug of War!

Keeping up the momentum, we quickly come up with the number 2 and number 3 answers of Jump Rope, and Rodeo. Just one more to go.

But what else uses rope? …Rope Swings? …Do those lane dividers in the pool count as rope? How about Competitive Knot Tying? Is that a thing? If it is a thing, it would need rope… Sadly, no one else came up with those answers, and we lose control.

Not to worry, so far the Hall family hasn’t had any good answers, they’ll probably just skip again. Except they don’t skip. They give Mountain Climbing, which turns out to be the final answer on the board. Just like that they steal all the points and take the lead.

Thankfully, there is a 4th round. I actually always thought it was weird that modern Family Feud only has 3 rounds. With only 3 rounds, winning the 3rd round alone is enough to win the game, making the previous 2 rounds meaningless. Anyway, final question is “From the comic strip ‘Peanuts’ name something the Red Baron Wears.” I love Snoopy when he’s pretending to be the Red Baron, I feel like I can see him right now. And the first thing that comes to mind is that big scarf of his. Turns out a lot of other people thought the same thing, because that’s the top answer.

After that, we say the Sunglasses (accepted as Goggles) and his Helmet. But there’s still one more thing. This outfits are always really simplistic. What else did he have on?

Did he have a Headset? I don’t think so. I don’t think they even had headsets during WWI. Flying Gloves? No. How about a Flight Jacket? Again no. What was the last thing he wore?

The other family can’t think of anything either. What was the last thing? A CAPE?! Snoopy as the Red Baron doesn’t have a cape! Does he? Google, what do you say? NO! That’s not a cape you idiots, that’s the scarf tails! No wonder I couldn’t answer it, I forgot to account for human stupidity when I was guessing.

Whatever, we won the round, and in doing so won the game. So now we get to play the Fast Money Round for a chance at the Grand Prize.

For the Fast Money Round, two members of the family get to play one after the other. They are asked 5 questions in a row and then all their points are shown at once. In order to win, they need to score 200 total points between them. Simple enough. So for our questions, we are given.

  1. Name a good color for a purse
  2. Name the first thing a baby learns to do
  3. Name the most beautiful animal
  4. Tell me which birthday you remember best
  5. Name a color of cake frosting

The thing I hate about the Fast Money Round is that the questions are a bit too open ended compared to the normal questions. Like that last one, name a color of cake frosting. Cake frosting can be made into LITTERALLY ANY COLOR! Even so, I did REALLY well with my answers. In fact, I got the top answer for every question other than the most beautiful animal one. So for the first family member, we scored a great 175 points leaving just 25 more points before we win.

For the second family member, they are asked the same questions, but because they might give the same answers, they get an extra 20 seconds on their timer. Not that it’s a problem here. Normally the second family member doesn’t get to hear the questions in advance. In my case I was able to think of both answers at the same time. I didn’t give as good of answers, but I got more than enough to get the 25 points we needed for us to win the Grand Prize.

With that, we have won the $5000 Grand Prize and are given a Returning Champions code if we ever want to play again for more money.

In fact, I’m going to do just that right now so we can see what this Bullseye Round is that we turned off the first time.

Apparently, the Bullseye Round is something that happens at the start of the game. Much like the podium questions during the normal game, we need to buzz in with an answer before the other family can. However, unlike the normal questions, only the top answer will be awarded points in this round.

If we do manage to get a top answer, our family is rewarded with a higher grand prize amount to play for in Fast Money. So we don’t really win anything NOW, but our prize is bigger later if we win it all. By the end of the round, my family was playing for a total of $11000 if we manage to win again.

The rest of the game plays the same way as before. For our first question, we get “Name something that people ‘Get out of’.” First thing that came to my mind was work. It got me on the board, and we get to play the first round.

Unfortunately, my answer of “Work” was the best answer I could give. I was thinking Appointments, or the Hospital. I did manage to get “Jail” on the board, but that was it before I lost control of the board. After seeing some of the other answers, they all seem so obvious that I feel stupid for not thinking of them. At least the other family couldn’t think of anything either, so I get the pathetic 20 points and take the small lead.

Next up, “Something you eat that starts with the word ‘Rice’.” For this I managed to get the top answer of Rice Pudding and took control of the board again.

After that, I couldn’t really think of anything else that starts with Rice. I guessed Rice Cake, but that wasn’t on there. What else is there? I’m thinking Fried Rice, but that doesn’t START with rice. I end up guessing Rice Crackers. Then what do you call it. That box rice. Riceroni! I don’t know how it’s spelled, I never buy the stuff. Needless to say it wasn’t on there and I lost control of the board.

The other family has the chance to steal, but they were stupid and said “Rice Cakes”. Idiots, I already said Rice Cakes and it wasn’t on there. Wait. WHAT?! But I said rice cakes! Why did I get it wrong? Is it really because I didn’t put an S at the end? That should have been picked up as close enough. The game was doing so good before with picking up close enough answers.

It looks like “Rice A Roni” was on the board too. Not that my spelling of the brand was even close to right. But I knew that answer at least. Oh well. The other family gets this board and takes the lead.

Third question was tricky. “Name something that sometimes gets overheated for no reason at all.” I don’t really like that question, because I believe there is always some reason whatever it is is overheating. Regardless, I guessed “Car” and got the top answer and control of this board.

But what else regularly overheats? Computer wasn’t up there, and that’s the only other legitimate guess I have. After that I did stupid guesses of “Oven” and “Boiler” because I couldn’t think of anything that would become overheated. Then the other family gets their chance and picks a rather sexist answer of “Spouse”.

Amazingly, it was actually up there! Along with Temper and Hair Dryer. I understand the Hair Dryer, but Temper? I’ve heard of hot headed, but I’ve never heard anyone refer to someone’s temper as “Overheated”. That’s not a thing people say. But because Spouse was up there, the other family now has a commanding lead.

If we hope to win, we need to get this last question. Once again, it’s a bit of a tricky one. “Name your favorite thing to do at an Amusement Park”. Of course, I guess the top answer, Go on Rides. That’s why everyone goes to an Amusement Park. But what else do people do there?

I guessed Eat, which was on there, because of course it is, park food is the best. But what else. I thought maybe get Signatures? I remember going to Disney and loving getting signatures from all the characters in costumes, apparently no one else liked that because it wasn’t on there. Neither was Taking Pictures or Being with Friends.

Now we’re in a tough spot, if the other family gets something on the board, they will win the game. Even if they don’t get it, that might not be enough points to pass them. Thankfully, they have no guess and the points are mine. But what’s up with those other answers? Watch People? What creeper is going to the Amusement Park just to watch people?

With that, we just BARELY have more points than the other family. But what’s going on, there’s a 5th question this time. Did I count wrong? No, there were only 4 questions last time, and this is the 5th question this time. Maybe this is also part of turning on the Bullseye Round. So for what should REALLY be the last question. “Name a Famous Animal Threesome.” I love DuckTales, so right away I thought of Huey Dewey and Louie, a rather long answer that I just barely managed to finish typing in time. It was on the board, but as the lowest answer.

The other family picks Three Bears, and right away I feel like I was over thinking the question. Because they picked a better answer than me, they actually get control of the board for once.

Thankfully, that was their only guess for their entire turn at the board. I actually kind of wish the game was programed in with bad answers for the other family to give instead of them just quitting.

It’s my chance to steal. But I have two answers that might be right. Three Blind Mice, or Three Little Pigs. Either one of them might be up there, and I MUST GET THIS TO WIN! Thinking about which is more popular, I put everything on the line with Three Little Pigs, and YES! TOP ANSWER!

Turns out Three Blind Mice was also on the board, so either way I would have won. Now for real this time, my family has won the game and will get to play Fast Money again.

This is the same thing as last time. 5 questions, try to get 200 points. My questions this time were.

  1. Tell me how many magazines you read regularly
  2. Name something that’s made to be absorbent
  3. Name a fabric evening gowns are made of
  4. How many times would you pay to see a movie you loved
  5. Name something you see while hiking in the woods

Once again, these are VERY open ended questions. Somehow I manage to get a few number one answers with Paper Towels, Silk, and Trees. Thanks to that, we scored 127 points already. Not as good as last time, but we’re more than half way there.

We had a few dud answers the second time around, but we somehow manage to get the points we need and win it again. Now we’re up to $16000 in winnings! When do I get my check? We also get a new Returning Champion Code, but I think that’s all for now.

Verdict

Gameplay – 8 / 10

It’s a very simplistic game, so there isn’t really much to criticize here. You’re asked a question and then you type in an answer, and that’s about it. The only thing I can really comment on is the AI attempting to accept answers that are close enough. Obviously, the live judges on the show are pretty lenient when it comes to the contestant’s answers, and at times the game tries to do the same. Unfortunately, an SNES era AI is simply incapable of having the same judgement as a live judge, and sometimes you will be told your answer is wrong even though any live judge would have given it to you. Case in point, my answer of “Rice Cake” singular was wrong, but “Rice Cakes” plural was on the board. However, I do want to praise the game’s AI contestants for being programed a bit on the dumb side. No one wants to play a game like this and actually COMPETE with an AI that has the answer sheet. They want to be the ones playing and guessing. They’re not complete push overs, and they will occasionally steal the board if you don’t fill the whole thing. On the other hand, they give you plenty of time at the buzzer, and very regularly have no answer at all. It feels like a good balance that gives the edge to the player, which is exactly what I think most people would want.

Graphics – 7 / 10

Once again, there isn’t really much to criticize because there simply aren’t many graphics at all. There are only a small handful of contestant families to choose from, and these can’t be customized in any way. But they are well designed for what they are. So there isn’t really much to fault graphically.

Audio – 7 / 10

The audio is probably the most lacking aspect in this game. They recreated the show’s theme song pretty well, which is nice. But other than that, there’s really only some clapping, and a few sound effects on the board. There simply isn’t must else to hear. One thing that I do want to praise the game on is its sarcastic use of the “Good Answer! Good Answer!” crowd support sound clip. Whenever you hear this, you just KNOW your answer is nowhere on that board because you’re a complete idiot.

Story – N/A

You’ve landed a spot on a gameshow, don’t make a fool of yourself. What more story do you need?

Total Playtime – N/A

A full playthrough of the game only takes about 15 minutes. However, the game’s cover claims there are 4000+ different questions for the game to ask you. Since you’re only asked a handful of questions each games, it’s theoretically possible to play a couple hundred games before you would ever see a repeated question. In that regard, it’s actually a pretty good value.

Total Deaths – N/A

You might WANT to die after giving a particularly stupid answer. Especially if it becomes immortalized on YouTube. However, it is not a standard part of the game to actually kill the losing team.

Overall Score – 7 / 10

Overall it’s a fairly good recreation of the show. I’ll admit that I wasn’t aware of the Bullseye Round before playing this game, but apparently that was a feature of the show during the time this version was made. So at the very least I learned something new. The game does suffer a bit from the AI not knowing if your answer is good enough at times, but it does the best it could for the system it’s on. However, that shortcoming is somewhat balanced by the AI Contestants being on the dumb side, giving the edge to the player. Of course, a game like this would probably be best played with a friend or group of friends, and with the claim of over 4000 questions, you can play it over and over again before you start to repeat questions. When all’s said and done, it’s a fun game that is well made for the system, and worth playing if you’ve got a few minutes to kill.

8 out of 100 people are dumb as hell…

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