Apps that would make great game shows

Traveling to work every day on public transit (especially in New York City) means you always have a plethora of things to keep you occupied: a daily paper, the newest bestselling book (or an old favorite), good song playlists, and, of course, game apps.

I am surrounded by people on the train focused with great intensity on playing games on their smartphones on a daily basis. I am not immune to this distraction, obviously, and can also be spotted looking alternately pleased and frustrated when “Words with Friends” has taken over my phone as well as my brain. And it got me thinking: what would it be like if some of these apps could be brought to our television screens as game shows? Would we watch with as much enthusiasm? As a kid, I would glue myself to my living room floor along with my brother to watch Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, as well as Double Dare—a show we repeatedly wrote into begging for a chance to be on and “take the physical challenge.” Apps obviously didn’t exist then, but here are some that I’d be intrigued to see turned into live game shows.

Heads Up!

Technically this app was spawned from an existing game show/party game. But at the moment, it’s only a game show segment on Ellen, and besides watching it on Ellen numerous times, I’ve played the app with friends and family at parties and it’s always so much fun and so hilarious. One person holds their phone or other mobile device up to their forehead so they can’t see what’s written on it and the other person acts out the word, name, or phrase to help them guess what it is before time runs out. In full length game show form, I’d love to see comedian Loni Love hosting it—as she sometimes did for the segment on Ellen—and have specific themes to the categories based on time of year. It would also be great to see celebrities playing with their biggest fans, as well as their families and friends as contestants.

Download the app here.

Candy Crush Saga

Not only do I see a majority of commuters playing this game en route to work, but I get BOMBARDED on a daily basis with invites to play on Facebook, so what would happen if we took Candy Crush live? In case you’re unfamiliar (unlikely, we know, it’s everywhere, but just in case), it’s a version of a tile matching video game where the player manipulates tiles to make them disappear—basically why I’ve always referred to this game as Candy Tetris. I’d like to think that for each level that you can pass, you win money along with a case of candy of your choice, whether it’s red jelly beans, blue lollipops, or lemon drops. But as someone who finds the daily invitations to play kind of annoying? I’d love for the player to be doused with meringue or chocolate if they fail to pass a level.

Download the app here.

Tiny Piano

This app makes me feel like I have finally fulfilled my dream of learning to play the piano. It has tons of classic songs as well as contemporary ones, and is mindless fun more than anything else. In the app, you can tap anywhere on the piano to play the next note, but what if a game show version made it more like that iconic scene in Big with Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia? Two players take turns on a Big-like piano, having to follow the lit up keys to play a song. There could be three levels, with the songs getting progressively more difficult. The player who misses the least amount of keys while playing would be the winner. And all that jumping around is surely a workout, so you can win money and skip the gym, I’m really thinking this is a win-win concept. I don’t just want to watch it—I want to be a contestant!

Download the app here.

Trivia Crack

I suppose the argument can be made that we already have trivia game shows like Jeopardy! and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, but Trivia Crack is so addictive, I feel we can make room for another one. This app only uses trivia questions uploaded by users and the questions you see depend on your location while playing the game. Years ago, playing trivia games always meant that at a certain point you’d eventually go through all the questions in the box. This app allows for new ones on a daily basis. The game has a Question Factory where submitted questions have to be approved by at least one hundred people to be included in the general game. Perhaps a studio audience could approve the questions for the players of Trivia Crack in their final round. And because of the geographical aspect that’s taken into consideration, Trivia Crack could be a localized phenomenon. The same way that there’s distinct versions in various countries, it could be produced in specific cities all over with the intention of educating people on the place in which you live. Can’t we always stand to improve our knowledge in all areas of life?

Download the app here.


I know, I know. Tinder is a dating app, not a game. But think of all the amazing dating shows of yore! It’s supposed to be an “anonymous” app, but this is my fantasy game show world and isn’t dating sometimes like a game anyways? Tinder seems to make it feel that way. If you don’t think so, you might want to check out the smart and hilarious writer/comedian Lane Moore. She’s created a comedy show in Brooklyn called “Tinder LIVE,” and it has all the addictive, fun qualities of a television game show. One of her show’s segments include going through Tinder profiles with the audience to come to a vote on whether to swipe left or right. This could be this generation’s version of The Dating Game. A contestant could have the audience help narrow down her choices to three Tinder dates and go out with each of them. Clips from each could be played for the audience, and they can vote which one deserves a second date. The other two can win the consolation prize of tips on how to improve their Tinder profiles. Swipe right if you’d watch this!

Download the app here.

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