The Bargain Game

Rules:The rules for this game is simple. It starts with two locations and each                                 location has a price that has already been reduced. The goal is to figure out                       which location has the bigger bargain based on the difference of the reduced              prices.

Description of the game: I had one card saying a 7 night stay in a hotel with concert/event for $4,000 and the other was a 6 night stay in a resort and spa in Paris, France with a tour through France for  $6,000. Both were already reduced prices, but the contestant would have to figure out which location had the bigger bargain, was it the $4,000 location which was originally $6,500 but had $2,500 taken off, or was it the  $6,000 location which the original price was $7,000 but had $1,000 knocked off.

Mechanics: For this game it would be guessing which of the two locations has the bigger bargain.

Space: There are no spaces, just me holding the cards and pictures.

Goal:To see which location had the bigger bargain based on the price difference


Modification: My part of modifying Uzma’s Bonkers Price is Right game in which the player has 4 numbers and has to guess if its higher or lower than the number on the board, and that once the player has got which ever number right the first time, I close that section as a clue to the player that he or she leaves it as is and moves on instead of going back and changing it which is the original way of playing the game.

The Price is Right – CREDIT CARD




Rules: The player chooses a credit limit out of the container.  Then they will have to select three items (one at a time) that totals below the credit limit they chose.  If their total does not exceed the credit limit, they will win all eight prizes!

Core Mechanics: The player has to have a good estimate of how much these items cost

Goal: The players goal is to try and guess which 3 items total won’t exceed the credit amount they chose

Space: The items just have to be visible to the player so it is best that they stand in front of the credit limits container and the item cards

Components: Eight cards with 1 item on each (the price is on the back but the player is not able to see it), a container with different credit limits, calculator for adding up the price of the items.

Credit Card Mockup

Description of my mockup:  I searched for the cost of 8 products that I had drew on a paper.  On the reverse side of the paper, I wrote down the price of each item.  Then I crafted a cylinder out of paper and placed a few pieces of paper inside of it.  Each piece of paper contains a number which represents the value of 3 products.

Modification: Our group decided to modify the Credit Card game.  My suggestion to the modification is a rule change.  It’s a slight change but I thought it would make the game a bit more challenging.  The same rules apply except that the total price of the items shouldn’t be below $100 from your credit limit.  A few of the items that I drew are similar in price so this makes the game much more interesting in my opinion!  If you guess the right amount you win all eight prizes but if you go above, you get nothing.





  1. RULES: Players are given one free chip and have the chance to win an additional four chips by guessing the prices of four items worth $10-$99.  The item is shown along with two digits; one of the two digits is correct, i.e. A blender is shown with two digits underneath and the contestant must decide which digit of the two is accurate.  For every correct guess the contestant wins a chip.  The chips are then placed into a peg board where they cascade down into slots labeled with money prizes and the contestant wins the value in the space in which the peg landed.
  2. COMPONENTS: 5 Plinko discs, 4 items on which to guess price, Plinko peg board
  3. CORE MECHANICS:  Players must correctly guess which digit of the two shown is correct in the preliminary stage of the game to score more chips, More chips = more chances of winning money.  The two digits correspond to the first and second number in the price of the item.  The strategy of the second part of the game in which Plinko chips are dropped into the peg board is luck, but many contestants will release the Plinko chip in the center of the board.
  4. SPACE: Player stands in front of Plinko peg board.  The four items that the player must guess the price of are aside the board.  The Plinko board stands approximately 10 feet high and there is a stair case which leads to the top of the peg board.
  5. GOAL: The goal is to win money by placing Plinko chips in the peg board and hope the chips land in the highest money slots at the bottom of the board.  Chips are won by correctly guessing the price of items shown.
  • My Plinko game modifications will take place in the preliminary stage of the game:  Instead of guessing the price of items, students will have to answer four trivia questions in the categories of math, science, social studies, and physical education.  Each correct answer is rewarded by a Plinko chip.  Students will then have the chance to place their chips in the peg board to win tickets which can be exchanged for educational prizes.
  • The board will be made of a cardboard box and the pegs will be corks.


Bonkers- The Price Is Right


Five Core Design Elements

Rules– The rules are very simple. An item is presented to you and you have to guess the correct pattern of the price. There is a board that contains four numbers- it is not mixed and eight spaces- above and below each number. For example- The numbers are 4857. What you have to do is place the marker  on top or bottom of each number which identifies “lower” or “higher” of that price. You have to place the marker according to what you think what the price might be – you ONLY get 30 seconds!

Core Mechanics– Since you only get 30 seconds, you have to be really fast.

Goal– The goal of this game is to guess the correct pattern of the item.

Space-It is a game-board display so you have to move around and place the marker in its correct pattern.

Components– Board with 4 digits, Four markers and a 30 second clock.

Modification of the game.

The original game is played within 30 seconds in trying to guess the correct pattern price of the item. I am going to modify this game by changing the rule. Instead of 30 seconds of guessing, the contestant will now only get 20 seconds to be able to guess the correct pattern. I believe this modification will make the game a little more intense and that is what we usually look for. Once the game was modified, I had my brother play it. Due to the fact he only had 20 seconds, it involved him to be very fast and it created this intensity. I think the 10 seconds difference helped improved the game to become interesting. 10 seconds does make a big difference. Although, my brother was not able to guess the correct pattern  of the game, I hope the game isn’t as difficult to play when trying with others.

Hit Me: Using Math to Win

Core Design Elements

  1. Space: The player stands infront of a deck of cards and a board that holds six grocery items.
  2. Components
    • one deck of cards
    • six grocery items
    • numbers for placing prices underneath the grocery items
    • upright board that holds grocery items, players hand, and house hand
  3. Goal: The sum of the player’s cards must be greater than the sum of the house’s hand. The sum of the player’s cards must not go over 21.
  4. Core Mechanics: The player should constantly be dividing item prices by 1-10, to see if the the multiple makes sense. For example, if a bottle of water has $20.00 price tag, and the player knows that bottles of water are $1-2, then the player can conclude that the bottle of water is worth a 10 card.
  5. Rules
    • The player cuts the deck of cards. The top two cards are then given to the dealer. One face up, one face down.
    • The player is shown six grocery items. Each has a price underneath.
    • One item price is the actual price (1×price)
    • One item price is ten times the actual price (10×price)
    • The other items are some multiple of 2-9 times the item price (2×price, 3×price, 4×price…9×price)
    • The player selects an item, receives a card that is equivalent to the multiple value (see bottled water example).
    • The player stops selecting items when he or she is satisfied with their hand.
    • The player loses if his hand is greater than 21 or less than the dealers hand.
    • Selecting an item with its actual price gives an ace, which is worth 1 or 11 (decided by the player).
hit me run through

Sample run through of the game.

The player has to use multiplication or division skills to earn the best hand possible. In this case the player thinks the Slim Fast priced at $49.90 here might be 10 times the real price, and picks it hoping to get a ten card. Then the player thinks the price of the nuts is the actual price, so picks it to get an ace (worth 11 or 1), which gives the player 21.


Tweaking the Rules of the Game

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by moonlightbulb

If you’ve ever played Bananagrams you know the stress of hearing the word “peel,” particularly with a good player that says it a dozen times in less than twenty seconds. If you don’t know Banagrams, it’s a word game like Scrabble in which you arrange words into a crossword except each player builds their own board with letters. Everyone starts with 11-21 letters apiece and they a race to build your own crossword puzzle with all your letters. The first person out of letters says, ‘peel’ and everyone must grab another letter to add to their crossword. Good players typically play that letter quickly and say ‘peel!’ again, and again, and again…

When all the letters are gone, and if you’re the first to finish your crossword you say ‘bananas!’ and win.

I love this game vs. Scrabble which tends to be much slower as you deliberate over your seven letters trying to find a place for them on the board while maximizing points. Bananagrams on the other hand is very fast, there are no points assigned to each letter, you just have to make words. Also there are two other changes to Scrabble – you can rearrange your crossword at anytime as well as dump a hard letter (such as a Q or Z) and take three letters. Both of these rule changes foster speed in Bananagrams.

This is a great example of a modified game that led to a very successful product. Many of the games we play are modifications of existing games or game systems – think of how many card games there are out there – practically an infinite number.

To finally get started on your educational penny arcade game, I want you to research an existing game and start tinkering with the game rules and mechanics. We’re going to look at the core components of a game by looking at The Institute of Play’s Gamestar Mechanic Learning Guide.

Then we’re going to rebuild a paper/pencil mockup of a game found on the List of The Price is Right pricing games. Search for video of the game you chose (it’s likely out there on Youtube), and then define it’s five core design elements. You’ll next have to translate the game into a paper/pencil mock-up. So if there is a wheel spun that has five choices, then recreate those choices on five slips of paper so they can selected at random.

Next follow Modifying Games exercise on pages 51-54 with a group of three. Choose one of the pencil/paper mockups to modify and each of you must choose either a rule or core mechanic to change (see worksheet on page 54). Everyone should play based on your change. Report out the results asked for in the modifying a game exercise.

You will need to put all of these results in a blog post. First your own mockup and then the modifications of the game you made in your group. The post should include the following:

  1. Embed a video of the original Price Is Right Game.
  2. Define the five Core Design Elements of the game.
  3. Document the pencil/paper mockup you created and embed images/video. Describe the mockup as well.
  4. Share the report of your modification to the group game.