Don your jumpsuits and head for the industrial zone, because The Crystal Maze is back and it's shaping up to be more of a puzzler than ever. The hit UK game show that ran on Channel 4 from 1990 to 1994 is returning thanks to a successful Indiegogo campaign. But instead of watching the show, fans will get to experience it live and play as contestants themselves.
UK readers no doubt know everything there is to know about the wonderfully well-produced program, but for readers everywhere else in the world, here’s what the The Crystal Maze was all about: the original game show takes a team of eight players and tests their physical, mental, and skill-based prowess in The Crystal Maze. The Maze consists of four themed “zones”—Industrial, Medieval, Aztec, and Futuristic, and the central Crystal Dome. Players take turns doing single-player challenges in rooms in these zones. The challenges comprise everything from using a miniature catapult, to solving a giant puzzle, to assembling interlocking gears, all with a timer ticking down, and all toward the goal of collecting small crystals which teams cash in for time in the Crystal Dome at the end of the episode. There, they collect tokens as air blasts all around them. If they collect enough, they win.
Though it hasn’t been on the air in over 20 years, The Crystal Maze is a perfect slice of 1990s nostalgia. And now Little Lion Entertainment is bringing the game to the masses in early 2016. As they explain on their crowdfunding page, “Modern audiences want to do, not watch. In recent years, there has been a cultural shift towards entertainment that audiences can engage with in a more active way. More and more we are finding new audiences who want to experience, interact, and play as opposed to watch.”
And this campaign is a resounding success, making over £900,000 ($1.3M)—gaining the project 180% of the money they were looking for. With the extra money, they’re implementing stretch goals like more games and cameras in all the rooms so the public can experience the action. If this sounds like a giant playground to you, you’re right.
The creators of the Indiegogo campaign always wanted the people to contribute, as they describe on the project page, “Crowdfunding was a very deliberate decision because we wanted you guys to be involved from the very start. By pledging your support, you will become part of the team that brought back The Crystal Maze. [...] We have been approached by venture capitalists and angel investors but our preferred business partner is the British public. We want the fans to be the ones to bring back The Crystal Maze. Together we can bring back the greatest game show of all time for everyone!” So gather up your team of seven and head to London early next year, it’s time to get back inside The Crystal Maze.
Click here to visit The Crystal Maze on Indiegogo.