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Peter Tomarken's only syndicated Game Show, lasting only one season (1988-89).

In the first round of gameplay, there were three contestants in play. A board with 16 possible answers was given to them. Peter Tomarken would then state the question in hand, which always had more than one possible answer. For example, "Which of these television sitcoms featured lyrics in their main theme songs?" On the board, there were 11 correct answers to the question, as well as five incorrect answers. Incorrect answers were known as "Wipeouts" on the show.

Starting with the contestant at the leftmost position, each player would choose an answer off the board. The first correct answer was valued at $25. Each additional correct answer was worth $25 more than the last. Any player could pass at any time. If a player picked a "Wipeout", he lost all his accumulated money, and control passed to the next contestant. Also, one of the correct answers held the "Hot Spot", which was a chance to win a special prize if you won the game with the Hot Spot in your possession. If you wiped out at any time, you lost the prize; however, the "Hot Spot" would be returned to gameplay. The player in last place at the end of the round was eliminated from future rounds.

In Round 2, or the "Challenge Round", the remaining two players would pick answers from the board, this time with eight correct and four incorrect. The winner of the first round started by stating how many correct answers he could give without hitting a Wipeout. The players would outbid each other until one was challenged to answer, or until someone bid eight, the total number of right answers. If the winning bidder did so without answering incorrectly, he won the round. An incorrect answer meant the opponent would have to choose one correct answer to win the round. If he failed to do this, the original player resumed trying to complete his bid. The first player to win two rounds won the game, a prize and the right to play the Bonus Round.

The bonus round was played on a board that contained 12 possible answers. Half were right, the other half were wrong. Peter would give a topic that pertained to the right answers. The object was to find all six correct answers within a 60-second time limit. The board had touch screens around the frame of the monitor, and the player would run to the board, touch six answers, run back and hit a plunger. When the player hit it, the total number of correct answers selected was given to the player, who would then change some answers by deselecting wrong ones first. The contestant won a car for getting all six correct answers within the time limit.

Game Show Tropes in use:

Tropes used in Wipeout 1988 include:
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Peter was, of course, famous for hosting Press Your Luck.
  • Obvious Beta: The pilot, recorded in September 1987, used a drastically different set (trilons?!) and even a hostess. It also had a "returning champion" with "previous winnings" that were actually impossible in the pilot's (slightly different) format.
  • Promotional Consideration: All contestants in the final bonus round were provided with running shoes by the Kaepa shoe company.
  • Trans Atlantic Equivalent: Two very notable examples.
    • The British version aired on The BBC from 25 May 1994 to 3 December 2002. Originally hosted by Paul Daniels, the show was massively cheapened when Bob Monkhouse took over on 16 February 1998.
      • Also to note, the British version of that other Wipeout had to have its name disambiguated to Total Wipeout, presumably not to conflict because it's also a BBC show.
    • An Australian version aired on the Seven Network from 1999 to 2000, which was helmed by Tony Johnston and had children as contestants.
    • Spain currently has a version on the air called Alta Tensión ("High Tension"), which has been hosted by Luis Larrodera since its inception.
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