Game Shows Wiki
Rob Lowe
Mental Samurai.png
FOX Primetime: 3/19/2019 - Present
A. Smith & Company Productions
Apploff Entertainment
Warner Horizon Television

Mental Samurai is a thrilling competition series that pushes every aspect of human intelligence and mental agility. The show is most commonly referred to as the first-ever "obstacle course…for the mind."


A contestant is placed in a seated gyroscope (referred to as "Ava"), and faces four categories (referred to as "Towers of Samurai"): Knowledge, Puzzles, Sequence, and Memory. Each has a set number of questions, and the player has five minutes to answer all of them correctly. To answer, they "lock in" their answer by pulling a lever next to them. If they miss a question, or if time runs out, they lose and leave empty-handed. If they answer all questions correctly, they win $10,000 and get to play a bonus round known as the "Circle of Samurai" for $100,000.

Season 1[]

For the first season, the front game had three questions in each tower, and those who entered the "Circle of Samurai" returned for the season finale.

Season 2[]

For the second season, there are now a total of ten questions, each answer in the front game is worth $500, and the one player who completed the front game in the fastest time keeps their money and enters the "Circle of Samurai."

Circle of Samurai[]

The player faces a harder stack of questions, and has a specific time limit to answer them. As with the front game, one wrong answer ends the game, but if the player can complete the endgame, they win $100,000.

Season 1[]

The player has 90 seconds plus whatever time was left over from their game to answer four more questions. The first one is worth $15,000, and the next three are worth $25,000 each. If the player answers all four questions correctly, they win a total of $100,000.

Season 2[]

The winning player has a flat four minutes to answer ten more questions. Each one is worth $2,500, and getting all ten wins an extra $100,000. That player gets to return for the next show.

Grand Championship (Season 1)[]

The players had to answer the same twelve questions in the same order. To make things fair, all preceding contestants are sequestered from the studio and are not aware of the proceedings until their turn. The three who answer the most in the fastest times (with ties broken by such) enter the "Circle of Samurai" one final time. There, each player faces the same four questions in the same order using only the 90-second base time (unlike regular shows), and whoever answers all four in the fastest time wins $250,000. Again, during each player's turn, all other players are sequestered from the studio and not aware of the proceedings until their turn.

International Versions[]

The following list of countries that have previously aired their versions of Mental Samurai include:

Arab World


In 2019, the show was originally slated to premiere February 26, but was later pushed to March 5 and again to March 19.

Additional Pages[]

Mental Samurai/Episode Guide


Official Website