|Nickelodeon: 1/24/2020 - 3/27/2020|
Stephen David Entertainment
The Crystal Maze is an adventure game show based on the long-running British series, set in "The Crystal Maze". The Crystal Maze is divided up into four different "zones" set in various periods of time and space. A family team of contestants take part in a series of challenges in order to win "time crystals". Each crystal gives the team five seconds of time inside "The Crystal Dome", the centerpiece of the maze where the contestants take part in their final challenge for $25,000.
Each family team that competes on this show has to undertake a series of challenges (referred to as games) within four different themed "zones" within the Maze (Futuristic, Aztec, Medieval, Industrial), each consisting of six game rooms, referred to as "cells". Teams begin at a pre-determined zone, whereupon they compete in eight games (two in each zone), amassing as many time crystals as they can before completing their last zone and travelling to the large "Crystal Dome" at the center of the maze to meet their final challenge. For each game, a member of the team is chosen. Prior to any game, the team's captain can call for the "Mega Crystal" which is bigger than the others; earning that crystal scores double/10 seconds for the dome. Upon entering a game's cell, the goal of the puzzle is usually determined by a clear written message or by cryptic clues. The rest of the team watches their teammate's progress either through a cell's windows or via monitors, and may give advice to the contestant unless advised against doing so. The host will serve reminders of the time limit and of any special rules, and generally will not give hints unless the contestant is struggling badly.
Here are the zones featured on the show:
|Zone||Description||Method of timekeeping|
|Aztec||An ancient Aztec village amidst ruins, with carved pillars, sand, various plants and a sky backdrop; whilst the zone is typically shown during daytime, the original series depicted the zone through different periods of the day (sunset, night, etc.) Exiting was a tunnel leading off towards Industrial, and a set of steps to a ledge heading towards Futuristic.||Water Clocks|
|Industrial||A present-day chemical plant with metal barrels, warning signs, a bubbling chemical pool, corrugated roofing and panelling; cells had metal doors with bar handles, with some having office-like interiors. The teams are able to watch their nominated member's efforts in a game via either monitors or panels that opened into a cell.||Analog Clock|
|Futuristic||Designed as a space station, orbiting an unknown planet in the distant future. Futuristic was designed as clean and sleek, with a central console for contestants to view games set on rotating floor with three corridors that housed the games. Entry and exit to the zone was via an airlock similar to the original series, with exiting was by the same method by stepping on a 'teleporter pad' to traverse between zones.||Digital Clock|
|Eastern||Themed around the architecture and iconography of East Asia with a lily pond, ornate vases, lanterns, and solid colors throughout. Entry is outside a garden surrounded with cherry blossom trees which takes contestants down a small ramp into the center of the zone. Teams are able to watch proceedings in a game by drawing back curtains in the cell or a circular hatch on the cell door. Also in the zone is an exercise bike for host Adam to play with. Exiting the zone is via jumping across oversized lily pads.||Pendulum Clock|
Types of Games
Each game falls under one of four categories:
- Physical – These are aimed at testing a contestants strength, agility and stamina, and can range from climbing over, between and around obstacles, to lifting, using, cranking, or manipulating objects with their hands, arms and feet.
- Skill – These are aimed at testing a contestant's dexterity and accuracy, and can include target-shooting, skillful timing tests, and careful miniature vehicle driving.
- Mental – These are aimed at testing a contestant's mental and memory skills, and can range from simple brainteasers, to acute memory and 2D/3D puzzles.
- Mystery – These are aimed at a contestant's overall ability to solve a puzzle, and range from treasure hunts, to solving mazes and searching a cell for clues to the location of the crystal.
A principal risk is that of being locked within a game's cell. If a contestant is locked in, they are unable to take any further part in proceedings unless they are released by their team. A locked-in contestant may be absent for the remainder of the episode, and thus increase the difficulty for the team completing the final challenge. If the team's captain is locked in, the vice-captain takes over. A locked-in contestant may be released at any time by the team's leader in exchange for a time crystal.
How to Get Locked In
There are two ways a lock-in can occur in the Maze:
- Exceeding the time limit – Each game is usually set within one of three time limits: 2 minutes, 2 and a half minutes, and 3 minutes. While contestants may usually leave the cell whenever they wish, staying within a cell beyond the allotted time will cause them to be locked-in.
- Automatic Lock-In – In a number of games, contestants may be locked-in if they breach a game's special rules or restrictions, irrespective of their progress in obtaining the crystal. For some games, a rule strictly forbids the contestant from making contact with the floor, while other games follow a "three-strikes" rule, in which a contestant will be allowed a maximum of two errors. An example of the latter is making contact with a restricted part of the game's puzzle.
The Crystal Dome
Once the team arrives at the Dome, they are told about how much time that they have to complete the final challenge, based on the number of crystals they have brought with them. At this point, the team enter the Dome, and upon the challenge beginning, they must collect as many gold (foil) tokens as they can and deposit them into a container along a wall of the Dome, while avoiding any silver tokens mixed in with them; these are blown about by fans beneath the floor of the Dome. Once time is up, the fans are switched off and no more tokens can be deposited into the container; a slot is opened during the challenge, which closes up when the time is up. Once the team is outside the dome, they, along with any members who were not present for the final challenge, are given the tally of their efforts by the host. Every silver token collected deducts from the number of gold tokens collected. The team earns $100 for each gold token, but if the team can accumulate a total of 100 gold tokens or more after deduction of any silvers they collected, the team wins $25,000.
"Will you start the fans, please?"
"Get out of my maze!"