Four Square (BBC1, 1988-1991)
This was another enjoyable BBC daytime game show that usually appeared in the post-Neighbours slot in the late-80s/early-90s. The first series was actually hosted by Michael Groth but nobody seems to remember him much, he was replaced for the second series by John Sachs who later became better known for his voiceover work on various shows including Gladiators.
Every two contestants took part, and the show featured lots of general knowledge, memory tests and of course squares. There were three different rounds played on the show. The first was pair the squares. There was a 6×6 grid which all featured different patterns behind the 36 squares. If you matched a pair you scored points so it would help if you remembered what number the patterns were behind.
There was also another round using the 6×6 grid. Contestants would pick some squares to start off, then they would pick a number which would reveal a picture and a general knowledge question behind it. If they get it right they win the square, but if not it goes to their opponent. In every grid there were also four gremlins which automatically gave the square to the opponent. If a contestant could link four squares together to create a bigger square they also won a bonus. This round carried on until no more foursquares were possible.
The third round was the maze which the contestants played individually. They are given 60 seconds and a statement, they then have to press a button to determine whether they think the statement is true of false. If they get it right, they move along the maze, but if they get it wrong they stay where they are. If they can manage to get ten correct answers in time they win a bonus, and it should also be pointed out that the minute-long music for this part of the game was terrific.
They would then go back to playing pair the squares until they found all the remaining pairs or time was up. The winning contestant with the highest score at the end of the game would then go through to the next round and when it came to the final the overall series winner would win the star prize of a luxury holiday.
Although the computer graphics aren’t much to look out now, they were very impressive for the time, and John Sachs always hosted the show well. All the music on the show was very good too. As far as my favourite BBC daytime game shows go I would put Four Square behind Turnabout, but slightly ahead of Going For Gold. Unfortunately Four Square isn’t remembered by many viewers nowadays and there have been no repeat runs in recent years which is a shame because this was a good show.