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'The Cube' Explained

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Neil Patrick Harris host of The Cube

Neil Patrick Harris to host the US version of 'The Cube'

by Alberto E. Rodriguez, courtesy Getty Images

Overview of 'The Cube':

The Cube is a game show originally from the UK hosted by Phillip Schofield, in which contestants must enter a giant cube and perform timed challenges to earn money. These challenges are simple in concept, but require concentration and accuracy to complete. The pressure situation of being inside the cube and playing a game show for studio and television audiences adds to the tension for contestants.

Nine Lives:

Contestants are given nine lives in the game, which they can use to retry tasks that they have failed. One point of strategy in The Cube is trying to save as many of these lives as possible for later in the game, when the challenges become more difficult.

Examples of Challenges:

In order to beat The Cube, contestants must complete tasks such as:

  • Throwing a basketball into a hoop while standing on a revolving turntable.
  • Jumping on a pre-determined number of squares inside the cube as they light up.
  • Walking a straight line from one end of the cube to the other while blindfolded.
All of these challenges are timed, and the contestant must push a button to stop the clock when they are finished. Contestants can walk away with their winnings after completing a task, but once they accept the next one they must keep playing until they complete it or fail.

Game Helps

There are two helps that contestants can use in the game.

Simplify: Simplify makes the task simpler for the contestant, but the manner in which the task is simplified is not revealed until the contestant decides to use it. This help can be used during any attempt to complete a challenge.

Trial Run: Trial Run allows the contestant to try a task without using any of his or her lives. If the task is completed successfully during the Trial Run, it does not count and the contestant must perform the task again. This help may only be used before the first attempt at a task, and is not available for the first task of the game.

Both helps become unavailable, even if not used, during the final challenge.

The Body

The Body is a woman who deomstrates all of the games for the contestants. She is dressed in a white body suit and a mask that completely covers her face.

American Version of 'The Cube'

In 2009, the Fox network announced that they would be bringing The Cube to North America. That deal fell through, and the show was picked up by CBS, who filmed a pilot episode hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.

While no official confirmation has come from CBS, they are now casting for contestants for the show, which will be filmed in London using the original set.

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