The Price Is Right Wiki
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Hence its name, the contestant called to the stage has to walk a path of side-touching numbers (straight forward, backward, or side to side, not diagonally) which form the price of a brand new car.

Gameplay[]

  • The contestant is asked to stand on the center space of a 5-by-5 grid of 25 digits; that space represents the first digit in the price of the car. The second number in the price is on one of the four squares adjacent (not diagonal) to where the contestant is standing. The contestant is asked to step to the square they believe is the second digit. If they are right, they proceed to step to the third, fourth, and fifth digits in order, without using the same spaces twice. Doing so wins the car.
  • However, if at any point the contestant steps to an incorrect space, they must return to the previous space and earn a chance to continue. To earn these chances, three small prizes are used. Similar to Secret 'X' and Super Ball!!, the contestant is asked to choose one of them and play a mini version of Double Prices by selecting which of two displayed prices is correct. If they guess correctly, they win that item and may continue with the price of the car; if they are wrong, they must select one of the other small prizes, if one is available. The game is lost if the contestant makes an incorrect step with no small prizes left or guesses the final small prize incorrectly after having already made an incorrect step.

History[]

  • When Pathfinder debuted on April 7, 1987 (#6452D), The Price Is Right still offered cars worth less than $10,000. When played for a car with four digits in the price, the center space where the contestant began was a G-T asterisk, the first window in the overhead display was a dollar sign and the contestant needed to light up all four digits in the car's price. Also when the game first premiered, it originally used regular bells to indicate that the contestant stepped to the right number and the standard buzzer when moving on the wrong number, as the clangs and "trap" sound were not in use yet; although the standard dings were used on April 25, 1997 (#0355K) playing, as the clangs did not work. Not surprisingly, the game was won on April 7, 1987 (#6452D) with no mistakes made for the price of the car. When the 5-digit car debuted on September 22, 1988 (#6954D), the contestant stood on the first number for free.
  • The tall prop at the back of the game board which displays the car's price is recycled from Add 'Em Up and in fact, is still a separate part of the Pathfinder setup. The sound indicating a contestant's step to an incorrect number was originally used as the "trap" sound from the short-lived 1984-85 ABC game show Trivia Trap, also produced by Goodson-Todman Productions. Additionally, the sound was also used when a player guessed one of the three-lined puzzles incorrectly from the unsold 1986 game show pilot On a Roll produced by Mark Goodson Productions.
  • On December 1, 1992 (#8602D), a contestant named Ben Reynolds (who was stout, had a full white beard, and dressed in red prompting Santa Claus jokes from Bob), while playing for a $13,598 Buick Skylark briefly touched his foot to an adjacent number, but moved back waving his arms around, making it seems that he had lost his balance. That number he touched lit up, as though Ben was going to move there. Bob briefly pointed out his "slick maneuver", and warned him, "Santa Claus or not, don't try that again." The game proceeded as normal, with Ben going on to win without making any mistakes.
  • One time from on November 30, 1993 (#8992D), where Bob and Janice try to demonstrate the Crocodile Dentist game after contestant Jane Ward made a mistake and choosing the Crocodile Dentist game to earn her second chance, taking a turn pressing one tooth at a time until Bob pressed the "sore tooth" and the crocodile bit Bob's hand.
  • On November 12, 1996 (#0132K), a case of errors occurred. First off, when Bob asked them to light up the first number contestant Keith Loudin stood on in the center, which was a "2", the second number lit up instead, which was the "1" on his right. After the small prize descriptions, the "0" on the path lit up. After being on the fourth number, which was a "4", he moved to the "0" already lit up, which was incorrect, after being perfect on his first four numbers. He lost after guessing all three small prizes incorrectly, but before revealing the actual retail prices of the Showcases at the end of the show, because of the latter error, Bob decided to award Keith the van.
  • On May 22, 1998 (#0785K), Bob explained that this game had a problem just before it was to be played next and that electrician Ann J. Kelly fixed the problem. She was then called down to be a contestant. When the game was played, she left the 3rd and 4th digits reversed, causing contestant Beverly Barkinson to step on the 4th digit right away. But this wasn’t considered a technical win, as Beverly won the car anyway.
  • The game board remains virtually unchanged while the small prize stands had undergone several revisions. On November 9, 2000 (#1574K), the colors of the price choices and the price reveal were reversed. On December 4, 2007 (#4112K), the fonts were changed from Helvetica Bold and PT Banana Split to Kingpin and Dom Casual. On October 1, 2010 (#5245K), the colors were changed back to its original scheme. On December 12, 2014 (#6915K), the small prize stands have received another revision, the borders are now silver/grey with decorative arrows added to the ARP flap. The numbers have a drop shadow effect. Also, the green bases became silver/grey as well. On December 22, 2020 (#9243K), the green rectangular panels are added to the sides of the numbers board.
  • On October 14, 2009 (#4863K), contestant Matthew Mattoon was playing perfectly until guessing the last number wrong with just two choices left. The price was known, but Matthew had to guess a small prize correctly to win the car. He had all three due-overs, but guessed all of the prizes incorrectly and lost the car.
  • On February 6, 2012 (#5831K), incorrect information was used to determine the price of the car. After review, contestant Celeste Green was awarded the car as described.
  • On January 5, 2017 (#7754K), during Publishers Clearing House week, contestant Thomas Kotlarsz won a $20,000 bonus for being the first contestant to win a pricing game. It was played in the fifth slot.
  • On May 18, 2017 (#7944K, aired out of order on May 16), Pathfinder was played for a Range Rover Sport HSE worth $78,142. Unfortunately, it was lost at the third number.

Trivia[]

  • This was the last new pricing game to be introduced before Bob Barker allowed his hair to go gray.
  • Pathfinder was played twice on the primetime version of the show. It was won once under Bob Barker's tenure & Drew Carey's tenure for a total of 2 primetime wins.
  • The most number of times this game was played in any season was 29.
  • Pathfinder was one of four "new" pricing games are seen on the sixth taping session of Season 36, which was seen on December 4, 2007 (#4112K), December 12, 2007 (#4123K), January 18, 2008 (#4145K), and January 23, 2008 (#4153K).
  • There are 64 possible paths that the contestant can take.
  • No tile can border two tiles with the same number; as such, no two tiles with the same tile can border diagonally, and they also cannot be separated by 1 tile orthogonally (except if one of those tiles is the center, starting tile.)
  • The small prize displays for this and Secret 'X' are nearly identical.

Foreign versions[]

  • On the UK's The Price Is Right (UK game show), the game used a replica of the American board, but much larger. It was played for four-digit cars, and its rules were the same as the American version, except should the contestant make a mistake, the contestant does not choose one of the three prizes, but rather they would go from the first prize to the last.

Gallery[]

To view the gallery, click here.

YouTube Videos[]

Painful Pathfinder Loss from 1993 (September 28, 1993, #8902D)
A Pair of Pathfinder Trailblazers (October 18, 1994, #9312D, & May 19, 1997, #0391K)
Dan Saves Price is Right winning Pathfinder (May 12, 2006, #3615K)
Painful Pathfinder Loss from 2009 (October 14, 2009, #4863K)
Only Win of Season 39 (April 12, 2011, #5522K)
A Near Perfection from 2012 (June 12, 2012, #6012K, aired out of order on June 11)
Painful Pathfinder Loss from 2013 (June 4, 2013, #6382K)
Wipeout from 2014 (January 6, 2014, #6561K, aired out of order on January 7)
An Awesome Win from 2014 (May 8, 2014, #6734K)
Painful Pathfinder Loss from 2014 (June 17, 2014, #6792K)
First Playing with the Updated Pathfinder Small Prize Stands (December 12, 2014, #6915K)
A Painful Loss from 2015 (January 28, 2015, #6983K)
First Win with the Updated Small Prize Stands (February 16, 2015, #7011K)
Pathfinder $20,000 win (January 5, 2017, #7754K)
Only win from 2017 (October 26, 2017, #8064K)
Pathfinder win from 2018 (December 26, 2018, #8554K)
A Disastrous/Early Exit playing from 2019 (January 9, 2019, #8573K)
Pathfinder win from 2019 (April 2, 2019, #8702K)

Perfect Pathfinder Playings[]

First Pathfinder Playing & Win! (April 7, 1987, #6452D)
An unusually perfect Pathfinder (December 6, 1989, #7453D)
Pathfinder "Cheater" perfectly wins (December 1, 1992, #8602D)
Perfect Pathfinder Playing from 1993 (February 11, 1993, #8694D)
Perfect Pathfinder Playing from 1998 (February 13, 1998, #0645K)
Perfect Pathfinder Playing from 2003 (November 12, 2003, #2673K)
Crazy Avonne perfectly wins Pathfinder (Part 1) (March 29, 2006, #3573K)
alternate copy}
Another Perfect Playing (Part 2) (June 20, 2006, #3672K)
Perfect Pathfinder Playing from 2007 (January 11, 2007, #3834K)
Perfect Pathfinder Playing from 2008 (July 17, 2008, #4424K)
Perfect Pathfinder Playing from 2015 Part 1 (November 16, 2015, #7291K)
Perfect Pathfinder Playing from 2015 Part 2 (December 30, 2015, #7343K)
Perfect Pathfinder Playing from 2021 (February 23, 2021, #9322K)

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