Exploring the Thrills and Popularity of Chinese Games Shows

Exploring the Thrills and Popularity of Chinese Games Shows

If you think game shows are only for Western countries, think again. China has its fair share of exciting and hilarious game shows that have captured the hearts of millions of viewers. In this article, we will explore the different types of Chinese game shows and look at some of the most popular ones that have captured the hearts of millions of viewers nationwide.

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Top 3 Chinese Quiz shows: putting your knowledge to the test

Are you a trivia buff? Do you pride yourself on your vast knowledge of random facts? 

If so, Chinese quiz shows are perfect for showing off your smarts.

Here are some popular quiz shows in China:

1) 一站到底: Who's Still Standing?

一站到底- Whos Still Standing logo

A stop in the end by JSTV

This show is not for the faint of heart.

It requires contestants to answer increasingly difficult questions to advance to the next level. What's the catch? 

They only have a limited time to answer; if they get a question wrong, they're out!

If that's not enough, the show also has celebrity guests who come on to answer questions and compete against regular contestants. It's like watching your favorite actors and actresses in a high-stakes battle of wits.

If you are curious, the China JiangsuTV Official Youtube Channel has a playlist of over 500 videos of this tv show. Here's one of the videos:

An episode from 一站到底

2) 最强大脑: Super Brain or The Brain

最强大脑- Super Brain or The Brain poster

Super Brain; Baidu

"The Most Powerful Brain" is a large-scale scientific competition reality show launched by Jiangsu Satellite TV.

The program showcases the abilities of people with exceptional brainpower and mental abilities. Competition rules differ for each season. 

Contestants could be put against an AI system or compete against other international teams.

You can find some of the videos on Youtube

Season 10 episode 12 of 最强大脑

3) 王牌对王牌: Ace VS Ace

王牌对王牌- Ace VS Ace thumbnail

Youtube thumbnail of 王牌对王牌

This show is about celebrity contestants competing against each other in various challenges.

But what makes this show great is the banter between the celebrity contestants. It's like watching friends goofing around and having a good time, except they're all incredibly talented and competitive.

You can find full episodes on Zhejiang Television Website and Youtube:

Top Chinese music shows to rock to

Who doesn't love music?

Chinese music shows are not just about singing. They're packed with unexpected twists and turns.

Here are some popular music shows in China:

4) I Can See Your Voice (看见你的声音)

I Can See Your Voice (看见你的声音) poster

I can see your voice poster, Sina 

Based on a South Korean show of the same name, 看见你的声音 is about guessing who can actually sing and who is just pretending. The contestants eliminate the singers without hearing them sing based on clues given to them. 

The twist? At the end of the game, the last remaining mystery singer (good or bad) will sing with one of the guest artists. 

The charming and talented Hu Haiquan hosts this show and features celebrity guests such as Fan Bingbing and Jolin Tsai.

You can watch full episodes on Baidu or clips on Youtube. But here is what you can expect at the end of an episode:

BBC's I Can See Your Voice ending clip

5) 中国有嘻哈: The Rap of China

中国有嘻哈- The Rap of China poster

Rap of China season poster by Sohu

"Rap of China" is all about rap and hip-hop.

Contestants compete to see who has the best flow and lyrics. The judges are some of the biggest names in the Chinese music industry, including G.E.M. 

You won't want to miss this show if you're a hip-hop fan. 

Like the other shows on this list, you can watch it on Baidu or clips on Youtube:

《中国有嘻哈》第二期 正片 2017-06-24

6) 中国好声音: Sing! China or  I am a Singer

中国好声音- Sing! China or I am a Singer poster

I am a Singer 2018 poster; Baidu

This show is like the Chinese version of "American Idol" but better.

The contestants are all professional Chinese singers who are already well-known in the industry. They will compete against each other to see who can deliver the best performance with tough but fair judges, including famous names like Jay Chou and Li Jian. 

This show is not for the faint of heart, but if you're a true music lover, you'll be hooked from the first episode.

Here's one of the episodes on Youtube, but you can also watch it on ZJSTV.

MULTISUB 正片Full【2022中国好声音】巅峰之夜总决赛:李克勤战队梁玉莹夺冠!刘德华金曲串烧回忆杀 Sing!China 2022-10-28

Top Chinese adventure shows: Fear Factor meets The Amazing Race

For thrill-seekers, Chinese adventure shows will give you a rush of excitement.

Here are some popular adventure shows in China:

7) 奔跑吧兄弟: Keep Running

奔跑吧兄弟- Keep Running poster

Keep Running by Baidu

"Keep Running" is China's answer to "Running Man." 

This show features many famous Chinese actors, including Angelababy and Li Chen, competing in various challenges that test their physical and mental abilities.

You'll be on the edge of your seat as the contestants race through obstacle courses, solve puzzles, and battle it out to avoid elimination.

While it stopped airing in July 2022, you can find all the episodes on Youtube.

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8) 极速前进:冲刺!中国: The Amazing Race: China Rush

The Amazing Race- China Rush poster

The Amazing Race China by Baidu

"The Amazing Race China" is a spin-off of the American show, where contestants race across different cities and countries to win a cash prize. It features teams of two racing around China, completing challenges and overcoming obstacles to win the grand prize.

The Chinese version stands out because of its unique challenges, like scaling a skyscraper or bungee jumping off a bridge. It's not for the faint of heart, but it is entertaining to watch.

You can watch the third season on Youtube:

The Amazing Race: China Rush S03E01

Top Chinese Mystery shows: let's play detective

If you're into crime-solving and puzzles, these Chinese mystery shows will keep you on the edge of your seat:

9) 明星大侦探: Who's The Murderer

明星大侦探- Whos The Murderer poster

Who's the Murderer by Baidu

"Who's the Murderer?" is a popular show where celebrities play roles in a murder mystery game. They must work together to solve clues and uncover the killer, who's also among them.

It's like playing a real-life game of Clue with more suspense and drama. 明星大侦探 is my all-time favorite game show and a must-watch for those who are into the crime genre.

There is a Youtube playlist that has all eight seasons for you to watch:

《#明星大侦探》先导片 完整版: 名侦探的聚集!明星探案实力懵圈 #Whosthemurderer【湖南卫视官方超清版】

10) 密室大逃脱: Great Escape

密室大逃脱- Great Escape poster

Great Escape TV poster by Baidu

If you're feeling adventurous, then you won't want to miss "Great Escape" (密室大逃脱). This show features a group of celebrities locked in a room who must solve puzzles and riddles to escape.

It's like an escape room, but with famous people! You'll be on the edge of your seat watching the contestants race against the clock to find clues and crack codes before time runs out.

Great Escape’s pilot episode and playlist

11) 开始推理吧: The Truth

开始推理吧- The Truth poster

The Truth by Baidu

"The Truth" is a show that combines elements of a game show and a crime drama. Each episode gives a group of contestants a case to solve. They must use their deductive skills and intuition to determine the culprit.

The show is full of suspense and drama, and you'll feel like you're part of the investigation as you watch the contestants piece together the clues.

You can find all 30 episodes on YouTube. Try the Pilot episode to see if this show is for you:

开始推理吧's pilot episode

Reasons for the popularity of Chinese game shows

Chinese game shows have become incredibly popular in recent years, captivating audiences in China and worldwide. 

There are several reasons behind their popularity, but a couple of key factors have contributed to their success.

1) Chinese game shows are entertaining and engaging

Chinese game shows have an entertaining and engaging format that keeps viewers hooked. 

These shows are designed to capture the audience's attention and keep them engaged by adding fun challenges and entertaining personalities to add humor to these shows. Unlike C-dramas' twists and other mandarin shows, Chinese game shows' twists add an interactive and dynamic element to the show, often incorporating the audience and creating fun chaos.

These shows feature a wide range of games and challenges designed to test contestants' skills and knowledge, and the fast-paced nature of the competitions makes for exciting viewing.

2) Helps you learn Chinese

Chinese game shows are a popular tool for beginners learning Mandarin. They offer an immersive environment to learn new vocabulary and phrases. Some shows have multi-language subtitles to help viewers understand the content. However, Pandanese offers a wide range of programs and resources for language learners to learn Mandarin from scratch, using a Space Repetition System to help them learn and remember key Mandarin phrases.

Combining watching Chinese game shows with Pandanese can be a great way to pick up new phrases and expressions through SRS flashcards quickly. Watching these shows with Chinese subtitles can also help you better immerse yourself in the language.

In closing

Chinese game shows offer various themes and formats, making them popular with audiences of all ages and interests. Whether you prefer quiz shows, reality shows, adventure shows, talk shows, or variety shows, there is sure to be a Chinese game show that you will enjoy.

Luckily, Chinese game shows are mostly available on YouTube, iQIYI, WeTV, and Mango TV. You don't need Cable TV to watch them. Why not give one a try? You might discover a new favorite!

If you're interested in more traditional games in China, be sure to check out our article: Top 11 Most Famous Traditional Chinese Games and Outdoor Activities

Jing You is a Chinese native who grew up in the Fujian province and soaked in the Chinese culture while living with her grandparents. She later moved to Singapore to pursue further education. However, she has always been passionate about the Mandarin language despite being in an environment that speaks English predominantly. She was involved in multiple Mandarin and Chinese culture programmes in schools, and brought this passion forward by tutoring elementary school students Mandarin in her adulthood.

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