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6 Shows like Wipeout: Physical Challenges

Adam Pothitos itcherTV shows like ‘Wipeout’ are perfect examples of why you should never participate in a physical game show unless you’re absolutely prepared for it. If you enjoy watching people try (and often fail) to complete physical challenges, then you’re going to love ‘MXC’, ‘Fort Boyard’, and more shows on this list. ~ Adam Pothitos

Wipe the Weak Out

Even though they’re based on a simple premise, TV series like ‘Wipeout’ are often hilarious. Even without the entertaining commentary, watching people fail spectacularly will always be funny.

And when someone succeeds, it’s an instant cause for celebration because even if you’re not actually there, you can feel just how hard it is to compete in these challenges.


Shows Similar to ‘Wipeout’…

‘MXC’ (Spike TV, 2003-2007)

Now that almost everyone’s online, most people have seen or heard of outrageous Japanese game shows. Before that, however, we had ‘MXC’ to thank for introducing us to that wonderful world.

‘MXC’ comprises re-edited footage from ‘Takeshi’s Castle’, a Japanese game show where contestants have to participate in zany physical challenges.

Though the original show is hilarious by itself, ‘MXC’ actually features an original storyline with an entertaining voice-over. This is a rare example of a physical game show where you care about each of the participants as well as the narrators, even if the stories they sprout are all fake. You may also be interested in the fact that the broadcaster of ‘Takeshi’s Castle’ actually sued ‘Wipeout’ because the two shows followed a very similar format.

Similarity Match: 95%
If you’ve always wanted to watch a Japanese game show but didn’t know where to start, ‘MXC’ is your best bet as it’s a lot like an alternate version of ‘Wipeout’.

‘Fort Boyard’ (Antenne 2/France 2, 1990- )

Anyone who enjoys the wonderful world of physical game shows owes it to themselves to watch ‘Fort Boyard’. Though this show was originally made in France, it has since been exported to more than 30 countries.

‘Fort Boyard’ takes place in the eponymous French fortress which has been modified to accommodate the show’s many challenges. Though the show has a more serious format than usual, it still has some hilarious moments. On top of that, it’s the only place where you can watch Tony Parker driving a car/cage hybrid while avoiding a tiger.

Similarity Match: 90%
Both shows feature physical challenges that are meant to test their participants to their limits but ‘Fort Boyard’ is usually more serious than ‘Wipeout’.

‘Splatalot!’ (YTV, 2011)

Even though this show is aimed at kids, anyone can enjoy its hilarious segments.

In each episode, a bunch of school-aged children – codenamed “Attackers” – need to complete a series of challenges, many of which revolve around an obstacle course. Standing in their way are the “Defenders”, who are there to throttle the young “Attackers” and entertain the audience.

Since ‘Splatalot!’ is for kids, the show’s style may not appeal to everyone. However, the show is very lighthearted and watching the “Defenders” protect their medieval land often leads to hilarious results.

Similarity Match: 85%
‘Splatalot!’ can easily be mistaken as ‘Wipeout’ for kids yet even so, the show’s original theme and the cast of Defenders offer enough unique elements to make it stand on its own.

‘The Crystal Maze’ (Channel 4, 1990-1995)

This show was originally intended to be a ‘Fort Boyard’ spin-off but, luckily for us, the French fortress was not available at the time. As such, the British producers needed to come up with their own show and the result was nothing less than spectacular.

The show constantly refreshed its sets, which included an ancient Aztec village, a space station, a medieval castle, and more. The games were also incredibly interesting as they were as varied as the sets. It will take a while before you’re used to all the different segments, but you’ll soon be shouting at your screen like every other person who watches the show fanatically.

If you happen to be in London, you may also be interested to know of an upcoming live “immersive experience” based on ‘The Crystal Maze’.

Similarity Match: 80%
‘The Crystal Maze’ feels like ‘Wipeout’ went through the mind of a wizard and came back as an English show full of weird challenges and a great sense of humor.

‘Games Without Frontiers’ (Various, 1965-1999)

As one of the most ambitious game shows in the world, ‘Games Without Frontiers’ was originally conceived by French President Charles de Gaulle as a means of bringing the youth of France and Germany closer together. Since then, a number of European countries have participated in the show.

From its original conception, ‘Games Without Frontiers’ has been a truly extravagant show with some ridiculous games and even more ridiculous costumes. There’s no way to describe the challenges other than innovative as the sets and games varied a lot between each version.

This is perhaps the purest form of physical game shows as its only goal was for its participants to have fun.

Similarity Match: 70%
Like ‘Wipeout’, ‘Games Without Frontiers’ focuses on making the challenges difficult and fun at the same time but it’s more about playing and less about winning.


If You Like ‘Wipeout’, You Will Like…

A common theme across most physical game shows is that participants need to be physically fit in order to participate in the demanding activities. However, there are some game shows which you can never prepare for, even if you spend day after day in the gym.

‘Fear Factor’ (NBC, 2001-2006 & 2011-2012)

A show that mixes a lot of unique elements, ‘Fear Factor’ is not for the faint of heart. The participants of the show are tested both physically and mentally as the challenges vary wildly.

In the course of one episode, you can expect to see people hanging from helicopter ladders, diving into a box of spiders, and a lot more.

If you find ‘Wipeout’ funny, then you’ll most likely enjoy ‘Fear Factor’, as long as you aren’t easily grossed out by people who plant their entire face into a jar of spiders and other tiny creatures.


Top Level Failing

Anyone who says that physical challenges are easier than mental ones has probably never taken part in a series similar to ‘Wipeout’. The obstacles faced by the participants of such shows are just gruesome.

So, instead of trying anything like that, sitting on the couch and watching others attempt the challenges is a superior choice.

If none of these shows does the trick for you, feel free to share other similar shows in the comments below!

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