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randombullseye avatar 7:02 AM on 05.12.2010  (server time)
Old School Games: Nick Arcade

In America we had a television show called Nick Arcade. The program itself wasn't spectacular, but it was about video games. Something I always wanted more of was video games on television, at least until I finally saw what G4 was. But before that abomination of a network, there was this game show about video games. And it was hilariously bad!

The show itself is easy to explain. Your lovable black guy host asks questions and moves a character around a board game screen. Each space you land on this screen takes you to a different challenge. The best of which being actually getting a few minutes to play a game on TV. Most are usual game show bonus round nonsense, such as the "video challenge" where you have to decipher what the video is. Good thing those two girls and that cup weren't around in the nineties!

Absolutely the worst segment of the show is the final segment. After two segments of questions with as little gaming as possible, they get to actually go into a game. It was some sort of blue screen challenge where you had to collect so many coins or orbs, while avoiding all sorts of goofy things like bats or mummies. Every kid who played it was worst than the last. Never had I seen a kid as horrible as this one though!

The look on her face makes me sad. But as I look back, I wonder if I would have done any better? It seemed like they had to watch a screen to see where they were and move in accordance with that. The fact that you have the biggest goofball of a gameshow host imaginable must not have helped. But still, those aren't excuses for that. What always bummed me out was how every episode explains the rules of these games to every detail.

As I said, the best part was when they would actually play a game. However, it isn't the best because of how great a showcase it is for gaming. It's more a showcase for how horrible the kids playing are at the games. In one scene a girl was tasked with collecting so many points in Adams Family. Instead of jumping into the collectibles, as anyone would, she begins using her attack button. The host yells at her "what are you doing!" to no avail. She just stands there shooting while time runs out.

Surprisingly it was never a challenge anyone who plays games would actually want to accomplish. I've never thought to myself "I wonder how many points I can get in twenty five seconds!" I usually see how far I can get without dying, beat a level, or fight a mid boss. Those would have been great challenges, but nope. Not on Nick Arcade! It's all about points in a time limit, everyone's favorite gameplay challenge!

The great thing is that this show was a showcase for new games. Stuff I hadn't heard of like Super Ghouls & Ghosts or King of the Monsters were in rotation on the show, and both turned out to be awesome games. That said, they did feature some stinkers like Adams Family. How the Adams Family got not one, but several video game adaptations and I've yet to play a single Munsters game is insanity. And this show tended to feature Adams Family, Monsters in My Pocket, and Actraiser. Lots of other games like Rock' N Cats were thrown in as well occasionally, much to my enjoyment.

If you watched that one, you'll notice how in the last section the girl just sort of stands there. Like she has no clue whats going on or what to do. "I had no idea." she tells our friendly game host. As I look back at the show, I can only imagine how awful I would have done. But the fact remains that I always wanted to and never got to be on the show. That bums me out. But the knowledge of how every kid whose on the show seems to look like they've never touched a video game in their lives is refreshing to know. Imagine if I had been on TV and embarrassed myself twenty years ago in front of all you readers!

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