Nickelodeon Game Shows: Briefing
Here is a picture to set the mood:
^ from: (YouTube) - If you were watching Nickelodeon between the late '80s and early 2000s, many of the game shows featured here in this blog post will be familiar to you.
I certainly will tell you that a big part of my youth was in watching game shows. Nickelodeon was no different in this department. Many of these classic moments were filmed at Nickelodeon Studios in Orlando, Florida, USA. I would look forward almost every weekend to see these shows and the insanity some of these shows provided. There used to be a channel called "Nickelodeon GaS," or "Nick GaS." The "GaS" stood for Games and Sports. The full channel's name was Nickelodeon Games and Sports For Kids. It was basically a channel devoted mostly to old game shows on Nickelodeon. Besides game shows, it shown a few old Nick cartoons.
Now that you have a little briefing on what you're about to read, it is time I introduce you to a handful of game shows from Nickelodeon's game show history. I won't feature every one, but I will make notice to a number of these past shows.
NOTE: If you want full-length videos, you can look yourself on YouTube or someplace for such videos of full episodes. I will only provide brief videos just to give you an idea of the different shows.
Nickelodeon Game Shows
Some of the many game shows from Nickelodeon's past will be featured in this section of this blog post. I'll introduce you to these shows based on my understanding of them. I won't feature all of them, but I will share just enough to get you educated on each. Videos and other material are provided for educational purposes. Each show is not listed in any particular order.
If you know ANYTHING about Nickelodeon game shows, one series I will make mention to should come as no surprise to you. What is it? None other than...
Double Dare Series.Perhaps the most successful, longest-running game show series in Nickelodeon history is Double Dare. Before this became popular on Nickelodeon, did you know that Double Dare debuted in 1977, was not kid-oriented, and was once hosted by Alex Trebek? Yes- THAT Alex Trebek.
Double Dare on Nick was mostly hosted by Marc Summers with the announcer Harvey. The appeal of this game lies in challenging another team to answer questions and earning money. Each show began with a Physical Challenge where a team would immediately pick up some early money to start the show. The goal of the show was to have the most money at the end to play in the final round. Here is where the fun begins. Each question is worth money. You will be giving money over to the other team for a wrong answer. To prevent this, a team can issue a Dare to the other team to answer the question. The money amount is increased on a Dare. If the other team can't answer the question, that team can issue a Double Dare to the team who issued the first Dare. The offered money is at its highest on a Double Dare. What happens then is either that team can answer the question or issue a Physical Challenge. A Physical Challenge requires a team to complete a certain task within 30 seconds. If the challenged team fails to complete the challenge, the money goes over to the other team. The team who has the most money at the end of the game will get to play in the Obstacle Course. This final round consists of an obstacle course featuring eight different challenges. Clearing each challenge required you to collect an orange flag in each obstacle. The teammate would pass on the orange flag to initiate the next obstacle. Each completed obstacle earned you a prize. The team will win the Grand Prize if that team clears all eight challenges within 60 seconds.
• The first Double Dare pit two teams of two against each other. This was the basic game that was most popular.
• Super Sloppy Double Dare sort of set the tone of the iconic green slime famous among Nickelodeon parts.
• Along came Family Double Dare in the future, which is what its name implies- two teams of families going against each other for cash and prizes. Many of the same rules and such applied to this newer style of Double Dare.
• There was Double Dare 2000 that was a mini resurrection of this classic game show. What made Double Dare 2000 unique was a "Triple Dare Challenge" in the 2nd Round of the game. This allowed a unique bit of strategy to Physical Challenges. If a team elects to offer a Triple Dare Challenge, the team being challenged will be given a certain stipulation that will make a Physical Challenge a bit harder. For example, a Triple Dare in a Physical Challenge may require a team to complete the challenge in 25 seconds rather than 30 seconds, or maybe reach a little longer goal. $300 USD was on the line for completing the challenge as opposed to the usual $200 for completing a Physical Challenge. Double Dare 2000 was hosted by Jason Harris with announcer Tiffany.
The Double Dare series was surely the most popular game show on Nickelodeon. Most people probably know Marc Summers moved on to Food Network. Here is a sample of the Double Dare Obstacle Course:
^ Family Double Dare (syndicated): Fondak vs. Fischler, Part 3
Now here are as many others as I can recall...
GUTS Series.Do you have it? Do do do, do you have it? GUTS! GUTS was a game show on Nickelodeon that could be thought of as American Gladiators for kids. It gave kids the chance to compete in athletic challenges far beyond what any real athlete could do. Items such as elastic cords and harnesses were strapped onto each contestant in most of the events. Each episode featured four challenges and ended with an ascent up the Aggro Crag. The host for this show was Mike O'Malley of the USA with referee Moira Quirk (also known as "Mo" or "Quirky") from England. There were four challenges in each episode. The final challenge for each was the Aggro Crag- a challenge in which each contestant had to try to touch off individual targets while all kinds of distractions would throw off the contestants' progress. Victory here meant you had to go from the bottom to the top activating all targets including the final one at the top of the mountain. The contestant who has the most points at the end would be the champion of that episode and win a glowing piece of the Aggro Crag. Points are distributed with 300 points for 1st in an event, 200 points for 2nd in an event, and 100 for finishing 3rd. In the Aggro Crag event, the points are distributed as follows: 725 points for 1st, 550 points for 2nd, and 375 points for 3rd.
• The regular GUTS featured a handful of events. Not all events had kids in harnesses and cords. Safety was a huge part in all of the events on GUTS. So to this end were a number of trainers who made sure to protect the kids as they performed the events.
• There was even a unique competition called Global GUTS in which kids from around the world competed in the same events. It provided an international flair to this game show. You could almost call it the Kids Olympics considering there was a medal count for the various nations represented in Global GUTS.
There was even a game for the Super Nintendo called GUTS based on the events in the show. There was even a time I kind of remember during Global GUTS when one kid got injured. There was an episode of GUTS I remember where some of the ones who had a perfect show were invited back in some kind of champions challenge edition of GUTS. You were a "GUTS All-Star" if you completed a perfect game- winning every event. Only a select few actually accomplished the rare feat of earning the maximum 1925 points for the show.
Supposedly today, Mike O'Malley moved on to various other acting roles such as in "Glee" and "Survivor's Remorse" among others. The British beauty Moira Quirk mostly does voice-overs for audio books and has done some acting. I think Moira Quirk still has a wonderful voice along with her pretty British accent. Here is a sample of GUTS. Or for this video, Global GUTS:
^ guts episode 30 part 1
GUTS is surely as iconic as Double Dare.
Get the Picture.Get the Picture was hosted by Mike O'Malley. Contestants were required to try to identify what certain pictures are. Answering questions and identifying images earned teams points. The second round allowed you to identify pictures by connecting lines. Teams that advanced to the final round was treated to a memory challenge. If a team in the final round was able to correctly identify all of the images within 60 seconds, the team would win the Grand Prize.
There was an infamous moment where Mike O'Malley may have apparently dropped an F-bomb during one episode of "Get the Picture" that was not censored or blocked out.
Finders Keepers.One of the earliest game shows on Nickelodeon was "Finders Keepers." This was a show had two different hosts- Wesley Eure and Larry Toffer. Teams of two explore a house that have a lot of stuff in it. The goal is to find certain items in a picture to answer questions. Contestants would win money for finding the correct item in a room. In the final round, the winning team from each episode will go through the house and try to find six items in each room. A team who is successfully able to find all items in all six rooms within the time limit would win the Grand Prize.
Think Fast!Think Fast was a different kind of game show that tested your mental and physical skills. Mostly, though, your mental skills were tested in the different games of Think Fast. A few different challenges were set up to test players' minds and bodies. Completing each challenge allows you to identify what image is on a board for more money. There were two teams of two who competed. The team with the most money would play in the Final Round (called the Locker Room) for a Grand Prize. In the Locker Room, contestants try to match one locker with another item. Should the team get all six matches, the team wins the Grand Prize. This show was hosted by Michael Carrington.
Make the Grade.The next featured show is "Make the Grade" hosted by Lew Schneider. Make the Grade was a real showcase of academic skill while also providing a great deal of game changing moments. The goal of Make the Grade is to answer one question in seven different subjects across seven different grade levels. Along the way were a number of different tweaks that could change the landscape of the game. Free squares let you take a category for free. Lose squares means you have to give up one of your won squares. Take means you steal one of your opponent's squares. The Fire Drills are certain Physical Challenges. The winner of each Fire Drill can take one of the different colored desks. So if one contestant is behind one of the leading contestants and he/she wins the Fire Drill challenge, that contestant could take the position of any of the leading contestants. The first one who successfully answers seven questions across the seven grade levels wins $500 USD and advances to the Honors Round. In the Honors Round, the winning contestant must try to answer seven questions within one of three categories in 45 seconds. Each correct response was worth $100 USD. If successful in answering seven questions, $600 USD and the Grand Prize was offered. The final round is called the University Round. The University Round was essentially a bonus round where the contestant could win up to $1K USD. There are five questions in various subjects. Each correct answer is worth money. The contestant can choose to continue after getting the previous question right. If at any time the contestant fails to answer a question correctly, the game is over, and the contestant's winnings in the University Round will be dumped. Suffice to say, this game had a great deal of strategy with many different turns. And actually in preparing this blog post, I actually have more respect for this show after having researched this show.
Wild and Crazy Kids.Get ready for a fun series of outdoor games. Three teams took part in these unique and wacky events. The three hosts of the first few episodes were Annette Chavez, Omar Gooding, and Donnie Jeffcoat. A later host was Jessica Gaynes. The show itself was all about having fun in some unique challenges. There were some interesting outdoor events that were nothing short of nuts. Three teams squared off against each other in a number of challenges. This was surely a fun time to be had by all.
Nick Arcade.The bridge was gapped between Nickelodeon and video gaming when Nickelodeon Arcade (or "Nick Arcade" for short) was created. Phil Moore was the host of this great show. A lot of the game material was developed by Psygnosis. Yes- the same Psygnosis that would create or develop games such as the WipEout series. Each episode starts off with a Face-Off game where players try to advance the furthest within a certain amount of time. gets an early advantage. Each episode has two of these Face-Off games. There are two rounds where players must go from the Start to the Finish using the show's mascot, Mikey. There are four P's that made up the main rounds: Points, Puzzles, Pop Quizzes, and Prizes. A brief explanation of each:
• Points - simply earn points.
• Puzzle - a certain video-based puzzle is featured. Correctly identifying something earns points.
• Pop Quizzes - answer a question for points.
• Prizes - win a prize for landing on a certain square.
Landing on an Enemy will result in control shifting to the other team. The real fun in Nick Arcade is in the Video Challenges. In the Video Challenges, one player from a team must reach a certain score within a certain time limit in one of five different games. The challenge is to meet or exceed a certain point total within a given amount of time. The other member of a team has to wager a certain amount of points that the one player will complete the challenge. If successful, points are added to the team who completes the video challenge by the certain point amount wagered. If unsuccessful, the points are subtracted from the team, and control goes over to the other team. The team with the most points at the end of the game will compete in the final round. The final round is where players enter the gaming realm. The final round features three game levels. To advance to the next level, the previous one must be cleared. The final level involves a battle against one of three different Wizards characters. If the winning team is able to clear all three levels within the time limit, the Grand Prize will be offered.
I tried to find a good enough sample of Nick Arcade, but most of the ones I found are mostly full-length episodes. So what I did was find a fairly brief video with a few different elements of the final round games. Here is a sample of the final round of Nick Arcade, featuring all of the final round levels including the Wizard battles:
^ Nickelodeon Arcade: Interactive Video Game Compilation
There was supposedly a Kickstarter for a spiritual successor to "Nick Arcade." I don't think it materialized, though. Or maybe I'm wrong.
Legends of the Hidden Temple.All you kids (and I use this loosely) out there who love the mobile game Temple Run... well, here's the ORIGINAL Temple Run, provided by one iconic Nickelodeon game show. "Legends of the Hidden Temple" was all about exploring an ancient temple retrieving goods within its walls. Olmec was the voice of this temple and the iconic rock formation. The host of this show was Kirk Fogg. The main goal of this game is to try to get a certain item while solving puzzles and avoiding temple guards. Six teams of two made up the general part of this game. The six teams are as follows:
• Red Jaguars
• Blue Barracudas
• Green Monkeys
• Orange Iguanas
• Purple Parrots
• Silver Snakes
To have a chance to play in the main game, one physical challenge was offered to try to whittle down the six teams to four. The remaining four teams are invited to the second round, known as the Steps of Knowledge. From there, Olmec will tell a story of the item that is hidden in the temple. Olmec will even tell where that object is within the temple. The Steps of Knowledge required teams to correctly answer questions based on the story told by Olmec. Only two teams will advance from the four. The better two teams of the remaining four will compete in three different challenges to earn life pendants for entering the temple. The first two challenges are worth a half a pendant while the third challenge is for a full pendant. The team with the most progress and most success will move onto the final round in exploring the temple.
When the final round occurs, the team will have three minutes to successfully retrieve whatever the featured item is. Only one person can go into the temple at a time. He/She must try to reach the room that has the hidden treasure. Along the way, the contestants must try to solve puzzles to open doors as well as try to avoid being caught by temple guards. If caught by a guard, the contestant can give up a life pendant and move on. There may even be a room where another life pendant can be found. But if caught without a pendant, that contestant will be captured, and it will be up to the other teammate to go in and try to retrieve the hidden treasure. If the team manages to find the hidden treasure, all doors will open and the guards will vanish. To win the Grand Prize, one must retrieve the hidden treasure and escape the temple within two minutes. Prizes are offered respectively for simply for making it to the final round, retrieving the hidden treasure, and making it out within the time limit.
Here is a sample of the famed Temple Run in "Legends of the Hidden Temple":
^ Legends of the Hidden Temple Win
Somehow, "Legends of the Hidden Temple" has garnered a movie in recent times. In fact, check this out:
^ Legends of the Hidden Temple: The Movie l First Official Trailer I Nick
So what do you think about this movie reboot? The most notorious element of "Legends of the Hidden Temple" is the infamous Shrine of the Silver Monkey. So many contestants has had a tough time trying to put together the Silver Monkey. Many will surely agree that "Legends of the Hidden Temple" is one of the most iconic game shows in Nickelodeon game show history.
What Would You Do?Before I discuss this show, let me remind you that this is NOT the "What Would You Do?" series on ABC regarding serious issues. Instead, this is the game show on Nickelodeon called "What Would You Do?" It was hosted by Marc Summers of Double Dare fame. Fun tricks, weird moments, and a lot more made up this unique game show on Nickelodeon.
Figure It Out.This is about the only Nickelodeon game show hosted by a female in its history. Hosted by Summer Sanders, "Figure it Out" challenged a panel of mostly Nickelodeon stars to try to figure out what a certain guest does. There is a certain talent or a certain accomplishment a guest can do. There are clues offered during the process of trying to figure out what talent a certain guest or guests can do. If the panel can't figure out what that is during the rounds, the guest(s) wins a prize. The guest(s) will win the Grand Prize if the panel is completely stumped after three rounds. From there, the guest(s) demonstrate his/her/their special talent.
In my research of this show and in preparing this blog post, there was somehow some modern version of Figure it Out with episodes in 2012 or so.
There were some other game shows in Nickelodeon's history, and all I did was name some of the many. I hope you got to enjoy this post and take a trip back in time. Maybe I educated my younger readers/visitors on these past shows if they are not familiar with these shows. I am almost on a level of being reminded of just how simple and fun times were back then compared to now. I do find enjoyment in looking back in the past with posts like these. So I hope you got to enjoy this post.
This was either an educational experience (albeit an entertaining one), or a flashback in time, or perhaps both. Whatever the case may be, I hope you enjoyed this blog post. This concludes another post of the "anything and everything" blog- "John's Blog Space!" Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.
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