Five Things – 4.14.14

1.  Nick Arcade – In the same sweet spot as Legends of the Hidden Temple but just a shade down in quality, Nick Arcade was Nickelodeon’s 1992 attempt to integrate game shows and video games in a realtime, live action setting.

Nick Arcade

Think Starcade with easier questions and less licensing and a green screen.  The show kind of played like Mario Party, where players would move a character around a board and partake in whatever challenges or mini-games they landed on.  In addition to using games that you could actually play in the arcades or on home consoles at the time, Nick Arcade used original content that was significantly cruder than any real-world offering.  Kids would play these crude mini-games throughout the episode, and the winner would get the chance to play in a video game themselves against a green screen.  It sounds cooler than it was. The players had to watch what they were doing on a screen that was off-camera, and the coordination between where they were and what was happening on the screen was clearly too difficult for most of them to handle. Most players performed abysmally if they made it to this point.

Basically, the technology wasn’t quite there yet (it’s barely there now!) and the whole experience came off as pretty cheesy – even for the cheese-filled early ’90s.  Still, you’ve got to applaud Nick for trying – that show had to take some effort.


2. 1989 EPCOT Monorail Trip – Here’s a home video of a monorail ride around EPCOT Center in 1989. Thanks to epcotcentermedia.

Horizons looks so majestic!


3.  Sneak King – A fairly recent game but still one that smacks of that 1980’s ‘stick anything on anything’ licensing strategy, Sneak King was an Xbox 360 game that you could get super-cheap from Burger King.

Sneak King

The game featured the creepily iconic King sneaking up on people and surprising them with hamburgers, which delighted the targets without fail.

Sneak King

There were a handful of levels, including a neighborhood and a construction site.  Anywhere you might be prone to a burger craving, the King was there.

For what it was it was actually a pretty fun game – the whole thing was pretty tongue-in-cheek.  It was worth it at $3.99. I don’t know if it would have been worth $4.99.  I did get hosed on the trade-in when I was done with the game a week later, though.


4. Radio Shack Computer Commercial – $88 is a steal! All the things it can do!  I played about 500 hours of Classic Concentration on a similar model.


5.  Apartment – More retro-textbook bliss from Mondorama.