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The most notable part was the "Video Challenge" squares, where one of the teammates got up to a wall of "arcade machines" (which usually had NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, and Neo Geo games) and participated in a timed challenge on that game. Viewers could be treated to kids failing hard at collecting rings in Sonic the Hedgehog, or the poor sap who chose Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts.
The winning team entered the Video Zone, where they were transported into video game levels and had to collect three items to move on. If they ran out of time, Game Over. This was much harder than it sounds.
This show is notable for not only being one of Nick's many game shows that they created during the late 1980s and early 1990s, but having Joey Fatone as a contestant.
Game Show Tropes in use:
- Bonus Round: The Video Zone.
- Bonus Space: "Prize" on the game boards, and technically the Video Challenges.
- Double the Dollars
- Whammy: The "enemy" square on the game board would automatically give control to the other team.
This show contains examples of:
- Chroma Key: The Video Zone was made possible as part of a soundstage separate from the main set with ladders, platforms, and steps all painted in one color to overlay the platform elements of the game screen.
- Crossover: with Double Dare, Legends of the Hidden Temple and What Would You Do? called "Nickelodeon All-Star Challenge" that aired during The Big Help in 1994.
- Epic Fail: A contestant playing Super R-Type on the Grand Finale managed to score less than 1,000 points...and got a Game Over before time ran out.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: A few of the questions were about R-rated media, such as Stephen King's Misery. They also gave us this gem:
"Which of the following has the shortest average life span? A) A tree shrew. B) Adult mayfly. C) New York City cab drivers.
- Grand Finale: The last taped episode was a Clarissa Explains It All celebrity special.
- Haunted House: The Creepyville board.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Joey Fatone (before he became famous) and Melissa Joan Hart (promoting Clarissa Explains It All) were contestants. Fatone would eventually host the NBC version of The Singing Bee.
- Inside a Computer System: The Video Zone.
- It Is Pronounced Tro-PAY: Whenever Sonic the Hedgehog or Sonic the Hedgehog 2 were used, the host would always call Dr. Robotnik "Dr. Robotonik", always adding an extra "o" to his name for some reason!
- He also occasionally forgets a "t," calling him "Dr. Robo Nick."
- Level Ate: Food Frenzy from the Video Zone.
- Mayincatec: Ancient Tomb from the Video Zone.
- Minecart Madness: Runaway Rail Car from the Video Zone.
- Nintendo Hard: The Video Zone. So many game-overs, so many crushed dreams of children wanting to go to space camp.
- Obvious Beta: One of the games, played twice during the run, was a very early version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 which used Sonic 1's "Star Light Zone" music for Emerald Hill; the ROM was eventually dumped onto the internet on November 7, 2006. Not so obvious during the show's original run, its appearances caught the attention of the Sonic fanbase during the repeats on Nick GAS.
- Product Placement: You really think Nickelodeon went down to the Blockbuster off Vineland to get games? Nope, the developers paid good money to put their games in the Video Zone.
- Psygnosis (later to be acquired as Sony's European gaming studio) got their start programming the show's toss-up video games (Post Haste and the various Pong clones) which determined control of Mikey.
- Bets for points in the Video Zone were scribbled down on a poorly-disguised Magna Doodle.
- Shifting Sand Land: The Forgotten Desert board.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Snow Slingers from the Video Zone.
- Spiritual Successor: To Starcade (1982-84), albeit with far less emphasis on playing video games and winning game-related prizes.
- Time Travel: The Time Portal board.
- Undesirable Prize: The grand prize was often a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando...where the show was taped. Basically, this meant that if you weren't impressed with the park the first time you "won" the opportunity to see the same things all over again. On the other hand, if you enjoyed the park, you got a return trip on Nick's dime.
- The Wild West: The Slurpy Gulch board.