Nick Arcade

From Sonic Retro


Nick Arcade is a game show that aired on the Nickelodeon television network in the United States from 1992 to 1993 airing originally during weekend afternoons. Re-runs continued to be shown from time to time. Two teams of contestants played two initial rounds, with the winner advancing to play against the "Video Game Wizard" of the day. All of the custom games used on Nick Arcade were implemented on Amiga computers.

Game play

Two teams would face off and play a series of games over a certain number of rounds in a competition to win the most points. The games available for play differed from round to round. Most of the video games shown were specifically created for the show. The most well-known segment was the end-game, in which contestants stood in front of a blue-screen stage and navigated through video game levels superimposed onto the background on a video monitor.

In addition to the custom games, Nick Arcade featured several home video games for multiple systems. These were played whenever a team landed on a Video Challenge square on the game board, at which point one of the team members was given a choice of five video games to complete a challenge. The other player wagered all or part of their score on whether or not the first player could complete the challenge. Both Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Sega Genesis were featured in the Video Challenge segment.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Sonic 2 arcade cabinet used in show.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2's appearance on Nick Arcade was unusual in that it was actually a prototype version with different background music and level structure. A copy of the prototype was found and dumped by drx in 2006.

A notable contestant who played Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on Nick Arcade was Melissa Joan Hart, who appeared on a special Clarissa Explains It All celebrity episode. She later went on to star in a number of other TV shows, including ABC's "Sabrina the Teenage Witch".

Sonic The Hedgehog

A pilot episode of Nick Arcade was recorded in early 1991. This was before the official release of Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Mega Drive, but the producers managed to obtain a prototype version of the game for use in the pilot. One notable difference in the featured prototype is a rolling version of Eggman's ball (from the Green Hill Zone boss). The ball seems to not kill Sonic but instead push him. Sonic can also stand on top of the ball and jump on it. The ball seems to be using 2/3 frames unlike the final version of the game.

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