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A show (full name "Nickelodeon Arcade") on Nickelodeon, and now appearing on game show-themed channel GAS (Games and Sports), hosted by Phil Moore. It was all about video games.

The game pitted two boy-and-girl teams against each other. In the opening toss-up game, one representative from each team faced off in a very simple custom-made video game, which was usually a quick race requiring you to dodge obstacles and finish first. The winning team would gain control of the game board, and its character Mikey. By moving Mikey towards a goal, you would encounter toss-up questions, bonus prizes, "Game Over" (lose control of the board), or other special squares. However, arguably the best part was the video challenge.

Video Challenge!

Nickelodeon had set up a variety of "arcade games" in the studio, which were really just SNES, Genesis, and Neo-Geo games mounted in arcade cabinets. Interestingly, each cabinet had two systems: one ran in "attract mode", and the other was cued to a point and paused. The kids would select a game to play, Phil would walk over and slyly flip the game into pause mode, reading the task off of a blue card taped to the side of the console. "Your task in Sonic the Hedgehog: Get 25 rings in 30 seconds." With a studio audience of kids looking on and cheering, one representative of the team would complete the task, either gaining points in the main game or losing control of the board. This continued on for two main rounds.

Then, the winning team got to enter a video game. With fog machines pumping out the excitement, the two would suit up with special gloves and enter the game. The whole thing was done with blue-screen effects, and the objectives were simple: get three objects without losing all of your life points in 60 seconds. Touching objects would make you "get" them, while coming into contact with enemies would hurt you. This required a lot of frenetic running, jumping, and other clever acrobatics. One player played level 1, another player played level 2, and then both players would team up for level 3. If you lost your life, you would hit "RESET" to try again before time expired. This was the selling point of the game show, and kept me glued to the set for many an afternoon.

Nick Arcade premiered on January 3, 1992 and was last shown on Nickelodeon on September 28, 1997. Note that Nickelodeon has a habit of showing TV shows long after they are out of production, so production dates likely vary from these.

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