Starcade (ended 1984)




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For those who loved arcade video games, which of course were all the rage in the early 1980's, boy, was Starcade the game for you. Man, this lost classic was the ultimate paradise for those who loved to while away the hours avoiding Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde; saving the damsel from the fearsome gorilla; or shooting down terrorist aliens as they tried to invade the Earth. Two teams of two players each – usually but not always a father and son – competed. The first two rounds began with the host asking a series of toss-up questions about (what else?) video games. The winner after two correct answers earned that team the right to play a video game. The team could select from a choice of five games featured on that week's show. One of them was the "Mystery Game," which if selected won a bonus prize. A player from each team chose one member to play the selected game. There's where the fun began. The players each had 50 seconds to play the game, scoring as many points as possible. Game play for that team automatically ended after time elapsed or the player lost a life (at which point the game screen flashed Game Over). The points that the player scored on that game were added to his team's score. The leading team after two rounds played the Name the Game Board. Here, the team was shown a screenshot from a video game, and given two possible answers. Getting at least three correct answers won a prize. The third round saw representatives of both teams playing the same game (selected by the trailing team), head-to-head, for 40 seconds, with his/her score added to their team's tally. The high-scoring team at this point advanced to the bonus round ... ... which, appropriately enough, saw the champions play a video game (choosing from one of the two remaining). Here, though, the idea was play the game for 30 seconds, attempting to match or beat the average score set by 20 others who had also played the game for half a minute. Guess what the player won if he bested the scoring average? That's right ... A VIDEO GAME!!! (plus a cache of other prizes, too). Aside from The Price is Right (which, to this day, occassionally has video games as prizes) or Wheel of Fortune (which was in the latter years of the shopping-era), Starcade was unique in offering video games as a prize. Mark Richards hosted epiodes 1-23, and Geoff Edwards took over the remainder of the program. The pilot was hoted by Mike Eurozione. (Note from editor: I am currently unsure of the exact airing dates of any of the episodes. Not even the folks at the official Starcade website could help me out with that. According to them the show ran for over three years but they may have been referring to reruns. I apologize for the lack of airing dates in this guide. I had to put something aproximate just to get the guide functional. Again, these are not the correct times or dates.)moreless

    USA Network grabs its joystick

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    Game Show, Tech & Gaming