The lights are on
The early '90s brought a slew of
beloved Nickelodeon shows that are still talked about to this day. From the
crazy game shows, Guts and Double Dare, to zany cartoons like Rocko's Modern Life and The Ren and Stimpy Show, the network
dominated kid's TV programming, making the '90s often referred to as the
"golden era" of Nickelodeon. The nostalgia still lives on, so much so that Teen
Nick brought back some of its '90s entertainment to much fanfare. I thought I'd
do the same by taking a look at some of the licensed video games that emerged
to complement the programming.
Double Dare started the '90s
Nickelodeon video game era off by releasing its NES port (it hit DOS two years
earlier). The video game mimicked Marc Summers' TV show to a tee, having two
rounds of trivia and a final round with an obstacle course where things were
guaranteed to get messy (unfortunately, the video game failed to match the mess
of the show). The game had the show's standby physical challenges and made
players find hidden flags in a frenzied, booby-trapped course. Obstacles are
taken right from the show, as were some of the virtual prizes you could win
like a BMX bike or NES. Of course, the TV show's biggest draw - the obstacle
course - was never as impressive or chaotic in the video game. See for yourself
in the video below, captured by Youtube user NotEntirelySure.
The Ren and Stimpy Games
The testy Chihuahua and
feeble-minded cat were a different breed for Nickelodeon, with Ren and Stimpy's
offbeat humor more in the vein of Southpark
than the squeaky-clean cartoons airing alongside it. Perhaps that's exactly why
it worked. The Ren and Stimpy Show
was so successful that it spawned multiple video game releases and was featured
in Nickelodeon ensemble games well after it went off the air in '96. Six games
for multiple platforms released during the show's run. Game Boy's Ren and
Stimpy: Space Cadet Adventures may have started the video game
adventures, but Veediots! and Stimpy's Invention are the more well-known
titles. The games were great takes on episodes of The Ren and Stimpy Show and had cameos from memorable side
characters like Super Powdered Toast Man and the dog catcher.
Check out some gameplay that
Youtube user Seraph22x captured of Stimpy's Invention.
Do, do, do, do you have it? The
game show hosted by Mike O'Malley and refereed by Moira "Mo" Quirk was all the
rage in the '90s; it was only a matter of time before Nickelodeon let players
complete virtually for a part of a pixelated Aggro Crag. The game featured
footage from the show to make you feel like you were in an episode. Playing
against a friend and/or AI player, it let you take on memorable Guts events like "Slam Dunk." Of course,
it was all secondary compared to getting a chance to step on the Aggro Crag - a
tall mountain two contestants had to climb, hit switches on, and avoid
obstacles through to get to the top first, all in the name of getting a piece
of its rock. Best way to cut costs to run a game show, ever.
Here's some footage of an event
below from the game, thanks to Youtube user djgyixx
Rocko's Modern Life: Spunky's Dangerous Day
Rocko, the wallaby complete with
an Australian accent, may have been the star of his own show, but his adorable
dog Spunky often stole the spotlight. Spunky earned his name in the title for
the first and only Rocko's Modern Life
game produced, Spunky's Dangerous Day. In the game, you play as Rocko and
attempt to protect Spunky as he chases down an object. The majority of levels
are based off episodes of the show, with only one being completely new. In our
Home Improvement episode of Replay, we actually checked it out as our roulette.
Tune in to the 31:15 mark to see how Andrew Reiner, Tim Turi, Dan Ryckert, and
Ben Reeves liked it.
Ahh! Real Monsters
Ickis, Krumm, and Oblina went
through plenty of torment at Monster Academy from their mentor, the Gromble.
They just couldn't please the four-legged monster with the constant scowl. The
Ahh! Real Monsters video game continues that tradition with having Ickis,
Oblina, and Krumm trying to pass their "scare exam" to graduate. The Gromble
orders you around, telling you to collect items and who to scare, eventually
taking you out of the sewers and into the human world. Ickis, Krumm, and Oblina
all have their own special skill and moves, and can all work together for a
team attack. The game also didn't forget the monsters' favorite thing: garbage.
You can chuck it at enemies and eat from it. See some of the action for
yourself below, captured by Youtube user SuperSegaDreamcast2
Tommy Pickles and company didn't
make their video game debut until the late '90s, but by far had the most video
games released. Babies are always a sure bet for people to take notice. Most
gamers probably remember PS1's Rugrats: Search For Reptar, or when the babies
attempted to cash-in on their film debut with The Rugrats Movie for both Game
Boy and Game Boy Color. Search for Reptar focused on finding Tommy's missing
Reptar (a dino cooler and badder than Barney) puzzle pieces. During different
levels you got to control Chuckie, Phil and Lil, and even that brat Angelica.
Search for Reptar captured more of the old-school Rugrats, while The Rugrats
Movie game introduced Tommy's new brother Dil Pickles (best name ever).
Unfortunately, that's when the show felt different to those of us who were
early 90's fans.
Get a look at Search
for Reptar below, thanks to Youtube user xSymbiote
Did you play any of these games? Would
you like to see one of these on Replay? Let us know in the comments!
Note: I want to give a shout out
to Doug's Big Game, which couldn't be included on this list due to it releasing
in '00, and Doug being a part of Disney at that point. Still, Doug was my
favorite Nick toon.
Email the author Kimberley Wallace, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.