Nostalgia Corner: '90s Nickelodeon Games
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.