In the 80’s when the masses were really getting into video games and the arcades were packed with classic games such as Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Centipede, Starcade began its run. Starcade was the video game show where contestants competed against each other for prices by answering questions and playing video games.
The game began with two players or teams who first hand to answer a video game related question. Whoever answered the question correctly first would be able to choose from five arcade games that were setup in the studio. Once the player selected the game they would have 60 seconds to get the highest score they could. If the player got the game over screen their turn would end and the points they gained would be added to their overall score.
The second player then played the same game as the first so it was possible that even if one player went before the other the second player could score more points in the game and win. The strategy here was to choose a game you were good at to rack up the points and hope your opponent would not do as well as you.
There were three rounds that were identical to the first except for the length of time one had to play the arcade game. At the end of the second round the player in the lead could play “Name that Game”. In “Name that Game” the player had to guess four arcade games based on only seeing a screenshot and would win additional prices. The player in the lead at the end of three rounds received a bonus prize, won the main game and moved on to the bonus round.
In the bonus around the player had to beat an average score of 20 other players on one of the two remaining arcade games. The player had 30 seconds to get the high score and if they succeeded would win the grand prize which most of the time was an arcade game, jukebox and even a home entertainment robot.
Starcade only ran for a few years completing about 133 episodes before it was canceled, but has remained a favorite among gamers. You can see reruns of Starcade on the G4 network.