Classic arcade game show Starcade can now be played online

Starcade 2

Those who long for the days where video arcades were on every street corner and the newest coin-op hits required standing in line to play now have a destination online to relive those days.

On Sunday, August 28, JM Production Company, the same company that brought the original Starcade game show to life in the early 1980s, launched myStarcade, an online version of the game show.

Using video clips from the original TV series, classic gaming fans can choose which contestants they think can run up the highest scores on classic-era video arcade games ranging from the iconic Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Q*bert to the rather uncommon such as Munch Mobile, Cliff Hanger and Mazer Blazer. After choosing who to back, a head-to-head scoring battle using original Starcade show footage can be viewed.

Other options, including “Name the Game Board” challenges, music and sound effect identification games and more are also part of the myStarcade online play.

Online leaderboards track the high scores of myStarcade players from around the world. Virtual prizes from the original show, including the portable record player Mr. Disc (no larger than a man’s shoe!) can be “won” while online credits can be earned to use toward real items, video clips, episodes and more.

The original Starcade TV show debuted in 1982 during the early days of cable station TBS, and gained a modern day following in the current century through it’s official website and reruns which aired on G4tv during it’s debut years. KRON-TV in San Francisco, CA was recently inducted into the Registry of Historic Gaming Locations for it’s hosting of the 1981 pilot episode tapings.

The myStarcade game can be found at www.Starcade.tv.

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Starcade

Starcade Arcade Studio
Starcade Arcade Studio

Starcade

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.

Starcade Contestants
Starcade Contestants

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.