To The 90's Kid Who Will Settle For Nothing Less Than Global Guts

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There’s something incredibly satisfying with watching game shows. Sometimes, it’s because we enjoy watching other people compete, because we’re enthralled by the fact that other people have some sort of special athleticism or intellect to them that we either wish we had or see in ourselves. Other times, it’s because we like to challenge ourselves, wondering what kind of knowledge we have and if we would be able to win a show.

Plenty of times, more than I could ever count, I’ve watched Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Jeopardy, answering all of the questions and wondering why I couldn’t be a millionaire or why could I respond to all the questions in the form of a question.

None of these, however, could even compare to the gargantuan list of nineties-era Nickelodeon game shows. If you say you’d never wished to be on Legends of the Hidden Temple, Guts (or Global Guts), Wild and Crazy Kids, Double Dare, Get the Picture, Nick Arcade, or What Would You Do?, I would call you a bald faced liar. Most people have forgotten about the last two thirds of those shows, and here I will gladly outline what each was in an attempt to bring back a hefty dose of 90s nostalgia.

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Get the Picture, of all of the shows listed above, is probably the most forgotten about. Mike O’Malley (also known for his hosting of Guts) hosted. Two teams of two competed to figure out what pictures were on a large board. Trivia questions were asked, and teams had the opportunity to answer after buzzing in. With correct answers came the opportunity to pick a square on the board to reveal part of the picture, either a photo or a connect-the-dots style outline of an image. Of the game shows, this was probably the most boring, and therefore the least well known. I know that I watched a few episodes, but I can’t say I watched it the way I watched some of the others listed here.

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Next up would be What Would You Do?, hosted by none other than Marc Summers (host of Double Dare). Stylized like a ‘this or that’ type of game, Summers would play a clip of something outlandish and just before showing the results, would ask a live studio audience what they would do. Votes were tallied, and then the clip would play the resolution. After season 1, a Wall O Stuff was added. Audience members were given a number, and if their number was pulled they got to open one of the 20 doors on the Wall O Stuff, revealing EITHER What Would You Do swag, such as a tee shirt, hat or gym bag, or a sort of Zonk!, if you will, in the form of a pie or a poem directing the audience member to a pie machine. All in all, the ending of the show with the Wall O Stuff was good fun.

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Nick Arcade was actually one of the game shows I really enjoyed. You literally watched people play video games and compete at it. I know a lot of people who would love this today… but maybe with more up-to-date games since the ones on Nick Arcade could be considered outdated. Two teams of two competed head to head at the start of a round to gain control of Mikey, who travelled across a 9 x 9 square board. The object was to get Mikey to the GOAL area of the board. Lots of stuff happened while trying to move Mikey, such as running into enemies, winning prizes, being asked questions, and video challenges. After two rounds, the team with the most points went into the Video Zone, where contestants became characters in video games. Teams had one minute to beat three levels AND the wizard at the end in order to beat the game and win. This was probably in my top 3 game shows to watch, and I’d say it ranks as highly underrated by most people.

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Wild and Crazy Kids. Wild. And Crazy. Kids. I feel like this show was just a mess. Teams of kids competed against each other, lead by adult ‘counselors,’ but the teams were insanely and unnecessarily huge. They competed in silly games that usually resulted in a whole lot of disaster, with pies being thrown all over the place, buckets of raw eggs dumped on kids by other kids and, if you were very lucky, you got the opportunity to dump a bucket of slime on your parent. How cool is that?! I can’t remember if there were any prizes at the end, I just know that I always said I’d never turn down an opportunity to join one of the four teams and compete on Wild and Crazy Kids because, as the name states, it sure was Wild and Crazy.

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Good ol’ Double Dare, hosted by Marc Summers (in its hay day). I don’t even know where to start with this one. Two teams of two competed head to head at the start each of two rounds in some sort of physical challenge. Whichever team won, gained control of the round and was able to start. Summers would ask the teams trivia questions, and if teams didn’t know the answer, or thought the other team didn’t know, they could ‘dare’ the question to the other team for double the amount of dollars. That team could either answer, or ‘double dare’ the original team. At that point, the original team would have to answer or take the ‘physical challenge’ option. The winning team after those two rounds would go to the obstacle course with each team member attempting to complete four of the eight total obstacles, which were incredibly messy. Double Dare has had many reincarnations, but for the sake of this being a 90s article, we’ll leave it at this one.

The last two, in my friend group and my mind, battle for 90s Nick Game Show Supremacy. I’ve always been a Global Guts gal myself, but it seems a majority of my friends would’ve murdered someone in order to get on Legends of the Hidden Temple. And, because this is my post, I’m going to save Guts for last.

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Legends of the Hidden Temple was a vicious game show which knocked out two competing teams after the very first round. Two kids on each of six teams were divided among the: Purple Parrots, Blue Barracudas, Orange Iguanas, Green Monkeys, Silver Snakes and Red Jaguars. After the first round, a physical challenge to cross a lake of sorts and hit a buzzer, the two teams not to make it were kicked out. From there, the four remaining teams went to the Temple Steps, where Ole Mac told a legend which the rest of the show was ‘based’ around. Kirk, the host, then asked questions based on the legend, and the TWO teams to reach the bottom of the steps moved on to yet another round of physical challenges and, you guessed it, the other two teams went bye-bye. Each member participated in a physical challenge on their own, and then they competed as a team, and the team that won the most pendants of life (half was awarded for each win of an individual challenge, a whole one for the team challenge), went into the temple. That was scary AF. If anyone said that the temple guards didn’t terrify them is either a psychotic freak or straight up lying.

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And, my favorite of all the game shows, GLOBAL GUTS. So there was GUTS and then Global GUTS, which introduced participants from around the world. Both shows were structured the same, with three kids competing in four various different sports-based physical challenges. First place was awarded 300 points, second place 200 and third place was 100 points. Games ranged from pool activities to basketball, rugby to obstacle courses. These led up to the ultimate challenge, scaling the Aggro Crag (later to be redone and renamed to the Super Aggro Crag for Global GUTS), with points varying for hitting the buzzer at the top pending first, second and last place. The Aggro Crag in any form was totally B.A., with rocks falling down from the top to just take you out and glitter bombs going off all over the place. And, at the very end of it all, you got to take home a piece of the Crag, a glowing prized possession to place on your mantle (or trophy shelf) at home.

These shows all ended before their time, and I know that if Nick ever decided to bring back any single one of these shows, they’d be in over their heads with the amount of people who would want to compete.

As for me? I just want to know if you guys would like single posts on any of the above shows, going in depth on the different variations, different games, etc.. Leave a comment below!

ALEXA RAPACH