Review a Bad Game Day – Double Dare (NES)

Hello! My name is Chris, also known as nesdude, also known as that guy who does Retro Lookback. I decided to do a little text review of a bad game.

I love game shows. From the classics such as Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy to the more obscure titles  (anyone else remember Russian Roulette?), I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game show I haven’t enjoyed. I don’t love game show video games. They’re usually simply unpleasant to play, boring, and lack all of the excitement of the real show. That’s the problem with Double Dare.

Double Dare is a Nickelodeon game show from 1986. Hosted by Marc Summers (who you’ll now find hosting Unwrapped on Food Network), this game show was known for its tagline: the messiest game show on TV. To a kid, this show was awesome. The chance to get messy and win money and prizes? There was simply no equivalent.

Double Dare, released in 1990 for the NES, simply lacks all fun and excitement of even watching the show on TV.

Gameplay consists of answering questions. Don’t know an answer? Dare the other team. They don’t know it? They’ll double dare you back. At this point, you can take a physical challenge. These challenges are where the wheels start to fall off the wagon for Double Dare. Most of them involve matching the speed and angle of a projectile. These are little more than “press left to start the bar moving and press A to stop.” This doesn’t make for good gameplay. In fact, once you learn the speed and angle that completes each challenge you can blow through these. Woo. Fun.

Complete two rounds of questions with the highest dollar amount and you’ll go onto the impossibility of the Obstacle Course. This is where you’ll develop all the carpal tunnel because the developers decided that the way to run is to jam left and right alternating until your hands hurt. Get near the flag and an entirely different control scheme starts: left and right control as you would expect and A jumps to grab the flag. Then it’s back to jamming left and right. Sigh. Depending on how far you get, you win fabulous pixel prizes. Chances are you’ll never make it past 6 or 7 flags because it’s a frustrating and anger inducing experience.

That’s it. Game over. Play again? This game is bad. I wish I could say more but there really isn’t much to say. Avoid this game and avoid game show video games if you value your time and sanity.