The “Starcade” Game Show Is Making a Comeback

Remember “Starcade?” Yes, that “Starcade”, the game show where contestants had to answer video game trivia questions and score as many points on a Pac-Man arcade table as they could. If that was your favorite game show as a kid, you’re in luck, because it’s making a comeback!

The Original Show

The first version of the show ran from 1982 to 1983 and was hosted by Mark Richards, then replaced by Geoff Edwards after the first 23 episodes. Altogether, the original “Starcade” included 133 episodes plus four pilot episodes and aired on WTBS. While other video game themed-shows would come after “Starcade,” including “Video Power,” “Nick Arcade” and “Arena,” “Starcade” was the first of its kind.

The show’s format involved a mix of trivia questions and competitive game play. The contestants were first given a video game trivia question and the first player to buzz in and answer correctly was allowed to choose one of the arcade games in the studio. They were given 40 seconds (although this time frame was later changed to 60 seconds, then reduced to 50 seconds) to rack up their score, which was then added to their overall total. The game involved three rounds and one bonus round for the player in the lead when the third round concluded. If they beat the average score of 20 other gamers within 30 seconds, they won the grand prize.

The Modern Version

The original “Starcade” was created by James Caruso and Mavis E. Arthur of JM Production Company. The media company Shout! Factory acquired the show’s rights from JM Production Company and will be working closely with them to develop the “retro-boot” of the gaming television show.

Now may be the perfect time for Shout! Factory’s undertaking. After all, competitive gaming is on the rise, with e-sports productions drawing in live attendees and television viewers. While arcade classics would interest the classic gaming fan demographic, will a modern “Starcade” include console, PC, handheld or even smartphone app gaming? The details haven’t yet been filled in, but Shout! Factory’s revival of the classic gaming show is already highly anticipated.