When I was younger I remember times of cartoons like David the Gnome, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, and DuckTales. Between my animated excursions I was forced to watch something I didn’t fully understand, that show was Double Dare. The smiles of the audience and the greedy little children having ‘fun’ by answering questions and forcing their bodies through simple games that almost didn’t make sense. I am now 23 and I understand the joy of laughing at said contestants. But wait, I have just played through the 1990, NES classic Double Dare and have found myself a contestant in one of the worst games imaginable.
The game is, at it’s core, a simple question and answer trivia game with mini-game additions. You start the game by choosing 1 or 2 players and naming your team(s). The horror starts with a mini-game designed to determine who gets the first question and an initial $10. Apparently, a random coin toss wasn’t cool enough for Nickelodeon, they picked who went first based on the physical condition of the contestants of a TRIVIA show.
The mini-games I played (approximately 4-6 games) all seemed to require the player to press a button at a certain time in order to throw some object. There’s a bar at the bottom of the screen, the position the first button is pressed determines the speed of the object (the left side of the bar) while the second press determines the angle the object is thrown (the right side of the bar). Biggest issue here is that, unless you’ve played this game A LOT and know the mini-game, the mini-game is very much a trial-and-error session until you land a ‘hit’ and repeatedly copy what you just did.
Hmmm, I wasn’t aware clowns were such fans of eggs.
As mentioned earlier, after the mini-game the winner gets a starting $10 and control of answering the questions. Here begins the trivia portion of the game and where you’ll spend most of your time unless neither team wants to answer questions and continue to bring on the Physical Challenges (more on this in a bit). The trivia portion goes between a small cutscene with the announcer describing whose turn it is, the amount the question is worth, and if you got the question correct or incorrect.
Marc Summers, how you’ve changed!
Once a question is asked the answering team (we’ll assume the Creeps team is answering) is shown a screen with the question, a timer, and 4 possible selections. Three of the selections are answers to the question (one of them being the correct answer) while the final choice starts as Dare! Selecting Dare passes the question to the other team to answer and doubles the money value. If the other team can’t answer they can select a new option, Double Dare, and pass the question back to your team and doubles the money amount the question is worth once more. If you still have no idea you can select Physical Challenge to try to win by doing another mini-game.
DARE, to keep kids off measurements.
The game has 2 rounds, the first round making the initial question worth $10 and the second round having $20 questions (with a Double Dare the questions in the second round could get up to $80). Unfortunately I’m playing a game made in 1990 in 2009 so some of the questions falter simply on my age and knowledge of 80’s stars. One question I had to answer was the following: Which actress had twins in 198_? (I don’t remember the year). Most questions are general enough though that most people can probably solve them, focusing on things like odd phobias, definitions, and information about the human body.
While the trivia portion of the game isn’t horrible, the mini-games (not including the bonus final obstacle course) are largely trial and error and it makes playing them annoying. While you are given time to error in the easier settings (there are 3 difficulties, 1 being the easiest and 3 being the hardest), playing on difficulty 3 the computer will be able to make each and every shot, leaving you no time to sit and think.
Take that Viper team.
Double Dare is an O.K. trivia game and would probably be pretty solid if it wasn’t trying to emulate the original shows ‘stunts’. If you can get by those parts and want to test your knowledge it may be worth finding and playing for a small bit on a Sunday afternoon (like me!). But after a few games (which will only take you, maybe an hour or two) you’ll be begging for a fuller experience.