80s, Cartoons, Quick Lists, TV, Video Games — February 20, 2012 12:13 am

5 Video Game Shows Lost to Time

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The classics always remain in our hearts: Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, Captain N. Logic states that if you can’t remember something, it probably isn’t worth remembering. Always ready to defy logic, here is our gentle reminder of five video game shows lost to time.

5 – Earthworm Jim


Enjoy the theme song in Danish.
Earthworm Jim is a cult favorite amongst 16-bit game enthusiasts.  The squirmy hero is equipped with a super suit that makes him a powerful hero.  The show feels like the Animaniacs staff accidentally walked into a new studio and worked on this show.  One notable episode features Professor Monkey-For-A-Head (that’s really his name) attempting to turn everyone into apes.  The game was weird, but the show was off the wall.

4 – Mutant League


Mutant League proved you didn’t need a catchy theme song to have a hit show.
Loved Mutant League Hockey?  This show allowed all ten fans of the game an opportunity to see their favorite characters come to life.  The premise for the series is actually kind of depressing.  An earthquake occurs during a football game, revealing toxic chemicals under the field.  Every fan and player on site becomes mutated and is forever doomed to a life of freakshow stops.  It should come as no surprise that this show taught young viewers that playing fair and teamwork are the ways to win at life.  Mutant League lasted two seasons and even spawned a line of action figures.

3 – Maniac Mansion


Who said all video game TV shows had to be animated?
If you love SCTV, you might sort of like Maniac Mansion.  After falling in love with the game, executives got the wheels in motion to get this series going.  Eyebrow endowed Eugene Levy is credited as creating the series.  Somehow even George Lucas was convinced that this would be a hit series.  For better or worse, the Maniac Mansion TV show seems to be based more on The Addams Family than the Maniac Mansion video game.  At least Joe Flaherty is in it.

2 – Saturday Supercade


Do the Donkey Kong.
What would happen if you combined every major arcade character of the early 1980s with Yogi Bear cartoons?  You’d end up with Saturday Supercade!  This show followed Frogger, Donkey Kong (voiced by Soupy Sales), Q*Bert, and Pitfall Harry on their adventures through wacky mazes.  Saturday Supercade is most notable for using every sound effect in the “Corny Cartoons” volume of the Hollywood sound effect library.

1 – Pac-Man


Holy cow, Pac-Man grew legs!  … and bought a hat.
The storyline in Ms. Pac-Man explaining how the Pac-Man family met left fans wanting more.  This show offers a closer look at the relationship between Pac-Man and his day job chasing ghosts.  If it feels like a Smurfs cartoon that’s because it basically is, being produced by Hanna-Barbara.  Adding real depth to the character, Ms. Pac-Man’s name is revealed to be Pepper.

Pac-Man came full circle with this show.  The series was inspired by the popular video game and the series served as inspiration for the Pac-Land game.  Now, that’s good marketing, folks!

Honorable Mention – Starcade


Starcade: The show that taught parents playing video games was just as important as playing outside.
Most video game fanatics remember Nick Arcade, the game show testing player’s gaming skills.  Before that, however, there was Starcade.  It was essentially the same premise, but players weren’t limited in age.  This meant a competition could feature a six year old battling an eighty-six year old.

Did we miss your favorite TV show based on a video game?  Tell us about it in the comments below!

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