Since its beginnings in the late 70s, Nickelodeon has been at the top of the best children’s channels, but something that has always characterized the brand is that their productions also attract a more adolescent audience, creating a perfect balance of underage audiences.

Works such as Rugrats, Hey Arnold! and SpongeBob SquarePants have captivated young and old alike, but they also offer a wide collection of incredible 90s Nickelodeon game shows. 

Many children had the opportunity to demonstrate their physical and mental aptitudes, with which they could win prizes.

Although the new generations are more familiar with the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards and seeing celebrities get slimed, the game shows of the 90s had their charm, and for the most nostalgic, they surpass the current Nickelodeon game show lineup.

This is a list full of challenges, competitiveness, and above all, lots of fun! This is a list of

The Best Nickelodeon Game Shows Of the 90s

Wild & Crazy Kids (1990-1992)

Not all competitions are characterized by having a prize in the middle, some, like Wild and Crazy Kids, were just that, kids having fun in fun games based on sports and some playground games.

Set in a huge natural space, each episode consisted of 3 different challenges, in which teams composed of many children sought to win.

Sports-based games were among the most popular, such as Dizzy Bat Home Run Derby, clearly influenced by baseball but with some special modifications. Same case with Three-Legged Soccer, Splash Football, Bumper Boat Lacrosse, and so on.

But there was also time for classic activities such as Simon Says, Red Light/Green Light, Cops and Robbers, and a little different from the others, Tug of War in which 3 professional wrestlers “faced” the huge stampede of children. Undoubtedly one of the most fun.

Occasionally, there were more experimental games in which elements such as slime and ketchup would fly through the air. It sounds crazy, but that’s what Wild & Crazy Kids is all about.

It unfortunately didn’t get the best numbers, but the children who saw it enjoyed it as if it were the best show in the world.

Nick Arcade (1992)

In the ’90s, video games were very different from today’s, but they achieved the same goal: to entertain. Aware of this, Nickelodeon producers gave the green light to one of the best Nick game shows to date, Nick Arcade.

As the name implies, kids and teens compete in different video games for the jackpot in this show, but there are also trivia rounds and physical activities along the way.

Hosted by the charismatic Phil Moore, Nick Arcade began with an opening round in which both teams competed for 30 seconds in some games created for the show but heavily based on some popular titles.

But the main attraction was controlling Mikey, the Video Adventurer, on a tabletop video game board, where each team could move him on their respective turn until they reached the finish line.

Puzzles, answering trivia questions, bonuses, enemies, or, best of all, the Video Challenge awaited in each of the board’s squares.

In the Video Challenge, the teams jumped into a video game to complete a task, a feat made possible by a blue screen, and although it looks a bit old-fashioned today, it was a technological revolution for the time. 

As children, we all imagined ourselves playing our favorite video games while the world watched in awe. Well, some of us still imagine that…

Nickelodeon Guts (1992-1995)

It’s no American Ninja Warrior, but the kids who participated in Nickelodeon Guts felt like they could make it to Mount Midoriyama.

Hosted by the energetic Mike O’Malley and with actress Moira Quirk as the referee, this show placed its 3 little contestants per episode in a series of challenges that they had to overcome in the shortest amount of time possible, with sports challenges and some more extreme ones like small ski slopes and racing tracks.

Although the contestants were secured with a harness in most games, the adrenaline they felt was completely real, and the audience members could feel it too. Not least because the first-place winner not only won a gold medal but also a miniature Aggro Crag trophy.

Oh, speaking of which, the Aggro Crag was the last phase of each show, in which participants had to climb a colorful but intimidating mountain full of obstacles. And to make things more complicated, they had to press certain buttons along the way, so being fast wasn’t enough to win.

Guts was so successful that it spawned a couple of special programs: Guts All-Star, in which champions from previous shows who had achieved the best score faced each other, and Global Guts, which opened the door to children from other countries. 

Think Fast (1989-1991)

Simple but effective, Think Fast was a program full of classic games in that two teams of kids had to overcome each round with an equally simple but effective goal: money. And they had to be very competitive because, not like most Nick game shows in which they always gave a prize to everyone, in Think Fast both teams had to beat the tests or they were left empty-handed.

There are so many games that were seen in this program that it would be necessary to dedicate a complete list to it, but the most popular were the Simon Says activities and its multiple variants to make it more fun.

Games based on sports like basketball and golf were also very popular, and of course, the crazy ’90s Nickelodeon touch was not left out, with dynamics like bringing Frankenstein to life or a crazy clown running around the studio carrying questions for the kids to answer.

And that’s not to mention the lockers that hid funny characters or wacky objects that the little thinkers had to face.

But beyond these crazy things, Think Fast lives up to its name with many word games that challenged the minds of its participants and their speed. Definitely one of the most didactic game shows of the time.

Figure It Out (1997-1999)

Bathing celebrities in slime may be the main attraction at Nickelodeon these days, but it was Figure It Out that started the tradition. In this show, kids with special skills and remarkable achievements are the ones who participate, while a panel of 4 stars from Nickelodeon Studios’ top shows try to complete the phase that describes the talent of each of the contestants.

Throughout 3 short but action-packed rounds, the panelists come up with clues to the secret phrase that describes the talent, and they had better get it right because there were prizes for the participants, such as video game consoles and gift cards to certain stores.

But the most fun was the Secret Slime Action, which consisted of one of the stars being dipped in Slime if they accidentally performed the secret action, whether it was looking for a clue or something as simple as asking a question.

Figure It Out, for the time was a delight for kids. It may not have been groundbreaking in other ways, but watching your favorite childhood stars interact with kids like you was awesome.

Get The Picture (1991)

The point of any game show is to entertain, but with Get The Picture they took it a step further to almost become the Olympics of knowledge.

Hosted by Mike O’Malley, one of Nickelodeon’s most recognizable faces during the 90s, this show was simple to understand but difficult to master. It consisted of two teams of kids facing off in different games, such as puzzles, trivia rounds, and physical tests, although as the episodes went on it focused much more on mental skills.

With the ultimate goal of gathering the pieces to decipher an image hidden in a huge green screen, both teams had to pass the tests to gradually reveal the 16 pieces that made up the main image.

Although it is said to be easy, it was really complicated to stand up like this to deal with so many questions of all kinds. Therefore, it was one of the most competitive programs that the television network had, but it also had a good dose of fun that managed to engage the children and at the same time teach them a little.

What Would You Do? (1991-1993)

Heavily inspired by the Double Dare formula, What Would You Do? was a program hosted by the legendary Marc Summers, who chose participants at random from the studio audience.

The premise was to perform some crazy stunts or challenges on the set, and if any of them didn’t dare to do it or failed in their attempt, they had to be punished (or rewarded) with a pie, right in their face! 

As you can imagine, this gave way to all kinds of situations in which more than one unwary person ended up with a pie in any part of the body, and even Summer himself had to endure it on some occasions.

Whether it was the device that threw feet into the audience, a pool of whipped cream, a whole family victimized by the pie, a pie roulette, or even a roller coaster where the end… you guessed it, the participant crashed into a huge pie!

But let’s not forget the fun challenges that faced children and their families in Simon Says, Musical Chairs, Rock, Paper, Scissors, and many more.

The organizers always found a way to make every activity involve pie. Boy is it a favorite dessert but let’s face it, we all want a pie to the face.

Double Dare (1990-1993)

Although all the shows in this ranking are excellent, Double Dare is one of the industry’s heavyweights, which in the first original series in the 80s not only helped establish Nickelodeon as a television network but also helped revive the game show genre.

Hosted by the always charismatic Marc Summers, this show mixed the typical, physical challenges with trivia rounds, but the key was the pause between each question, where if one team didn’t know the answer, they could challenge the other team to answer it, but the other team could return the question, creating the famous Double Dare and greatly multiplying the reward for answering it correctly. 

If the challenged team didn’t know the answer, then they had no choice but to participate in wildly irreverent and fun stunts and physical challenges, like collecting flying pies in a giant pair of pants while their partner launched them at them with a catapult. 

Others put them in crazier situations like filling a giant bowl with slime, milk, whipped cream, and other random substances. In short, anything that looked fun and awkward was good enough to get on the show.

But nothing beat the Slopstacle Course, an 8-obstacle course that participants only had 60 seconds to complete. Along the way, they encountered huge pieces of routine things, such as human parts and tools.

Although the audience favorites were always Pick It, the giant nose, Sundae Slide, a chocolate slide, and Gum Drop, a huge gumball machine.

Double Dare was so successful and broke so many records in its early years that it became a franchise that continues to entertain millions of families in syndication to this day.

Legends of the Hidden Temple (1993 – 1995)

Did someone say, Indiana Jones?

Legend of the Hidden Temple made its young participants feel like the legendary adventurer of the movies by launching them into a series of challenges set in a spectacular setting with all the trappings of the Mesoamerican region.

To obtain a mythical artifact inside the Hidden Temple, six teams, each consisting of one boy and one girl had to overcome in each round physical challenges of speed and endurance, as well as general history puzzles.

In the final round at the end of each episode, the winning team would face the hidden temple, where the coveted artifact is, but there are also complicated challenges in the 12-room temple run obstacle course with fearsome temple guards waiting for them.

Olmec, the talking stone head, was always present to enlighten the participants with his wisdom, and if you add Kirk Fogg as the presenter, you have a most enjoyable show.

Legends of the Hidden Temple was more epic than expected, taking the quality of the game shows to another level with its exquisite level of detail and awakening the vocation for adventure in many children despite how frustrating the final temple could be, because you know, the important thing is to never give up. 

Undoubtedly, Nickelodeon has nothing to envy other channels when it comes to game shows, and even though the genre is not so popular nowadays, they really took advantage of it at the time.

From feet in the face to mountains of obstacles, variety was the order of the day to hook all the kids in the audience and make them feel like they were participating in the games.

Thank you to  90s Nickelodeon game shows for making many happy childhoods.