The Adventure Game (BBC1, 1980, BBC2, 1981-1986)
The Adventure Game is another show that I have heard a lot about but was shown on TV before my time, but thankfully because there are various episodes on YouTube I have now finally discovered it for myself, and watching the show for the first time was definitely an experience that I enjoyed, it’s a bizarre show with an energetic science-fiction feel.
Every week three celebrities who didn’t seem to realise what they were letting themselves in for such as Keith Chegwin are beamed down on to a strange planet called Arg and then have to work together to solve the challenging mental and physical puzzles. There are also various strange characters that they meet along the way who will help or hinder them in their quest.
It seems that one of the most memorable games was were there was a floor with colour-coded shapes where the contestants had to work out the code and then stand on them in the right order to be able to progress. There were various other creative games along the way that made the best use of the computer technology that was available at the time and there was a lot of bickering between the contestants as they tried to work out the correct answers.
It was good watching the contestants appearing to be rather bemused as they worked their way through the various games, but the biggest challenge wasn’t until the end when they faced the vortex which is regarded by many viewers as one of the best and most exciting parts of the show.
The contestants had to stand on a grid and avoid a vortex which they couldn’t see but the viewers at home could. They would make one move, and then the vortex would automatically make one move. If they got to the end, then they were successful. However, if they collided with the vortex they were evaporated and were never to be seen again, with their remains forever floating around somewhere in space, which is rather a shame really.
The Adventure Game was usually shown around 6pm and I can definitely see why people who are old enough to remember watching this show first time round think of it fondly. It was popular with many viewers but unfortunately some episodes have now been wiped. Although it hasn’t been repeated much in recent years, because of the idea and ambition of the show it’s no surprise that some people think that it’s the 1980s equivalent of that other great show The Crystal Maze.