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The Challenging Stage


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DoraThe Challenging StageHey fellow nerds and gaming elitists. Looking for a chance to prove your trivia prowess? Or maybe just a way to prove that all those years in front of a screen haven't turned your brain into a fine, textureless mush? The Challenging Stage from Arcade Aid is a single-screen puzzle game in which 56 video games are represented as abstract images populating a large city. Your job is to figure out what games these pictures are supposed to be. Click on one to bring up a text box, and type in your guess; if you're correct, you'll get a little check mark. You can use the map at the left side of the screen to instantly pop all over the city, and you can finish the game in any order you wish. You can play without an account, but if you want to save your progress, you'll need to sign up for a free account.

The games on display here are all over the place in terms of popularity and recognition (and even platforms). Most of the most recent titles are blatantly obvious, but some of the older games will probably confound anyone who either didn't live through the eighties, or has managed to block that baggy-sweater-and-leggings wearing period and its big, stiff hair out of their mind. I actually grew up during that time and still find more than half of these things to be impenetrable. (Perhaps because I admittedly didn't catch on to gaming until after the fourth time or so Zelda needed rescuing.) Some of them will probably click instantly, while others will require a bit more ruminating to decipher.

There's only the one stage, and the only real reward besides the lovely retro art is the knowledge that your brain still works. Although, I guess, if you wanted you could print out the completed results and take them down to the game shop and find the guy who always acts like he knows so much more than you and shove them in his stupid face. (You know the one. I hate him, too.) Not only is it challenging, but it's also a great stroll down memory lane.

Play The Challenging Stage

Walkthrough Guide


(Please allow page to fully load for spoiler tags to be functional.)

Done!

Full solutions list:

1-20:

  1. Call of Duty

  2. Outrun

  3. Frogger

  4. Home Run

  5. 720

  6. NBA Jam

  7. Flower

  8. Rampage

  9. Worms

  10. Punch-Out

  11. Burger Time

  12. Balloon Fight

  13. Vanguard

  14. Minesweeper

  15. Face Off

  16. Stargate

  17. Star Castle

  18. Golden Tee

  19. Dragonball Z

  20. Halo

21-40:

  1. Discs of Tron

  2. Tron

  3. Crossbow

  4. Shadow of the Colossus

  5. Tiger Heli

  6. Burnout

  7. Super Cobra

  8. Space Ace

  9. Boulder Dash

  10. Smash TV

  11. Silent Hill

  12. Birdie King

  13. R-Type

  14. Missile Command

  15. Food Fight

  16. Timesplitters

  17. Bomberman

  18. Golden Axe

  19. Double Dragon

  20. Bejeweled

41-56:

  1. Donkey Konga

  2. Fallout

  3. Paperboy

  4. Fire Truck

  5. Guitar Hero

  6. Spy Hunter

  7. Joust

  8. Asteroids

  9. Dig Dug

  10. Popeye

  11. Goldeneye

  12. Sea Wolf

  13. Star Fox

  14. Mouse Trap

  15. Defender

  16. Metal Slug

The Challenging Stage Walkthrough:

1: Call Of Duty
2: Outrun
3: Frogger
4: Home Run
5: 720
6: NBA Jam
7: Flower
8: Rampage
9: Worms
10: Punch Out
11: Burger Time
12: Balloon Fight
13: Vanguard
14: Mine Sweeper
15: Faceoff
16: Stargate
17: Star Castle
18: Golden Tee
19: Dragonball Z
20: Halo
21: Discs of Tron
22: Tron
23: Crossbow
24: Shadow of the Colossus
25: Tiger Heli
26: Burnout
27: Super Cobra
28: Space Ace
29: Boulder Dash
30: Smash TV
31: Silent Hill
32: Birdie King
33: R-Type
34: Missile Command
35: Food Fight
36: Time Splitters
37: Bomber Man
38: Golden Axe
39: Double Dragon
40: Bejeweled
41: Donkey Konga
42: Fallout
43: Paperboy
44: Fire Truck
45: Guitar Hero
46: Spy Hunter
47: Joust
48: Asteroids
49: Dig Dug
50: Popeye
51: Goldeneye
52: Sea Wolf
53: Star Fox
54: Mouse Trap
55: Defender
56: Metal Slug

47 Comments

choirboy Author Profile Page March 24, 2010 3:04 PM

yay! first comment! please tell me when someone figures out what the

broken screen

is.

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I'm absolutely adoring all the

Tron

references.

I've got about half of them so far, stumped on the rest.

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choirboy,

looks like that TV is smashed

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does anyone know the

light disc thingy from tron

is? its name is escaping me right now

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anth,

I had to look it up too. It's "Discs Of Tron".

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MurphMan Author Profile Page March 24, 2010 3:50 PM

anth: You'll kick yourself because it's so simple. In fact, you almost said the answer right there.

"Disc from Tron" is close.

Tron's got more than one disc.

Answer:

Discs of Tron

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You can actually get a nifty custom "Encom" badge mailed to you (part of a promotional Tron tie-in) if you register and get all the questions right...

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person man March 24, 2010 3:55 PM

Eh... I'm not sure if anyone else had this problem, but I could type in the correct answer, and the game would take a good thirty seconds to aknowledge my accuracy. that got real annoying real fast.

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MurphMan Author Profile Page March 24, 2010 3:59 PM

8 left! I admit to Googling a couple of answers, but I was on the right track for most of 'em.

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thanks guys and person man im having the same problem

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i got 18 out of 56

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Ooh, I played something like this once! Think of everything as literally as possible. For example, there's a hill shushing you. It's a

Silent Hill

Guitar with a cape?

Guitar Hero

Some of them can get EXTREMELY literal though:

Fire truck? Fire Truck. Moustrap? Moustrap. Metal slug? Metal Slug. Halo? Halo.
...Burger-time? Burger Time.

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This is kind of off topic, but does anyone know where I can find pictures with this nitrome-like isometric pixely style?

Love the game, by the way. I got all of them right!

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Alright, I'm stuck at 37. I was surprised by how quickly I got a bunch of them. It was hilarious because I made a guess at the rocket one, and my guess was wrong for that one, but was the answer to the next one I looked at.

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The ones I've got (21/56)
Not in order

Call of Duty
Outrun
Fire Truck
Moustrap
Smash TV
Silent Hill
Metal Slug
Star Fox
Burger Time
Worms
Punch Out
Halo
Minesweeper
Discs of Tron
Dragon Ball Z
Double Dragon
Golden Axe
Guitar Hero
Fallout
Burn Out
Bejeweled

Considering I've only played the last one, I say that's pretty durn good.

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I got 38 on my first pass:

1 Call of Duty
2 Outrun
3 Frogger
4 Home Run
6 NBA Jam
9 Worms
10 Punch-Out
11 Burger Time
12 Balloon Fight
14 Minesweeper
19 Dragonball Z
20 Halo
21 Discs of Tron
22 Tron
24 Shadow of the Colossus
26 Burnout
29 Boulder Dash
30 Smash TV
31 Silent Hill
35 Food Fight
36 Timesplitters
37 Bomberman
38 Golden Axe
39 Double Dragon
40 Bejeweled
41 Donkey Konga
42 Fallout
43 Paperboy
44 Fire Truck
45 Guitar Hero
47 Joust
48 Asteroids
49 Dig Dug
51 Goldeneye
52 Sea Wolf
53 Star Fox
54 Mouse Trap
56 Metal Slug

The rest are gonna take some serious memory searching. Here we go...

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I'm getting close, but still haven't figured out #7, 16, 32, 50, or 55.

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I have them all except #15, #23, and #46. Can anyone help?

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I found a couple more:

#16 - Stargate
#7 - Flower
#25 - Tiger Heli

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Anonymous March 24, 2010 5:59 PM

All 56 of them:

1) Call of Duty
2) Outrun
3) Frogger
4) Home Run
5) 720
6) NBA Jam
7) Flower
8) Rampage
9) Worms
10) Punch-Out
11) Burger Time
12) Balloon Fight
13) Vanguard
14) Minesweeper
15) Face Off
16) Stargate
17) Star Castle
18) Golden Tee
19) DragonBall Z
20) Halo
21) Discs of Tron
22) Tron
23) Crossbow
24) Shadow of the Colossus
25) Tiger Heli
26) Burnout
27) Super Cobra
28) Space Ace
29) Boulderdash
30) Smash TV
31) Silent Hill
32) Birdie King
33) R-Type
34) Missile Command
35) Food Fight
36) Time Splitters
37) Bomberman
38) Golden Axe
39) Double Dragon
40) Bejeweled
41) Donkey Konga
42) Fallout
43) Paperboy
44) Firetruck
45) Guitar Hero
46) Spy Hunter
47) Joust
48) Asteroids
49) Dig-Dug
50) Popeye
51) Goldeneye
52) Sea Wolf
53) Starfox
54) Mouse Trap
55) Defender
56) Metal Slug

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otherbill -

I'll trade ya! (see my previous post)

15 - faceoff

23 - crossbow

46 - spy hunter

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Arainach Author Profile Page March 24, 2010 6:06 PM

I had 2 that weren't on Lavos' list:

16 Stargate
18 Golden Tee

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I'm down to 32, 50, and 55 left.

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BangNull Author Profile Page March 24, 2010 6:08 PM

Greg:
50:

What's happening to his eye?

popeye

55:

That's the fender of the car

defender

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IfMandyPatinkinWasAHorse March 24, 2010 6:09 PM

Popeye
home run
720
balloon fight
bejeweled
space ace
tiger heli

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Anonymous March 24, 2010 6:12 PM

greg

#7is

flower

what is number 8?

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Greg: Fair enough. :-)

BangNull just gave you 50 and 55, so...

32:

Birdie King

Thanks!

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Done!

Full solutions list:

1-20:

  1. Call of Duty

  2. Outrun

  3. Frogger

  4. Home Run

  5. 720

  6. NBA Jam

  7. Flower

  8. Rampage

  9. Worms

  10. Punch-Out

  11. Burger Time

  12. Balloon Fight

  13. Vanguard

  14. Minesweeper

  15. Face Off

  16. Stargate

  17. Star Castle

  18. Golden Tee

  19. Dragonball Z

  20. Halo

21-40:

  1. Discs of Tron

  2. Tron

  3. Crossbow

  4. Shadow of the Colossus

  5. Tiger Heli

  6. Burnout

  7. Super Cobra

  8. Space Ace

  9. Boulder Dash

  10. Smash TV

  11. Silent Hill

  12. Birdie King

  13. R-Type

  14. Missile Command

  15. Food Fight

  16. Timesplitters

  17. Bomberman

  18. Golden Axe

  19. Double Dragon

  20. Bejeweled

41-56:

  1. Donkey Konga

  2. Fallout

  3. Paperboy

  4. Fire Truck

  5. Guitar Hero

  6. Spy Hunter

  7. Joust

  8. Asteroids

  9. Dig Dug

  10. Popeye

  11. Goldeneye

  12. Sea Wolf

  13. Star Fox

  14. Mouse Trap

  15. Defender

  16. Metal Slug

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Thanks for the help guys!

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A few more to add to Lavos, all pretty obvious:

7 Flower
13 Vanguard
16 Stargate
34 Missile Command

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Anonymous March 24, 2010 6:16 PM

need help with 8, 33, and 34

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The Challenging Stage Walkthrough:

1: Call Of Duty
2: Outrun
3: Frogger
4: Home Run
5: 720
6: NBA Jam
7: Flower
8: Rampage
9: Worms
10: Punch Out
11: Burger Time
12: Balloon Fight
13: Vanguard
14: Mine Sweeper
15: Faceoff
16: Stargate
17: Star Castle
18: Golden Tee
19: Dragonball Z
20: Halo
21: Discs of Tron
22: Tron
23: Crossbow
24: Shadow of the Colossus
25: Tiger Heli
26: Burnout
27: Super Cobra
28: Space Ace
29: Boulder Dash
30: Smash TV
31: Silent Hill
32: Birdie King
33: R-Type
34: Missile Command
35: Food Fight
36: Time Splitters
37: Bomber Man
38: Golden Axe
39: Double Dragon
40: Bejeweled
41: Donkey Konga
42: Fallout
43: Paperboy
44: Fire Truck
45: Guitar Hero
46: Spy Hunter
47: Joust
48: Asteroids
49: Dig Dug
50: Popeye
51: Goldeneye
52: Sea Wolf
53: Star Fox
54: Mouse Trap
55: Defender
56: Metal Slug

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17 - Star Castle
28 - Space Ace

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waycooler Author Profile Page March 24, 2010 11:19 PM

Managed to get 21 of them without help... number 8 I felt like an idiot for not realizing, considering how much I loved that game. Other ones I felt like an idiot for not realizing: 19, 20! omg, 33, 40, 49, 51.

So really, I got 27. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

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wildflower12 Author Profile Page March 25, 2010 1:08 AM

what is

donkey konga? I have heard of donkey kong, and was getting so frustrated when that wouldn't work. Is this a different game?

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wildflower12 - It was a game for Gamecube played with bongos

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This is EPIC. I really got a laugh out of

Spy Hunter (Spie hunter)

I'm also an enormous

TRON

, and remember all of the arcade games, so the artwork at the bottom and the clues were a ton of fun for me.

Nice work overall! I'm up to 25/56 so far.

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Typo: I am an enormous fan. Makes a lot more sense that way :) Also, 27.

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I am not sure what is going on, but it will not accept any answers I type in. I got 7 correct, but now when I enter them it just returns to blank, I have tried it with five or six other answers, I even checked the spelling. Guess I am done.

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only thing that kinda bugged me, was that there was no music:( (4 star game)

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DalaranJ Author Profile Page March 25, 2010 3:19 PM

Well, this is fun but I wish it weren't a viral advertisement.

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mr1black Author Profile Page March 25, 2010 3:43 PM

Delightful little game!

Silent hill

and

fallout

made me chuckle the most. Got 26 of them without help.
Moooore such games!!!!!

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ChrisForsyth March 26, 2010 3:02 AM

Heh--Good catch, DalaranJ. I went to the root page of the site, and the whole thing *is* basically a viral ad for the new Tron movie, paired with 'www.flynnlives.com'. Still, not too bad as things go, and at least it's a fun little game for us oldbies. I bet the people I know who work on refurbishing/rebuilding old arcade cabinets (often for MAME installations) will be annoyed that the parts page on that site is fake. :-)

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Bloatedsack Author Profile Page March 26, 2010 4:27 PM

I'm glad Jig picked this up! I had a blast jumping on this as it came out for the Flynn Lives ARG (www.flinnlives.com). Once you get your Encom badge, you can login to their intranet and follow the corporate back-biting all leading up to the Tron release.

Also, spycat811 and anyone else looking for some similar art can check out this artist who's been doing it for quite a while:
http://hello.eboy.com/eboy/

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Bloatedsack Author Profile Page March 26, 2010 4:28 PM

doh! I meant www.flynnlives.com
...but you knew that.

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Elite Fencer Author Profile Page March 28, 2010 3:07 PM

Hooray, Flynn Lives!

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Tuan Truong December 22, 2010 7:46 PM

I suggest that someone should update the walkthrough, because I just play and the number of games to be identified is now at 167. With the walkthrough, and some guessing, I was able to only identified about 83 games.

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