American Gladiators

Game Data:

  • Review Date: June 3, 2021
  • Release Date: April 13, 1993
  • Platform: SNES
  • Publisher: GameTek
  • Genre: Sports

Anecdotes: Yes, I was a faithful American Gladiators viewer back in the 90s. The first season was awesome. They had a guy dressed like the Grim Reaper as a referee. They have an alley-like set that really looked like a place people would fight in. The Assault course had some interesting stations, like barrels or twigs. The Powerball field was a semicircle. The Eliminator was a 30 second course similar to military training. And Malibu sucked at everything. Of course, they ruined all of that after 13 episodes by dumping Malibu, getting a normal referee, and changing the whole studio to a generic light blue motif on everything. Joust was no longer on a draw bridge, it was on raised circular platforms. Powerball became unnecessarily complicated with a new setup. Assault’s atmosphere got ruined by using generic obstacles and a bright setting. The show was mostly good for a while, but even with some improvements, the still got a bit worse every season.

They turned the set dark red in season 5 and the Assault course got even dumber. The Eliminator was revamped and started to be too much for the contestants. Season 6 dropped the tournament format, so most contestants were only seen once. Gladiators seemed to come and go quite a bit, too. By season 7, there was a ball pit in the Eliminator, but no Gladiators. The show got desperate to draw to younger crowd, doing dumb things like not using capital letters in the graphics and calling the show AG. There were lots of celebrity episodes. It ended with a whimper, but then…

…NBC revived it and made it EVEN WORSE than any season from the original. Each episode only had 4 events because each episode was so full of crap that the producers couldn’t show 4 one minute events in full during a 60 minute show. They also replaced the mats with a pool to catch people falling. It had bad camera work, terrible hosts, excessive fluff, and little substance. The Eliminator became even more ridiculous to the point where 10 minute runs were not uncommon. They were even edited. The original NEVER cut out any of the action. Then there was season 2, and I stopped watching once a woman won her episode without EVER SCORING A POINT.

Description: Players can select to play as either a male or female, but either way, they go through a series of events in an attempt to score points. Whoever has the highest score after the Eliminator wins.

Positives: The game appears to be faithful to the TV show. I think it’s based on season 2, as all of the original events (minus “Swingshot,” an event that was never shown) show up, plus the Wall and Atlasphere. Unlike the show, a round can be completed in about 10 minutes.

Negatives: Try, just try, to guess what the buttons do in each event. It’s a guessing game unless players look it up in the manual.


I can roll with the punches. Two points.
I don’t know what that Gladiator is, but I missed him by about 2.5 miles.
Switching over to the women, I have to joust with Ice.
It’s time for some Powerball. It got ugly.

Final Opinion: Skip this and watch the TV show instead. It’s available 24 hours a day on Pluto TV. If the revival is on, come back tomorrow.

Grade: D

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