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Parents' Guide to

High Score

By Matt Cabral, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Nostalgia-brimming binge for gamers of a certain age.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say Not yet rated
Kids say (3 ):

This series attempts to chronicle the history of classic video games in a way that's as informative as it is entertaining. And it mostly succeeds, offering an absorbing mix of in-depth interviews with industry luminaries and profiles of lesser-known pro gamers who were competing long before the esports industry existed. Whether you're curious about the genesis of Sonic the Hedgehog, the history of Nintendo's famed game counselors, or how role-playing games transformed from text-based adventures to sprawling, open-world epics, you'll find High Score is as addictive as Tetris. That said, the explored history -- beginning with the creation of quarter-munching classic Space Invaders -- will appeal most to fans who spent their formative years in mall arcades or at home, tethered to a Nintendo Entertainment System. Younger gamers expecting Fortnite tips or interviews with their favorite streamers will probably want to stick with YouTube.

The greatest compliment we can heap on High Score also points to its biggest flaw: We wish it was longer. Rather than concluding with the rise of the first-person shooter, why not take us into the 2010s and beyond? And while a second season would address our longing for more episodes, it likely won't fill the current one's gaps. As entertaining as the series is, it's far from comprehensive. The segment on Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, for example, is fantastic, but without mention of his post-EA ventures -- including the creation of his own game console -- it feels a bit too cherry-picked. High Score doesn't deliver a complete, comprehensive history of video games, but it's still a nostalgia-packed blast that gamers "of a certain age" will eat up like Pac-Man pellets.

TV Details

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