Go 8 Bit
Team captains: Steve McNeil and Sam Pamphilon
Gaming expert: Ellie Gibson
DLT Entertainment for Dave, 5 September 2016 to present
Additional coverage: Go 8 Bit DLC, 15 May 2017 to present
Comedians play video games in front of an audience.
Steve McNeil and Sam Pamphilon team up with this week's guest celebrities for a romp through computer game history. Ellie Gibson explains the history of the game, and how it did (or didn't) alter game history.
The best way to explore games is to play them, and Go 8 Bit has lots of challenges. Complete a level, out-score your opponent, shoot them in the points. The show mixes 8-bit games from the Spectrum and Atari, later Nintendo and Sega games, and some of the weirder ones on the market now.
Each week's final challenge is done live in the studio - a controller that works by tapping people, for instance.
Go 8 Bit is adapted from a stage show, hosted by the games expert. For this television version, they brought in Dara O'Briain. He leads the conversation with the players, teasing out why the celebs have nominated their games.
It is a contest, they do keep score - the audience votes with an app on their mobile computers to allocate a value.
And there's a gimmick where the stage rotates - the big sofa is at right-angles to the big screen, and that's no way to play games.
Go 8 Bit has rough edges - the rotating stage gimmick is used too much, and the audience voting appears random. The programme is honest and respectful, it treats video games as a mature cultural work suitable for critique.
The show proved enough of a hit for Dave to commission two further series straight off the bat, together with a fanzine-type programme, Go 8 Bit DLC (it stands, a tad anachronistically, for DownLoadable Content) hosted by Ellie Gibson.
Steve McNeil and Sam Pamphilon
Liam Tate, who used 8-bit synthesisers. Obviously.
Voted the Best New Show in this site's Poll of 2016