Now this really is a cult classic arcade game.
Smash TV was an arcade conversion of the 1990 Williams game and was released for the Commodore Amiga in 1991 by good old Ocean Software.
The arcade game 'plot line' borrowed heavily from the movie 'The Running Man'; in the game you took part in a futuristic game show based on ultra violence, mass weapons, destruction, big prizes, lots of cash and 'total carnage'.
Let's get this out of the way first; this game was a total scream. With it's tacky game-show host, voice samples shouting 'Total carnage... I love it', over the top violence and crazy body count it took the arcade game to a whole new level.
For one or two players you took part in this futuristic game show laying waste to hordes of 'bad guys' collecting money and prizes from the game arena. Armed with a powerful hand gun you could mow down the masses with ease. For the first few screens that is.
As you progressed the bad guys became a lot tougher. Mr Shrapnel took a few hits before being dispatched and when he did shrapnel would fly out in all directions, meaning he could still kill you after you had killed him!
As you made your way through the game zones there were the usual arcade game style powerups to collect. Rocket launchers, grenade launchers, double fire, 'fast feet', lazer shields to name but a few would help you to mow down the masses. These powerups were temporary of course.
There were four game zones to fight through, with each one divided up into around a dozen screens. At the end of each zone you had to fight a tough end of level boss (such as Mutoid Man), with each boss requiring a lot of hits to be destroyed.
Bad guys died nicely in over the top blood splatter animations - made all the funnier as you could be collecting electric toasters, video machines and board-games whilst laying waste to baseball bat wielding thugs.
One aspect of the game that could make it or break it was the control method. Ideally one player needed two joysticks. One to control your characters movement and one to control the direction of fire.
On later levels this was an absolute necessity as you could back away from a huge group of bad guys whilst simultaneously mowing them down. Being able to fire in the opposite direction to which you were moving was the only way to survive and without this control method you didn't stand a chance.
So, with the good old Amiga only having two joystick ports you needed a joystick splitter for proper two player action. Playing with the keyboard just wasn't the same.
Control method aside - if you had a stick splitter then the game was superb for two players. Playing in co-op mode was brilliant fun giving you twice the mayhem and the ability to mercilessly murder a sh*t load of on screen bad guys.
It also meant that taking on the end of level bosses was a little easier as you could strategically attack from two sides. This game is probably one of the best two player games I ever tried on the Amiga anyway.
As usual for an arcade game extra extra lives were awared for the scoring of a lot of points, and there were also bonus sub-games to build up your points and cash totals.
The game was over when you lost all of your lives or if you defeated the boss at the end of game arena four. A tough game that was beatable with a bit of practice.
This was a very good Amiga game and a good converion of the arcade original. With a little tweaking it could have been a true classic, but as it stands this game is well remembered by Amiga gamers.
We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware - but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download a this arcade game. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
If you have an Amiga then grab a copy from Ebay - you could always buy that for a dollar! ;-)
Please see our other Amiga retro game reviews - all links are listed in alphabetical order. Cheers guys
GENRE: Arcade game
RELEASE DATE: 1991
RELEASED BY: Ocean Software
DEVELOPER(S): Zareh Z, Mark Knowles, Tony Williams, K Johannes
PRICE: £7.99 - UK
Classic Arcade Action:
Classic Games, Arcade Games and Amiga Games