||This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2008)|
Promotional arcade flyer
Beam Soft. (home console ports)
Acclaim Entertainment (home ports)
|Genre(s)||Run and gun/Multi-directional shooter|
Two player co-op
|Arcade system||Midway Y Unit Software|
|Sound||M6809 @ 2 MHz
Yamaha YM2151 @ 3.57958 MHz
2 x DAC.
|Display||Raster resolution 410×256(Vertical) Many Colors|
Smash TV is a 1990 arcade game created by Eugene Jarvis and Mark Turmell for Williams. It is a run and gun game in the same vein as its predecessor, Robotron (also produced by Jarvis). As in the previous game, players battle waves of enemies by using guns; the arcade version even uses the two-joystick control system of Robotron. The plot of Smash TV revolves around a futuristic game show in which players compete for various prizes, as well as their lives.
Home versions were developed for various platforms, most of which were published by Acclaim Entertainment.
The play mechanic is very similar to that of Eugene Jarvis' earlier Robotron: 2084, with dual-joystick controls and series of single screen areas. The theme of the game, borrowed from The Running Man, involves players competing in a violent game show, set in the then future year of 1999. Moving from one room to the next within the studio/arena, players have to shoot down hordes of enemies as they advance from all sides, while at the same time collecting weapons, power-up items, and assorted bonus prizes until a final show down with the show's host where players are finally granted their prizes, life and freedom. Among the game's items are keys - if enough keys are collected, players can access a bonus level called the Pleasure Dome.
The game features verbal interjections from the gameshow host such as "Total Carnage! I love it!", "dude!" and "I'd buy that for a dollar!". The former quote gives itself to the title of the 1991 follow-up, Total Carnage, which, while not a direct sequel, features similar gameplay. The quote "I'd buy that for a dollar!" is a reference to the catchphrase of Bixby Snyder, a fictional television comic in the 1987 film RoboCop.
Smash TV was ported to consoles, including the NES, SNES (as Super Smash TV), the Sega Game Gear, Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis (as Super Smash TV). On some home systems such as the NES, players have the option to use the directional pad on the second controller to control the direction the character will shoot on-screen. Using this option for both players requires a multitap. The dual control aspect of the game works particularly well on the SNES, as its four main buttons, A, B, X and Y, are laid out like a D-pad, enabling the player to shoot in one direction while running in another.
Home computer versions were produced by Ocean for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST and Commodore Amiga, all released in early 1992. The Amiga version scored 895 out of a possible 1000 in a UK magazine review, and the Spectrum magazine CRASH awarded the ZX version 97%, making it a Crash Smash.
It is also part of the Midway Arcade Treasures collection, which is available for the PC, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox and PlayStation 2 and was released in 2003. These versions give the player the option to save high scores.
Smash TV was also made available for download through Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade service on the Xbox 360 and was the first version of the game to officially allow two players to play the game online. However the game was delisted from the service in February 2010 after the dissolution of Midway Games.
The announcer in the game is voiced by sound designer Paul Heitsch. The script was created by the game's sole composer and sound designer Jon Hey. The voice of General Ahkboob in the follow-up game Total Carnage is Ed Boon, coding creator of Mortal Kombat. In the Smash TV flyer image [right] the hands at the console are Ed Boon's (left) and Jon Hey's (right).
Originally the arcade game shipped without the Pleasure Dome bonus level implemented, although there was text mentioning it in the game. The design team had not been sure that players would actually get to the end of the game. However, players did finish the game and after arcade operators informed Williams of player complaints of being unable to finish it, the company sent out a new revision that included the Pleasure Dome level.
- Smash TV Review
- Smash TV Review (Xbox 360)
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-  Crash 94
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