Smash TV

by David Perry, Nick Bruty
Ocean Software Ltd
Sinclair User Issue 133, Mar 1993   page(s) 31

Label: Hit Squad
Memory: 48K/128K
Price: £3.99 Tape
Reviewer: Paul Davis

The most violence viewers can expect from a TV show at the moment is the occasional outburst from the luckless participants on Beadle's About. However the future, according to Acclaim anyway, holds far interesting entertainment in store for violent lunatics out there in TV land.

Smash TV is in the style the old Robotron coin-op although heavily enhanced to produce a vision of a future TV show, caught somewhere between Rollerball and the Running Man, in which the contestants really do have to fight for their prizes. The player enters a labyrinth of arenas that are stocked to the lofty rafters with stunning prizes, power ups and, unfortunately, large bands of psychotic mutants and robot destroyers, intent on making sure that the only thing people leave the studio with is an ID tag and a death certificate!

Not to worry though... well, much anyway, because the goodly host of this show has left a small selection of weapon power-ups and protective shields for the taking if the contestant is quick enough to take advantage of them. Don't be fooled by this kindness however, because this remarkable display of brotherly love is a means to a terrible end and the wily Beadle descendant only wants to save you to get a chance at killing you himself.

Remarkably Probe have included all the most important features of the a apart from the co-operative two-player option. The sprites are all huge and the controls are adequate, though not perfect as the coin-op allowed for the contestant to fire in one direction whilst moving in another.

Smash TV is satisfyingly playable on the Spectrum and with front seats for the show now going for a song, is a blast well worth viewing.

Smash TV is a tough conversion for any system but this is very good indeed. Sure, it doesn't have quite the same feel, and the two-player mode is missing, but the overall look of the game is cool.

Graphics: 90%
Sound: 74%
Playability: 85%
Lastability: 84%
Overall: 86%

Summary: Smash TV the coin-op is notorious blood 'n' guts attitude to the shoot 'em up theme. This conversion is as good as can be expected and, although slightly frustrating at times, fits the bill very nicely.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 116, Oct 1991   page(s) 29,30

Label: Ocean
Memory: 48K/128K
Price: £11.99 Tape, N/A Disk
Reviewer: Ian Watson

I dunno, call me easily pleased if you like, but give me a huge mutant skinhead on a tank and a chance to participate in the most violent game show ever invented, and I'll be having more fun than a polar bear on rollerskates at a fish market.

The shoot 'em up activity of Smash TV leaves much room for boredom however. - from the word go it's non-stop excitement, immediate fun of the purest sense, and only the terminally brain dead will fail to find it totally engulfing. About as addictive as breathing - and then some!

The idea, as with all the best games, is very very simple. Smash TV is the ultimate game show challenge, a close cousin to "The Running Man" that has the player shooting various bad guys for a whole host of glittering prizes.

Making his way through a series of interconnected rooms, the contestant tips the odds in his favour by picking up a range of brightly coloured icons, that bestow extra fire power, lives, shields etc, and secures a holiday in the sun by gobbling up handy bundles of cash. The hoards of baseball wielding thugs do their best to upset things of course, and aided and abetted by the likes of Mr Shrapnel (guess what his party trick is, kids!), several small legions of mutant lizard droids (or something) and our old friend the tank-bound skinhead, cause more bloodshed and mayhem than an inept machete juggler.

There's levels and stuff, of course, and if the four apocalyptic game zones don't manage to chop your nerves up into little pieces and then feed them to the shacks, then the appearance of the game show host will surely seal your fate. I mean, have you seen Bob Monkhouse recently?

In all, a highly enjoyable blast 'em up that will have you thrilled for hours. Smooth, detailed graphics, loads of fast sprites zipping around the screen with superb speed that is not impaired when played by two players makes Smash TV a complete, triggers bustin' masterpiece that should quench just about anyone's bloodlust. Now where did I put that chainsaw?

Rip roaring speed, excellent sound and minimum colour clash even with the squillions of sprites careering around the screen, makes Smash TV a totally FAB game and one of the definitive arcade conversions!

Ocean are really cookin' with their releases this month and this is undoubtedly the best arcade blaster of any that I've seen. Come on Ocean - keep 'em comin'!

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Graphics: 86%
Sound: 79%
Playability: 94%
Lastability: 93%
Overall: 94%

Summary: Thuggery performed at an almost professional level! This is the game that the Running Man should have been - brightly detailed, fast yet unjerky graphics and a blisteringly simple yet addictive gameplay.

Award: Sinclair User Silver

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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