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Ocean Software Ltd
1991
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£11.99
£3.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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29,30
Ian Watson
Chris Bourne

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?

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

GARTH: 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!

STEVE: 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'!

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.

86%
79%
94%
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94%

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First conceived of in the late fifties, the game show has, along with the soap opera, become the box goggler's favourite way of wasting half an hour - with shows such as The Price Is Right and The Generation Game enjoying an almost cult status.

King of the gameshows is undeniably evergreen sweettalker Bob Monkhouse. In his time Bob's hosted such classics as The Golden Shot, Family Fortunes, The 64,000 Question, Bob Says Opportunity Knocks and current smash (splutter) Bob's Your Uncle. And talking about The Golden Shot, did you know that the leggy blonde with the crossbow was none other than the future Mrs Hawkes - mother of Chesney! Up a bit...

We all know that top entertainers are nothing without a good catchphrase, but did you realise just how many have been inspired by gameshows. "Nice to see you" was The Generation Game, "Come on down" was The Price Is Right, "No conferring" was University Challenge and "Can I have a P please Bob" was Blockbusters. And talking about Blockbusters, some dance band recently released a record centred around a string of Bob Holness samples, but don't bother buying it because it's not very good.

Screenshot Text

Baseball bat wielding thickos are actually quite slow so pick them off at will.

Here are the eyeballs of utter doom. Well they look like eyeballs and I can't see my way to look at them differently.

Hurrah! Come on down, you future git and spend, spend, spend!!

Yoikes a lordy, such a lot of sprites all moving in gay abandon.

The bonus screen - and just look at the amount of goodies.

Above right: Aaaghh no, is nowhere safe? Proving it's no discrimination policy, Ocean's disabled skinheads in wheelchairs can be very dangerous.

Above: The slinky snake of doom can be a bit tricky as it tears around the screen at speed, until you learn where to stand, but don't forget to pick up the cash and the power up icon.

Left: The spermatazoa attack of doom lend a pregnant pause, to the proceedings.