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Alien Crush – TurboGrafx-16

Alien Crush – TurboGrafx-16

Alien_Crush_CoverartPlatform: TurboGrafx-16

Developer: NAXAT Soft

Publisher: NEC

Release Date (NA): August 19, 1989

Genre: Pinball

Nerd Rating: 6 out of 10

Note: This review is of an emulated version.

Alien Crush was one of the first games I played from the TurboGrafx-16’s library. To be exact, the first was Columns, then Neutopia, then this. This game became my gateway into the Crush Pinball series, and a formal introduction into the pinball game genre as a whole. Being the naive little kid I was initially, I was apprehensive about trying this game out. I mean, it’s a pinball game…a pinball game, what fun could I really get out of a pinball game? Of course, at that point I had no idea that Alien Crush was going to be such a genre-breaking title.

The top of the stage.

Alien Crush plays like your regular pinball game in that you use a set of flippers to launch a small ball around a stage, hitting the different decor in an attempt to rack up as many points as possible before you lose all of your balls. The game’s stage, and only stage, is split into two parts, the top half where the ball shoots up at the beginning and the bottom where the hole is. Both halves have their own set of flippers, but unlike this game’s successor, Devil’s Crush, the two halves of the board flip depending on which half the ball is currently in. This of course, can lead to some serious headaches when the ball starts swerving from half to half, as the game will pause and blink every time the ball reaches the other half.

The lower half of the stage. Notice the bumpers appear cracked open.

The lower half of the stage. Notice the bumpers appear cracked open.

The stage in Alien Crush is also kind of special. When I first played it, I was amazed at how detailed and sharp the graphics were. This seems to be common in the Crush series, as the second installment, Devil’s Crush, also is very detailed. Besides the great details and graphics though, Alien Crush‘s stage really feels alive. Most of the parts of the stage are actually aliens that can be defeated or otherwise used to reach bonus stages. I personally found that Alien Crush did a really excellent job of creating this horror/sci-fi atmosphere by turning really simple things like the bumpers or even the launcher, into interactive stage decorations. I never thought I would’ve spent hours killing aliens in a pinball game, but that’s entirely what Alien Crush is about.

Honestly, I’m still in shock at how great this game looks. I mean, I get that the Turbografx-16 was a 16-bit console, but I honestly think that the Turbografx-16 may have had the best looking graphics out of all of the fourth generation consoles. And Alien Crush, while not as great an example as Rondo of Blood, is a really great example of how detailed th Turbografx-16’s sprites could get.Alien Crush (U) - 150804_2341_1

Like Devil’s Crush, my only really complaint about these games is that there isn’t more! While in Alien Crush you can at least choose from two different sound tracks for the game, it would have been even more fun if there were different tables to play on. Maybe this is just a case of a gamer being greedy about what a game offers, but I would’ve loved to see more from the Crush Pinball series other than just five games (one of which is a WiiWare remake of Alien Crush). The tables have really made pinball games a genre worth checking out for me, so I hope that either Crush makes a comeback or someone makes more games like it.

As a final note, Alien Crush lacks the cheat feature that its successor Devil’s Crush had. That isn’t to say that the game isn’t fun without it, but making it to the game’s ending will have to be earned the hard way, rather than with extra help. In order to see it, you have to earn 999,999,900 points, which isn’t too difficult if you use some of the strategies found online. One of which involves the bonus stage with the skulls and green aliens (pictured above).

To conclude; I highly recommend trying Alien Crush as well as its successor Devil’s Crush, pinball junkie or not, you’re going to have a ton of fun!

Still no high score………again…..

Written by Doc Croc

Doc Croc aka Kelly is Nerd Bacon’s Editor-in-Chief and resident narcoleptic. In the off-chance she isn’t already asleep, you can find her here at the Bacon!


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