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Super Smash T.V. – Super Nintendo

Super Smash T.V. – Super Nintendo

super_smash_tv_snes_boxPlatform: Super Nintendo

Developer: Beam Software

Publisher: Acclaim

Release Date (NA): 1992

Genre: Run & Gun

Nerd Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Reviewed by NerdBerry

The arcade classic is now in your home! Super Smash T.V. brings to your cabinet-cased T.V. all of the mayhem and madness that you remember from the arcade except now you don’t have to sell your Nike high-tops just to pay for all the quarters! Smash T.V. in the arcade tips their hats to the classic arcade fixed shooter Robotron 2084, which used dual joysticks to independently control the characters walking and their firing direction. Smash T.V in the arcade uses the exact same features, but porting to the home console market proved to be a little more challenging, as controllers of the time did not feature multiple D-pads.

Smash TVIn order to provide a similar experience to the arcade, players had to hook up two controllers and use the 1st player’s controller’s d-pad to move the character, and the 2nd player’s controller’s d-pad to fire in a particular direction. The end-result was typically one friend controlling the running and the other controlling the shooting which ALWAYS ended in arguments and accusations of “sucking at games” and “being worthless.” But the Super Nintendo controller actually allowed for the most optimal home port of the arcade classic with the A, B, X, and Y, buttons being conveniently positioned like a d-pad, and functioning as such. By pressing A, the gunner would fire right. By pressing B and A at the same time, the gunner would fire south-east diagonally. This transition from dual joysticks to the SNES controller proves to be a widely accepted and appreciable solution. At least Super Nintendo didn’t try to sell us a controller called “SUPER ADVANTAGE ULTRA-DUAL JOYSTICKAGANZA ARCADE CONTROLLER! Now featuring ULTRA FIRE which is better than RAPID FIRE or MEGA FIRE or TURBO FIRE or anything ever!” Because I’m sure some asshole in Nintendo’s accessories department was like “Wait! Guys… I got an idea…”

smash tv 7

the-running-manThe plot behind Smash T.V. is wildly unoriginal as it borrows heavily from the Arnold Schwarzenegger’s classic futuristic sci-fi movie: The Running Man and uses lines from Robocop like “I’d buy that for a dollar!” In Smash T.V., contestants are criminals who are given an opportunity to fight for wealth, women, fame, and ultimately their life. If they can win, they are granted freedom, but winning won’t be easy. In addition to the heaping mounds of enemies coming at you, each level is scattered with gun power-ups, bonus keys, and cash, gold, and silver. Ultimately your goal is to go through all of the rooms, beat all of the bosses, and get to the very end so you can cash in all of your items and win a new Microwave. Seriously, I won a microwave in this game once. Ah, the late 80s.

Smash TV 3The main character(s) are sent from room to room as they fend off hordes of mechanized humanoids with clubs, guns, turrets, tanks, and more. Each room has 4 doors, one at each side of the room (left, right, top, bottom) and a couple of windows at the top. Gangs of these enemies come out of each door, oftentimes simultaneously, and can fill the screen exceptionally fast. There can be as many as 50 enemies (plus 10 land mines) on the screen at one time, all trying to kill you and tear your limbs off. Smash T.V. wasn’t designed to be an easy game. This game was designed to make your piggy bank go “WTF WHY DO YOU KEEP TAKING AWAY MY QUARTERS!? I’VE BEEN SAVING THOSE!”

Each level, or “room”, is completely riotous. There is little chance of you having a second to stand still in one spot, although in the early stages you can sometimes get away with standing in a corner and just firing away, but then you wouldn’t be able to collect Smash TV 4any keys or any riches, which means no new VCR for you. Successive levels become exponentially more challenging with humanoid enemies, tanks, guys on gun turrets, and these walking grenade guys who propel shrapnel fully across the screen. These fragments are tiny and have a tendency to go unnoticed due to 1. Their size 2. Their color, which is similar to the ground and 3. The fact that you’re worried about killing the 100 clubbin’ robots coming at you! But all of this happening around you only lends to the chaotic nature that is inherently present in most run & gun titles. Oh, and did I mention you’re avoiding all the land mines as well?

The premise and plot behind Smash T.V. is about as simple as it gets and requires little to no involvement from you, the video gamer. The story means very little as the premise of the game is truly just to kill and survive. You don’t need the keys, you don’t need the cash, you don’t need the points… all you need to do is kill kill kill and stay alive. This chaotic game is possibly one of my favorites. The barrage of baddies, shrapnel, bullets, and bombs coming  at me reminds me of classic SHMUPS like Sol-Feace or Strikers 1945. But Williams Electronics (the original developers of the arcade game) found a unique way to blend run and gun elements with shoot ‘em up elements. Hats off.

Smash TV 2In 2 player mode, the impossible becomes reasonably possible due to having 2 of y’all running around killing the same number of enemies. Single player is much more difficult, but we are graciously given 6 lives and 4 or 5 continues to start the game. Each continue awards the player with 6 new lives… 6 very needed and desired lives. And when you continue, you don’t start at the beginning of the level but instead you start exactly where you left off.

Overall, Smash T.V. is a smashingly good time (do you see what I did there?). While being an overly short game that one can fly through in about 30 to 45 minutes on 2 player (dare I say less than 30 minutes?), the experiences you encounter throughout are well worth every minute. Your anxiety will be high and so will your blood pressure. I enjoy the pandemonium and disorder created by Beam Software here. The graphics are about what one would expect for a Super Nintendo game and the music is very upbeat, fast-paced, and really sound EXACTLY like something I would expect to hear on an action-based reality TV show from the early 90s. The overall experience of Smash T.V. is always a good one. Replayability is exceptionally high as the entire game is challenging from level 1. The best part about Smash T.V., hands down, is that you can convince any of your friends (even the ones who think old games aren’t fun) into playing some Smash T.V. and I can promise you they will enjoy the hell out of it. Both of you will. Great game, entirely chaotic, yet worth all of the frustration! While this game tends to fetch a little more than I would typically recommend for a 20+ year old game, the $20 you spend on it will last you a long time as you’ll pick this game up over and over again. Check it out here on

Nerd Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Reviewed by Nerdberry

Smash TV 5

Technically from the sequel but still… great bewbs.

Written by Nerdberry


What’s up yall? David “Nerdberry” here! I am the founder of Nerd Bacon and the current co-owner (and CEO) along with partner David “theWatchman!” I hail from North Carolina, hence my love for all things pork! Oh, you’re not familiar with NC? Well I’m not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident that NC and VA lead the nation in pork production. I could be wrong, but even if I am, I still love bacon!

Come enjoy some bacon and games with us yall.


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  1. Pingback: run ‘n gunnin’ through smash TV | video games rock

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