Money!! Prizes!! And more in this Time Warp Review of Smash TV!!

Time Warp Review

Welcome to Time Warp Review, J1 Fans! I am your host, Devildriver1313 and I’m bringing you a look into gaming past! Now, we all love game shows. Who doesn’t? The excitement! The surprises! The game of chance! The risk! Whatever the reason, game shows are purely entertaining. I am here to take you on journey back to a game show where the game of chance and the risks were to die for. This is a Time Warp review of Smash TV!


Developed by Williams, Smash TV was an arcade game that placed two players in the arena where they’d fight for fame, prizes and their very lives. It was a dual joystick arcade console where player would control the competitors of this deadly game show as they move from room to room while fighting waves of enemies bent of ending their 15 minutes of fame. Prizes can also be collected in the midst of the fray as well as power-ups and weapons to help in their survival. Should the participants collect the keys that are scattered about without having their brains end up the same way, they will enter the Pleasure Dome where they will be awarded more prizes. The participants claimed their winnings and continued living when they face the Smash TV host and defeat him. Long story short, think of it as the Gladiatorial Combats of ancient Rome meets Price is Right.


Smash TV 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. Although there was text mentioning it in the game, the arcade game was originally shipped without the Pleasure Dome bonus level implemented. The design team had not been sure that players would actually get to the end of the game. Oh ye of little faith. To their surprise, players actually 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. All the more reason why one should not count their chickens before they hatch.

Smash TV hit arcades in 1990 before it was ported to home consoles such as the NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, Game Gear and Master System. The SNES, Genesis, Game Gear and Master System versions were retitled Super Smash TV while the NES version retained the original title. Speaking of 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. This option required a multitap. But the SNES port worked just fine since the four buttons (A,B,Y,X,) are laid out in a D-pad fashion and can be used to shoot in one direction while moving in the other. Smash TV was rereleased for future systems with the latest being Xbox Live Arcade for the Xbox 360. However, the game was removed in 2010 after the dissolution of Midway Games.

Enjoy the show!!