The two games I’m going to highlight in this post don’t necessarily have much of anything in common. One is a bright, colorful shooter that was ported for multiple consoles in the 80’s and 90’s and the other is a unique pinball simulator that was only available for the TurboGrafx-16 (unless you count the nearly identical Dragon’s Fury for the Genesis). What both games have in common are lots of fast, furious, fun gameplay and both are very addictive.
Devil’s Crush is a scrolling, 3-screen pinball game where you attempt to defeat evil forces of the devil of course (duh). You take on demons, skeletons, monks that look like they are in the occult and a creepy looking human face that slowly turns into the devil’s face itself as the game progresses. The theme is very dark and eerie and the enemies come at you constantly as you try to accomplish the various in game tasks. There are mini-games within the board and 3 sets of flippers, one for each screen. There’s a lot going on in this game. There is a password feature that allows you to save your game just in case you’re REALLY good at video pinball and you manage to be able to last for more than 30 minutes. Devil’s Crush is super addictive and one of the best pinball simulation games I’ve played in the 8-16 bit era.
Fantasy Zone is a futuristic shooter that looks nothing like any shooter you’ve played before. The entire game looks like it’s been dipped in Easter egg colors for one, secondly, each screen/level is non-linear from the standpoint that you can go left to right or right to left and the screen eventually loops back on itself similar to how Defender did a decade earlier. The goal of the game is to defeat the various bases using your bombs while avoiding all of the enemies out to stop you from saving Fantasy Zone. Once you’ve destroyed all the enemy bases on that level, the level boss will appear. If you defeat the level boss you move on to the next colorful level. Defeating the various enemies will produce coins which you can collect to upgrade your ship making it faster, stronger and with better weapons. Besides the constant onslaught of enemies you’ll face, you’ll lose a life with a single hit and there is no continue option making Fantasy Zone one of the toughest games I’ve played for the TurboGrafx-16. The level of difficulty is the only thing keeping this game from being an A-list title in my opinion.
Currently in my collection:
Devil’s Crush – game, manual, case A
Fantasy Zone – game, manual, case B+