Top 100 SNES Review: #36 – Super Smash TV (1990)

Gameshow Glory.

Better Than Bob Barker Ever Was.

Super Smash TV SNESSydlexia’s Ranking: #36/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

Gameshows are kind of like capitalism: there are arbitrary rules, vigorous competition, tons of cash, and an unequal distribution of wealth. No wonder us Americans like them so much! I’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit watching The Price is Right, Press Your Luck, Hollywood Squares, and more. Smash TV is no different. Two warriors enter a game show risking their lives on live TV in hopes of winning a new toaster. So it’s kind of like American Idol.



It’s 1999 and TV has adapted itself to the more violent nature of man by having popular game shows that are death matches in front of live audiences*.

*1990 must have been a grim year. 

Super Smash TV SNES


You know those games that make you work for it? I’m playing one now: Ogre Battles: March of the Black Queen. I’m wallowing in hour long excursions where I busily coordinate between nine different armies trying to recapture towns and castles. It’s one of those games where I have to plan my day around since it takes so much effort to pull of a successful campaign. Super Smash TV doesn’t make you work for anything — you just drop in and start shooting. 

Super Smash TV SNES


Each stage happens in a square room. Enemies pour in from four gates. There are many traps to look out for: exploding fragments, land mines, people shooting from windows, zombies. Touching any one of these will be an instant death.

The controls are simple. The d-pad moves you and the buttons on the right represent shooting north, east, south, or west. Combining to different buttons makes you shoot on a diagonal. Your only mission is to survive.

There a few things that pop up in the course of battle: money/prizes or upgrades. Money and prizes help you only in the sense of achieving a high score. The upgrades, however, are a completely different manner: they are essential to survival. While only lasting a limited time or for a certain amount of ammo, you can get shields, rockets, grenades, blasters or the coveted instant kill that wipes everything out at once.

Two Player.

This is definitely a game that is more fun with someone else. Having a buddy that’s got your back as zombies pour in from the gates is an infinitely better experience than going at it alone. The game is very arcade inspired, so there is no real difference between one-player or two-player mode other than the amount of potential things that can kill you.

Super Smash TV


There are no edifying moments to be found in Super Smash TV. If you are looking for a game that tests the mind as well as the body, it’d be best to look else where.

If, however, you want to drink a bunch of Frontera wine while eating peanut butter sandwiches because you had a long week at work, then find someone else who reflects these same values and go win some automobiles.

Other People’s Takes:

  • Retro Nintendo Vault: “Super Smash TV is decent enough. It’s fun enough to play and worth a go. The difficulty level is a bit extreme and most people will only ever see the Mr. Mutoid boss but it is fun while it lasts.”
  • Games That I Play: “While you’re mowing down dozens, someone can always sneak up from behind and hit you with a bat.”
  • 101 Video Games That Made My Life Slightly Better: In fact, the game’s difficulty was legendary – although it only had three levels (each comprised of several rooms), I only ever got to the end on a couple of occasions, and I don’t think I ever completed it.”

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