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The Games of the Turbo Grafx-16 Mini: Part 2

On 08/08/2020 at 08:25 AM by Cary Woodham

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For the next two parts of the games on the TG-16 Mini, we’re going to look at (mostly) the US releases.  Some of the same games are also on the PC Engine Japanese side, but I’ll let you know which ones are like that when we get to them.  OK let’s begin!

Alien Crush

This is a video pinball game and a very good one at that.  It has an alien sci-fi theme and is one of the best games on the system.  On the Wii, Hudson even made a remake of this game.  That’s how popular it was.  Too bad this Mini doesn’t have the sequel: Devil’s Crush, which was also good.

Blazing Lasers

It’s a pretty standard 2-D vertically scrolling shooter, but it was one of the TG-16’s best and they showcased it a lot in commercials back in the day.  Only problem I have with it is that if you get hit, you must start the stage over again.  Did you know this game was made by Compile?  They made other games like Zanac, The Guardian Legend, and the Puyo Puyo series!

Dungeon Explorer

This was the TG-16’s answer to Gauntlet.  You can also play the Japanese version on the PC Engine menu.  Not sure why you’d want to since the text is all Japanese.

Moto Roader

It’s a top down F-1 racer similar to Micro Machines, except the controls are different.  It would be better, but you have to pick which parts to upgrade with points and you’d better know which ones to get first or you’ll never win.  And if any opponent falls behind past the screen, they’ll be warped right to the middle and usually in front of you, so it’s not fair either.  Only thing this game has going for it is a pixelated swimsuit babe on the menu screen.  And that’s not saying much!

Victory Run

Hoo boy, if you thought Moto Roader was bad, wait’ll you play this other racer.  This has a behind the car view like games such as OutRun.  But it moves so slowly!  You can also pick parts like in Moto Roader, but it seems to move slow no matter what you do.  It’s too bad the Mini didn’t have Namco’s Final Lap Twin game on here.  That was a two player split screen racing game based on the arcade game Final Lap.  Did you know that Final Lap is actually a sequel to Pole Position?  Final Lap Twin also had a cool RPG mode!

Power Golf

It’s a golf game, that’s all I can say about it.  Didn’t really engage me much and it was too easy to hook and slice the ball.  As far as golf games go, nothing beats the Mario Golf and Neo Turf Masters series.


This popular shooter looks pretty close to the arcade game.  But it’s also super hard and it’s one hit and you die and you must start over at the beginning or a checkpoint. Did you know Nintendo published the arcade version in the US?


Speaking of shooters, this is a horizontally scrolling one like R-Type, and is just as hard if not harder.  It gave me a headache to play because the graphics are so awful.  You start each stage with a ‘broken TV’ static screen, and the garish colors in the levels clash so bad with each other.  Just made it hard to look at.

Lords of Thunder

One last horizontally scrolling shooter.  This one has more of a fantasy theme with RPG elements, too, but it was also confusing and sometimes less is more.  Since this used the CD add on, the music is a bit better, though.

Ninja Spirit

You can get ridiculously powered up in this side scrolling hack and slash ninja themed platformer.  You can get two shadows following you and long distance sword attacks.  But you are also a glass cannon and die in one hit, so you have to be careful and not let that power go to your head.  The game kind of reminds me of a cross between The Legend of Kage and Kung-Fu Master.  But then, Ninja Spirit was made by Irem, who also did Kung-Fu Master, so that explains a lot.

And that’s all for now!  Tune in next time for more US releases on the TG-16 Mini!  Later!  --Cary




08/08/2020 at 10:01 AM

Oh man, I downloaded Double Dungeons not Dungeon Explorer. That DE game really does look like Gauntlet when you get in the mazes. 

Cary Woodham

08/09/2020 at 07:50 AM

I've never heard of Double Dungeons.  Looks like one of those first person dungeon games, which I can't stand.  I wonder if they named it Double Dungeons to capitalize on the popularity of Double Dragon?

One interesting fact about Dungeon Explorer that I forgot to mention in my blog is that it was made by Atlus!


08/09/2020 at 08:50 PM

I think "double" refers to being able to play two player, but I'm not sure. It's been a while. 

Cary Woodham

08/09/2020 at 09:04 PM

Did it have a split screen for two player?  


08/09/2020 at 09:08 PM

I remember the screen was split in half for some reason. An odd choice that made me think of split screen. I don't think it was multiplayer now though. 

Cary Woodham

08/09/2020 at 09:10 PM

Multiplayer sounds like it could be a disaster in that kind of game!


08/09/2020 at 09:42 PM

I looked it up and low and behold it supports two-player multiplayer. That's probably why I downloaded it because I love co-op. 

Cary Woodham

08/10/2020 at 09:21 AM

I can just see two people playing that, "Hey, where are you in the maze?"  "I don't know, where are you?"


08/11/2020 at 03:24 PM

Ha ha. I've never played it in co-op. Maybe you can see each other? 

Cary Woodham

08/12/2020 at 07:59 AM

That's the first thing I would do is find the other player to see what they look like.


08/09/2020 at 07:49 PM

I looked at Double Dungeons. Sometimes I like first-person dungeon crawls (like Etrian Odyssey), sometimes not. I did notice it was made by the same people who made Langrisser, a game I bought recently for Switch.

Cary Woodham

08/09/2020 at 09:05 PM

I don't think I've liked any first person dungeon crawling game.  That's what turned me off of the first Phantasy Star.

Jamie Alston Staff Writer

08/10/2020 at 03:39 PM

Funny you should mention Kung-Fu Master. I have a review of the NES version in the works that will be posted soon.

Cary Woodham

08/11/2020 at 07:57 AM

Can't wait to read it.  I was never a big fan of Kung Fu Master, but it sure was popular back then!

Matt Snee Staff Writer

08/10/2020 at 10:28 PM

what's with all these die in one hit games? Nobody likes that!

Victory Road doesn't sound very victorious to me. 

Cary Woodham

08/11/2020 at 07:58 AM

And what's with every game having to have a mine cart level?  Nobody likes those either!

And Moto Roader isn't very Moto either.  Wait that didn't make any sense!

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