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

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

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