Smash T.V. was released in April 1990.
A superb spiritual sequel to 1982's legendary single screen shoot-em-up, "Robotron: 2084
". The Classic Robotron game-play is enhanced further with the addition of power-ups and imaginative and challenging end-of-level bosses. The two-player game introduced a very high level of competitiveness as both players try to beat each other to the power-ups, prizes and keys.
The game seems to be based, at least in part, on the sci-fi action movie, 'The Running Man', starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. This movie itself was based on a book of the same name by Stephen King (under the pseudonym 'Richard Bachman').
One of Smash TV's more memorable elements was the game show host; at random intervals, a garishly suited, grinning host would pop up and enthusiastically announce such memorable sound-bites as, 'Total carnage! I love it!', 'I'll buy that for a dollar!' (taken from the 1987 movie Robocop), 'I love it!', 'Big money! Big prizes! I love it!'.
A Smash T.V. sequel was planned, but the project never got past the planning stage and nothing more was heard of it. While Smash TV has yet to see a fully-fledged sequel, it WAS followed by a semi-sequel in the form of 'Total Carnage'; a military-themed scrolling shoot-em-up which was housed in a cabinet very similar to that of Smash T.V.s and shared the same dual joystick controls. Upon completion of Total Carnage's incredibly difficult first level, a message screen appeared stating that "all Smash T.V. players should quit and flee from this machine" before Total Carnage's already high difficulty level increased further. A solid follow-up to an already challenging game.
On the 2005 video game "Grand Theft Auto - Liberty City Stories", there is a side-mission called 'Slash TV', which parodies this game, where the player's character is surrounded by enemies, and is awarded cash for eliminating waves of them. The camera angle changes from the game's traditional third-person to a slightly angled overhead view so it looks like the original.