Site Map

Play-Asia.com - Japanese Video Games, Accessories & News


Turbo Sub

Atari 1991

Atari Lynx


The Lynx is a somewhat powerful 16 bit system, but you wouldn't know that from looking at the games. Most of them tend to be bizarre side scrollers or near unplayable shooters. The occasional special effect pops up here and there but for the most part there isn't much on the Lynx we hadn't seen elsewhere.

Until this game that is. Turbo Sub is one of the few that shows off the capabilities of the system. The smooth scaling graphic effects are something that you could not see on other handhelds (or even consoles) of the time. The plot is- who cares about the plot? You're some kind of sub, and for some reason that doesn't matter you have to go out and blow stuff up. This is done in a first person shooter view that comes off very well.

You start out above the water (apparently your sub can also fly,) shooting flying alien bug things and stone heads, dodging the occasional jutting rock or so. You can also dive under the water. While this is going on you collect these spinning jewels that can be used to buy more advanced weapons in the shops inbetween the levels. The first half the the level is generally in the air, while the second half is below the water. You start out with eleven extra lives, although the game is easy enough that anyone with decent motor skills should be able to get through it by only using half of them.

While the game looks and plays great, the problem is there really isn't much to it. The levels are too long and there doesn't seem to be more than two types of enemy present at any given time. Plus there are no "walls" in the levels, i.e. you can press left, and continue to go "left" pretty much forever. As a result it's easy to get burnt out and bored with the game.

However these flaws are pretty modest. Although the graphics don't really impress today when it was released there were very few first person shooting games that moved as smoothly, even moreso on a handheld.

The Good stuff: Very smooth, flowing graphics with great scaling that doesn't slow down the system at all (Compare the game to the Genesis version of Space Harrier to see why this is such a big deal.)The action moves fast and stays fast throughout the entire game.

The Bad stuff: The levels are too long and the enemy types are too few. It can become boring rather quickly.

Graphics: Nice scaling effects, although as a result the sprites are even more blocky than Lynx owners are already used to.

Sound: Good shot and explosion sound effects, although the effect used when you get hit is like the same explosion effect from the old Atari computers. Must have run out of space or something.

Gameplay: Fast moving but not varied enough to keep interest. It becomes a chore to force yourself all the way to the end.

Back to Game Reviews