The PC-Engine console, a collaboration between Hudson Soft and NEC, was released late 1987 in Japan and mid 1989 in North America. NEC changed the name in the US to the TurboGrafx-16. The US unit also had a facelift, it was bulkier (and uglier) compared to its smaller, sleeker Japanese counterpart.
If you were one of the lucky ones to have this cult retro console, or one of its variants, here are 5 must have games you need to add to your collection:
Gomola Speed: Play as a segmented caterpillar-like creature that has to encircle food in order to exit each level. As you work your way around each area, you pick up new body segments which makes you longer, and have the ability drop bombs that attract the enemy bugs which are then stunned. This is a superb title that mixes strategy with puzzle elements to great effect.
Splatterhouse: Parapsychology students, Rick and Jennifer, set out to investigate paranormal activity at West Mansion. This arcade conversion remains faithful to the gloriously gory coin-op. The American version was sadly censored upon release. The Japanese version is the one to get.
R-Type: Irem’s legendary side scrolling shoot’em up is regarded as one of the PC-Engine’s most accomplished arcade conversions. This was the PC-Engine’s ‘killer app’. The premise was simple, pilot your R-9 fighter to wipe out the evil Bydo Empire. R-Type was split into two HuCards – so if you want the complete game, you will have to buy both.
Gekisha Boy / Photo Boy: This is the most original and innovative game on the PC-Engine. Photo boy is a budding paparazzo tasked to earn points by taking photographs of newsworthy happenings throughout several different environments. Using the on-screen crosshair, you must take snaps of various objects and events while avoiding obstacles. Think of Paperboy with a camera and you have Photo Boy.
PC Genjin / PC Kid / Bonk’s Adventure: Nintendo had Mario, Sega had Sonic. Although not as famous as these two, NEC had PC Genjin, or as he was known in different regions, PC Kid or Bonk. You play a cave boy going through prehistoric lands head-butting dinosaurs.
Some notable games that just missed out (and I do mean, just!) on making this list: Parasol Stars, Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, Bomberman’94 and Devil Crash.
If you have never played on the PC-Engine, do yourself a favour and hunt one down – or find someone that does, and give these games a whirl. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED !