When you add a console to your collection, the first thing you want to do is get a handful of games to keep you busy with your new toy. However, most of us can’t spend afford to spend fat pile of cash for a few games. This budget-friendly list should help you quickly find which games will start you off well without emptying your wallet. (Prices listed are an average eBay price for US games, including shipping.)
Bonk’s Adventure: $8
Overall, the Bonk series is fun, light hearted, and has timeless game play. Throughout Bonk’s platform games you’ll be smacking baddies with your noggin and dive-bombing your enemies, head first. Bonk’s movement is a bit slippery, but once you adjust the game is quite fun. In addition to dive-bombing and head-butting, you can chew your way up cliffs with your teeth, swim up waterfalls, and spin around in the air to float (indeed, float) slowly down to earth by starting a dive-bomb, pulling back out, starting it again, ad infinitum. This defining TG16 game is one of the more common titles and can be found easily for an afforable price.
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Legendary Axe: $8
Legendary Axe is a side-scroller that features what looks like a dirty, ragged caveman with hand axe seeking to rescue his girlfriend. The action is a bit on the slow side but can be very challenging. Thankfully, the control is spot on. Legendary Axe was one of the earliest TurboGrafx-16 games, but was relatively impressive for the time. The graphics haven’t aged well, but they certainly do the job. As The Legendary Axe was one of the more common and better selling Turbo games, it can still be found at a variety of vintage gaming outlets. Expect to pay between $5 and $15 for a copy of reasonable quality.
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Legendary Axe II: $10
The adventures continued in the aptly named sequel “The Legendary Axe 2”. The game was met with great enthusiasm both critically and from the gaming community, but didn’t quite achieve the same level of respect as the original. However, The Legendary Axe remains to be one of the crown jewels of the Turbo consoles, serving as a perfect example of the 8/16-bit hack n’ slash genre and just the sort of quality gaming experience the Turbo was capable of.
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Alien Crush: $9
Pinball was never as surreal as this. Alien Crush featured a creepy theme and set the standard for video pinball games. These classics have been inspirations for newer pinball games such as Pinball of the Dead and Odama while maintaining their status as solid games in their own right ever after a decade has passed. The title still hold up quite well by today’s standards and is a respectible value on the TG16.
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Yes, Sega and Hudson both had their Zelda clones for the 8-bit era. While Neutopia is one of the most shameless Legend of Zelda clones ever created, from the birds-eye perspective, to the basic item-based gameplay, to the overall structure of overworld and underground labyrinth exploration, it also happens to be one of the best of the genre.
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Dungeon Explorer: $10
Dungeon Explorer builds on the concept provided by the arcade classic, Gauntlet, and actually improves on the depth of the gameplay by adding RPG elements and multiple locations to explore. If you’re a fan of Gauntlet then you’ll get plenty of enjoyment out of this, even more so if you’ve got a few like-minded friends.
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A Few Must-Haves Slightly Over $10
Ninja Spirit: $13
This platformer and ninja-love fest gives Shinobi a run for its money. The TG-16 keeps the graphics looking pretty close to the arcade original. In fact, even the music was a good port job. Back in the day, it amazed the gaming world with its precision graphics and quality game play. Ninja Spirit demonstrated that the TG-16 was capable of solid arcade ports, and they picked a great game to prove the point. Ninja fans around the world rejoiced, for the ninja action was good.
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This classic shmup title received an excellent arcade port on the TG16 and serves as a well-rounded shooting adventure that features two types of weapons and several powerups. Raiden in one of the most affordable foundations for the TG16/PC Engine’s strong shmup library.
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Turrican is a classic run-and-gun that is inspired by the level design and morph ball functionality of Metroid and the overall graphics design and weapons of the classic arcade title, Psycho-Nics Oscar. Unlike many other action games of its time, Turrican didn’t just force the player to complete a linear level, the real thrill for the player was to fully explore it and uncover every secret spot, hidden room and invisible passage.
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Bonk’s Revenge: $17
Unlike its predecessor, Bonk’s Revenge won’t allow players to rip right through levels with ease. There are a great number of enemies, as well as more intricately designed layouts that force the player to backtrack. Because of the greater number of foes, the designers have implemented stronger powerups and frequent opportunities to recuperate health. If you haven’t played Bonk’s Adventure, but are looking for a fun platformer with a twist, the game is well worth the investment if you have a TG16.
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Starter Picks For $50 Budget (TG-16 Only)
- Alien Crush: $9
- Bonk’s Adventure: $8
- Dungeon Explorer: $10
- Legendary Axe II: $10
- Neutopia: $9
- Total: $46
Starter Picks For $50 Budget (TG-CD w/ Super System 3.0 card)
- Gate of Thunder 4-in-1 SCD (Gates of Thunder, Bonk’s Adventure, Bonk’s Revenge, and hidden Bomberman) – $40
- Dungeon Explorer – $10 or Neutopia ($9)
- Total: $50
Note: Gate of Thunder is only available in the US as a combo CD. There was not a standard US release of Gate of Thunder.