-->''"Big money! Big prizes! I love it!"''

[[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture In the far flung future of 1999]], violence is the biggest draw in entertainment. The [[GameShow game show]] has become the dominant force in television. The most spectacular, gruesome, and rewarding show, topping the ratings, is ''Smash T.V.''. Contestants are armed and sent into a closed arena, where they fight for cash, glory, and unforgettable prizes including (but not limited to) brand new toasters, more [[Franks2000InchTV 2600" televisions]] than you ever thought possible, and [[ConsolationPrize a year's supply of good meat]].

[[BadNewsInAGoodWay You are the next lucky contestant!]]

Yep, that's the plot in a nutshell. The game is basically a graphical update of designers Creator/EugeneJarvis' and Creator/LarryDeMar's earlier ''VideoGame/{{Robotron 2084}}'', while also borrowing heavily from ''Film/TheRunningMan'' (it can be considered a SpiritualSuccessor to both).

From ''Film/TheRunningMan'', it borrows the DeadlyGame and BloodSport aspects, and the quite phenomenal volumes of carnage. From ''Robotron'', it takes the {{Mooks}}, ShootEmUp styling, two-joystick control scheme, and - most memorably - the NintendoHard-ness. Co-op play makes life a bit easier, but not much.

Originally developed by Creator/WilliamsElectronics and released to arcades in 1990, it turned up on several home computer systems and consoles before making the jump to XBoxLiveArcade - the first version that allowed co-op online play.

!!Total Tropage!:
* ActionBomb: Mr. Shrapnel.
* AnnouncerChatter: The host pops up to spout one of his catchphrases every few levels.
* AttackDrone: It also copies whatever gun power up you're using, for twice the [[BuffySpeak gunnage]].
* AwesomeYetImpractical: The yellow mortar weapon that only appears during boss battles is ONLY meant for boss battles. It also provides free invincibility on pick-up. Trying to aim it at anything smaller than a boss will generally get you killed, as the shells fly high in the air and don't hit anything mid-arc. Despite this, in the arcade version, it can be carried into the next stage.
* BaldOfEvil: Mutoid Man.
* BloodSport
* BottomlessMagazines: Averted. Using the Attack Drone will actually drain your special weapons twice as fast, and the grenade launcher empties at a [[Film/{{Spaceballs}} ludicrous speed]]. At least [[MoreDakka new weapons tend to appear every 15 seconds]].
* BraggingRightsReward: The XBoxLiveArcade port has a notable achievement: "Game Master - Finish the game without continuing on the default settings." Yeesh.
** Unfortunately, this achievement was bugged when the port was originally released. So even if you DID accomplish that task, [[GameBreakingBug the achievement would not be recorded]].
* {{Catchphrase}}: The host's "Big money! Big prizes! I love it!", and "I'd buy that for a dollar!", the latter a ShoutOut to ''Franchise/RoboCop''.
** Which is in turn a ShoutOut to C. M. Kornbluth's story ''The Marching Morons'', which had the recurring catchphrase "Would you buy it for a quarter?".
* ColorCodedMultiplayer: Contestant 1 has light skin and wears a blue outfit; Contestant 2 has dark skin and wears a red outfit.
* DeadlyGame: And yet no matter how many times they are brutally murdered, the players don't seem any worse off for wear by the time they make it to the end of the course.
* DoubleTheDollars: All scoring is doubled whenever there are two players active.
* DualBoss: The cobras.
* EverythingTryingToKillYou: And ''how!''
* ExcusePlot: Seriously, did you read that stuff up there?
* EyeBeams: Mutoid Man. The M.C. Boss simply fires eyeballs at you.
* FilmAtEleven: ''Smash TV'' is a TV show, and lines of this type appear as the room's title as the players enter a room - including the actual "FILM AT 11".
* [[EveryTenThousandPoints 500,000 Points and Every 1,500,000 Thereafter]]: And ''damn'', will you need them! Notable in that scoring that much won't award an extra life immediately, it will instead change the next item spawn into a [[OneUp 1-up]], making it entirely possible to miss.
* FlipScreenScrolling
* GoofyPrintUnderwear: The M.C. Boss. Rather than exposing his ribcage (as with Mutoid Man previously), shooting his chest reveals a pink polka dot undershirt.
* HeyItsThatGuy: Aside from EugeneJarvis (the main designer of the game), ''Smash TV'' was programmed by Mark Turmell (''NBAJam, NFL Blitz''), and features character designs by John Tobias (''MortalKombat'').
* HomeGame: One of the prizes, probably a nod to the home game in ''Film/TheRunningMan''.
* ImmuneToBullets: Many bosses can only be defeated by special weapons. Your regular bullets just bounce off them!
* LosingYourHead: Mutoid Man's head gets blown off. Don't worry, [[TurnsRed he has a spare]].
** '''[[LampshadeHanging NO WAY!!!]]'''
* LudicrousGibs: Most enemies - and you - explode in a large pool of blood.
* MadeOfPlasticine: You explode into gibs if you step on a land mine, if you get run over by a tank, and if you get shot by certain types of enemy fire.
* TheManyDeathsOfYou: Clubbed to death, blown up, shot, electrocuted, run over...
* MercyInvincibility: A free forcefield power-up, see RammingAlwaysWorks below.
** Higher difficulty settings make this wear off almost immediately.
* {{Mooks}}: Most enemies, actually.
* MoreDakka
* MusclesAreMeaningless: Both contestants are shirtless muscle dudes, but since all the action is gunfire...
* NintendoHard
-->''"Good luck! You'll need it!"''
** The arcade version is literally impossible not to die in, mostly due to slow movement speed without the speed powerup (which has a short duration). The arcade Smash TV is probably designed this way intentionally to eat up quarters. Other ports are mostly difficult for being bad ports. Despite this, one of the developers claims he can finish it in [[NoDamageRun one coin]].
** That still doesn't manage to explain how evil this game is. Individual rooms in arenas 3 and 4 will run you over 10 minutes each, and later enemies will start to run much faster than you.
** Home versions of the game were a lot more popular; the game was no less hard, but seeing as you got unlimited continues and didn't need to waste quarters, it helped ''a lot''.
* NitroBoost
* OneHitPointWonder: You'd be surprised what you can squeeze past, though.
* OneUp: These randomly appear. At times, [[SuspiciousVideoGameGenerosity the game will appear to be rather generous with these free lives]].
* PaletteSwap: Some of the Mooks, and the final boss - [[spoiler: [[RecurringBoss The Host]]]] - is a head swap of the first.
* PowerUp: Standard shoot-em-up fare.
* RammingAlwaysWorks: The forcefield power-up (including the free one after you get killed) kills enemies other than bosses on contact, so you can charge into one group while shooting at another.
* SchmuckBait: ''EVERYWHERE.'' And what's worse, you ''have'' to go for it most of the time; without powerups, you quickly get chunked.
* ShootEmUp
* ShoutOut: ''Franchise/RoboCop'', the {{Atari2600}}, and several more.
** Scarface also looks suspiciously like ''{{Sinistar}}''.
** In ''MortalKombat: Deadly Alliance'', Johnny Cage is revealed to have been a contestant on a [[ShowWithinAShow celebrity edition of ''Smash TV'']].
* ShowsDamage: The bosses tend to fall apart over time- not surprising, given the number of bullets they absorb.
* SmartBomb: "''BINGO!''"
* SnakePeople: Loads of them abound in the third stage.
* SpamAttack: The grenade launcher.
* SpiritualSuccessor: To ''{{Robotron2084}}'' and ''Film/TheRunningMan'', as noted up top; also has its own Spiritual Successors, ''TotalCarnage'', ''The Grid'', and ''MondayNightCombat''. On a side note, ''Smash TV'' programmer Mark Turmell said in an interview that ''Robotron: 2084'' is one of his favorite games.
* {{Spreadshot}}
* TurnsRed: Somehow, ''completely skeletonizing'' Scarface makes him [[BulletHell even more dangerous]].
* TheWarSequence: The entire game is basically one huge long one.
* UndesirablePrize: Oddly subverted in the first studio, wherein the contestants seem to be more excited over winning ''toasters'' than any of the other prizes offered.