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Review: Turrican Flashback

Publisher: ININ Games

Developer: Ratalaika Games, Factor 5

Release: Jan 29, 2021

Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch

Also available on: PlayStation 4

Price: $29.99

I’d never heard of Turrican before It was assigned to me to review, and I consciously made an effort to not look up anything about it before playing. My honest opinion of this series unbiased by any other review online is that Turrican Flashback is a steal for the quality of games you're getting. Whether you’re a fan of the series or new to it like me, Turrican packs expansive levels, challenging enemies, and epic bosses that make for a captivating game that I wish I had the chance to play as a kid.

Turrican is a sci-fi action video game first released in 1990 on the Commodore 64. Since the original release, numerous Turrican titles have been released on other systems. Turrican flashback contains four games:

  • Turrican

  • Turrican II: The Final Fight

  • Mega Turrican

  • Super Turrican

Each game is a port of the original Commodore 64, Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, or Super Nintendo game, each of which represents an iteration in the game's development. Several new features have been added to enhance the experience. Save states allow you to pick up where you left off, several graphics options are available to customize the visuals and backgrounds, and rewind allows you to rewind the action at any time. The enemies are relentless and aggressive, so for someone new to Turrican like me, rewind has been my best friend and has allowed me to quickly get into the series without endlessly dying.

I expected a game of this era to be a linear platformer, but my favorite feature of Turrican is the open map exploration. You’re free to explore the map and uncover the secrets that are hidden and heavily guarded. Luckily you are armed to the teeth with a rifle, a power line to wipe out surrounding enemies, grenades, and mines. Each turrican game introduces new abilities, like a grappling hook which adds a new element to the level design and enhances navigation in later games. In addition, Turrican is also packed with power-ups to collect to enhance your weapons and health.

In my short time of reviewing games, I haven’t come across a better soundtrack than Turrican Flashbacks and I’m shocked that it’s on a game from 30 years ago. Composed by Chris Huelsbeck, the upbeat music is a perfect accompaniment,conveying a sense of adventure to the run and gun combat. Fun fact: I’ve written this entire review to the opening title screen soundtrack of Turrican II.

Final Grade: A

I now know and agree that Turrican is a classic, and for good reason. I’ve enjoyed playing each of the games and reading more about the history of the Turrican Series. If you’ve never played a Turrican game before, this is definitely worth picking up. It’s great to see a game 30 years ago hold its own amongst modern day run and guns.


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