Devil’s Crush is an Underrated Gem That Still Shines Bright

devils_crush_coverartOriginally released on the TurboGrafx-16 in 1990, “Devil’s Crush” was quietly regarded as not only one of the best console pinball games during that time, but one of the best games on the system. Now nearly 20 years later, the game has been re-released on the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console.

Even though its star has dimmed over the past decade and change, old-school enthusiasts will still find it a charming entry into the Virtual Console catalog. Gamers unfamiliar with both the game and console pinball games in general will also find it an entertaining tribute to a genre long forgotten.

While the gameplay is simple, as the game consists of just one three-tier table, the game’s difficulty makes up for its lack of depth and gives it the versatility needed to be truly enjoyable. However, despite the game’s solid difficulty, it’s the core gameplay that will force gamers to come back for more.

You see, this isn’t your normal pinball game.

The table for instance, consist of living things, ranging from sorcerers, demon birds, soldiers and a beautiful queen that ends up turning into something quite different. Throughout the game, you’ll start to see things on the table change and that’s where most of the fun is had. Seeing the progression of the queen on the second tier is an experience no other pinball game has reproduced since and the game’s mini-bosses also add a luster and depth that sometimes make the game feel like something more than your average pinball experience.

As a matter of fact, after a few hours with it, you’ll be positive it isn’t.

However, it is far from perfect. For example, the game’s graphics and sound aren’t on the same level as some of the other games released on the TurboGrafx-16 at the time. While the game does have its own sense of style and the graphics definitely capture the essence of a demonic pinball table, they are still a bit dark and muddy. The game’s sound is also slightly mediocre as the same track plays during the game, with another track playing during the mini-boss stages. Nevertheless, the game’s sound doesn’t particularly take anything away from the solid overall package that is “Devil’s Crush.”

The game’s physics aren’t exactly perfect either, as the pinball sometimes has a mind of its own, but considering how old the title is, it’s to be expected. During the multi-ball parts of the game, gamers may get frustrated at times at how fast or slow the balls move. Nonetheless, you won’t have any problems big enough to take you away from the game.

With that being said, it’s hard not to appreciate such a solid game that despite its weaknesses is still fairly enjoyable and challenging.

Anyone looking for something different on the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console can do a lot worse than “Devil Crush.”

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 13058 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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