Alien Crush reimagines the classic pinball gameplay with a twist. The game, released in 1988, has a science fiction theme inspired by the Alien film series. Developer Compile brought the game for the PC Engine, also known as TurboGrafx-16. This game is the first in the Crush Pinball series, which explores different themes in the pinball universe.
Alien Crush combines traditional pinball mechanics with fantastical elements, which includes challenging players to battle against extraterrestrial forces on a pinball table. Years after its initial release, the game also found its way to Wii’s Virtual Console and on the PlayStation Network. Let’s take a look at Alien Crush gameplay and cheats.
Alien Crush Premise
The story inserted into the seemingly simple pinball game simulates a confrontation with alien forces on a carefully constructed, detailed pinball table. This game is inspired by the Aliens franchise, although not a direct spin-off of the series, like the mobile game Aliens vs. Pinball. The game’s playfield is divided into two main screens with vertically stacked areas. Each of these features a pair of flippers, controlled by the player. Players navigate the ball through the screens, granting slight pauses as the ball transitions between them.
Unique to Alien Crush are the hidden and bonus rooms, where players can earn additional points by eliminating waves of alien adversaries. The game offers players a choice between fast or slow ball speeds and two different music tracks. There’s also a special unlockable, achieved when reaching the maximum score. This results in the destruction of the pinball table with a message congratulating the player.
Alien Crush Characters
As a pinball game, Alien Crush does not feature characters in the traditional sense but instead focuses on the alien-themed obstacles and targets present on the pinball table. The game’s main source of score is the targets, which give different amounts of points and even unlock some special rewards. Let’s take a look at some of the targets on the board.
- Eyeball: Grants 3000 points. However, it is hidden on the playfield. Hitting this eye mixes things up by moving the bumpers around and adds to your bonus points for the upper part of the table.
- Bumper: A classic pinball target that grants the player 200 points per hit. There are three bumpers that bounce the ball back at a high velocity. The aforementioned Eyeball can move these bumpers around with eight different configurations.
- Tentacloid Lock: If you see a green arrow here, let the tentacles catch the ball. In addition to 1000 points, you’ll be rewarded some of the bonus points at the top and then the game kicks back into action.
- Dead Bones Lock B: A 1000-point reward. This target acts differently depending on the arrow pointing to it. A green arrow will just send the ball back into the game while a yellow one grants access to a Bonus Stage.
- Scorpion Bumper: Keep hitting these bumpers, and rack up 500 points each time. After ten hits, a small alien pops up. Destroying this alien gives you bonus points.
- Deflector Eye: Another simple 500-point target. However, hitting it will also add 1000 points to the bonus pool.
- Upper Gate: Gives 1000 points per hit. The ball has to roll through one of four lanes here, changing nearby lights from off to on or vice versa. Lighting up these lamps has a chance to light up an arrow on the top screen.
- Brain Buster: Targeting the brain challenges players with precision aiming. Ten successful hits, each with 1000 points, and you’ll crack open the brain to reveal a fleeing alien. Hitting this alien rewards the player with a massive bonus of 500,000 points.
Games in the Series
The Crush Pinball series, beginning with Alien Crush, is celebrated for marrying traditional pinball mechanics with elaborate themes drawn from science fiction, fantasy, and more. This innovative approach continued after the initial title with several games, including Devil’s Crush with its dark, mystical aesthetics, and Jaki Crush, which explores Japanese demon mythology. The initial classic even made a return in the aptly named Wii game Alien Crush Returns.
While perhaps not the most popular pinball games of all time — after all, games like 3D Pinball Space Cadet were played by millions upon millions on Windows PCs — the game series had a definite impact on the larger pinball genre.
- Alien Crush (1988)
- Devil’s Crush (1990)
- Jaki Crush (1992)
- Dragon’s Revenge (1993)
- Alien Crush Returns (2008)
Alien Crush Cheats
Alien Crush doesn’t offer a comprehensive cheat code system, which isn’t very uncommon for pinball games. However, there’s one cheat code that allows access to bonus stages. In addition, we’ve included a few additional tips to access bonus balls, points, and more.
Play the Bonus Games
At the title screen, press Up, Up, Up, Right, Right, Right, Down, Down, Down, Down, Down, Down, Left, Left, Left, Left, Left, Left, Left, Left. After this, press I up to three times before starting the game to select the bonus game. One press is for the first bonus stage, two pressed for the second stage, and three for the third.
Get 1 Million Points and a Bonus Ball
For a massive boost in the score, first access the bonus stage with skulls and green aliens. This is done by hitting the open mount of the alien in the bottom half of the table as the arrow pointing to it is yellow. After entering the bonus stage, kill everything except one skull. Play until the pterodactyl appears and hit it with the ball. This unlocks 1 million points and a bonus ball as the stage is done.
View Score During Gameplay
Press select while pausing to view your score.
See The Ending
Achieve a score of 999,999,900 points to trigger the game’s ending sequence.
There’s an obstacle blocking a hole in the top screen. Once this is hit enough it breaks and the hole is accessible. Hitting this hole grants an extra ball.
Alien Crush Cheats FAQ
Can I choose the ball speed in Alien Crush?
Yes, players can select between fast and slow ball speeds before starting a new game, affecting the gameplay dynamics.
How do I access the bonus stages?
Bonus stages can be accessed by fulfilling specific conditions on the playfield, such as entering particular portals or hitting certain targets. There is also a cheat code, explained above, how to access them.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Screenshot for Alien Crush..