Rataliaka Games, Factor 5, and ININ Games have brought back a franchise from decades ago by re-releasing four classic Turrican titles into one sweet package on Nintendo Switch and PS4. For those unfamiliar with Turrican, it is a sci-fi action video game featuring gigantic boss battles, large levels, innovative platform shooter gameplay, and exceptionally catchy music.
Turrican I and II
There have been multiple Turrican titles released on various systems and Turrican Flashback on Nintendo Switch features four of these games: Turrican, Turrican II, Mega Turrican and Super Turrican. Turrican was originally released on the Commodore 64 by Rainbow Arts and was later ported to other systems, such as the Amiga.
Turrican’s key selling point was its out-of-the-ordinary level design, featuring levels that had a lot of verticality. Players were encouraged to explore the levels and could uncover plenty of secrets, such as hidden gems, 1-ups, and other power-ups. Turrican is the first game in the series and, as such, is quite dated by today’s gaming standards.
You will die… a lot! So be prepared to struggle quite a bit until you get the hang of the game’s mechanics. Younger gamers might also get frustrated at the game’s difficulty but this is a given across all four titles in the Turrican Flashback package.
Turrican II is a lot more colourful and features numerous changes to the original Turrican formula. The game has a lot of platforming elements incorporated into it and there are far more enemy types to destroy. It is also a tonne of fun to play.
Mega Turrican is the third title in Turrican Flashback and this title is rather linear with traditional side-scrolling platforming action. Mega Turrican released first as a port on the Amiga despite being originally developed for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. This was due to publisher issues at the time. This game introduced a plasma rope mechanic, which players could use to grapple onto platforms and suspend themselves from.
This title was also quite colourful and featured some gorgeous 2D graphics and effects that still hold up today. Mega Turrican is arguably one of the best Turrican games for newcomers to jump into since it’s far more accessible and rather “modern”, despite being almost 30 years old.
Super Turrican, the fourth and final game in the Turrican Flashback package is extremely similar to Mega Turrican. Super Turrican released on the SNES and featured less linear levels than its Sega Mega Drive/Genesis counterpart. As a far more classic Commodore 64/Amiga-styled Turrican, Super Turrican is great fun but there’s no rope mechanic here, unfortunately. You do get a freeze beam though but using this is not nearly as fun as using the rope in Mega Turrican.
The Turrican Flashback package is rather bare-bones overall. Each game has a story synopsis on the main menu, along with a brief description of the game and where it slots into the franchise’s history. These are four classic games repackaged for the modern audience and the developers have kept everything pristine with only quality-of-life improvements being added to them.
Two major quality-of-life improvements are the ability to save and load anywhere, and the fact that all four games now have a built-in rewind function. This rewind function significantly reduces the game’s difficulty since gamers can just rewind the game to before they take damage or lose a life.
Players can also customise the button layout and, should you wish to, enable each game’s original cheats from the menu. There’s also a CRT shader and a dynamic HUD option available should you want to change things up slightly based on your personal preference.
Overall, Turrican Flashback does what it sets out to do. It brings four Turrican games to the modern audience and does not mess around too much with the game’s formulae.
The quality of life improvements, such as the rewind function, make the challenging gameplay more enjoyable but it’s entirely up to you as the player if you want to use this feature. The soundtrack by Chris Huelsbeck is as great as ever and graphically, the 2D art and effects are beautifully crisp on the Nintendo Switch screen. If you’re a fan of retro-games, or if you’re into platformer shooters, Turrican Flashback is for you
Disclaimer: Turrican Flashback was reviewed on Nintendo Switch. Review code was provided by the publisher.
Turrican Flashback does what it sets out to do. It brings four Turrican games to the modern audience and does not mess around too much with the game’s formulae.
- Classic games that run perfectly