Home » INDUSTRY » Konami announces TurboGrafx-16 Mini console (With Announced Game Reviews)!

Konami is a Japanese entertainment and gaming conglomerate that operates as a product distributor, video game developer and a publishing company. Product distributor meaning they produce and distribute various gaming equipment like trading cards, anime, slot machines, and arcade cabinets. Lo and behold, they’ve announced the TurboGrafx-16 Mini!

Retro Consoles

Many of us have grown up playing games on consoles that are now heavily obsolete. NES, SNES, Sega Mega Drive, or even the first Xbox – they can be as obsolete as they want, but they will always hold a special place in our hearts. For me personally, many NES games are much more fun than they actually should be, all because I spent so much time as a kid playing them. This nostalgia factor and the fact that you grew up with certain games really make you remember and feel your childhood all over again… and makes for a great market nowadays.

Video game companies have noticed this and are taking some action. Not long ago, in 2016 Nintendo released a new version of their first ever, very famous gaming console – NES, called NES Classic Edition. Aesthetically, the console is a miniature replica of the original one, and it includes a static library of 30 built-in games from the licensed NES library. It supports save states for all of these games, allowing you to finally save your NES game progress. Emulators did this, of course, and this console is essentially an emulator, but having a separate dedicated console does feel different than playing on PC.

TurboGrafx-16 Mini

This brings us to Konami and their new TurboGrafx-16 Mini console. Konami was a big player in days of 8 and 16 bits of gaming. Completely unexpectedly, on E3 2019 Konami revealed this small plug-and-play HDMI system and let you know that you too could relive your gaming experience from youth.

The US and European editions will include six games with more to come. The six already included are:

  • New Adventure Island
  • Ys Book I & II
  • Dungeon Explorer
  • Ninja Spirit
  • R-Type
  • Alien Crush
TurboGrafx-16 Mini European Version

TurboGrafx-16 Mini European Version

Somewhat like the difference between the NES and FAMICOM in the old days, the Japanese version will have a different casing and different games.

Some of the games announced for the Japanese version are:

  • Super Star Soldier
  • PC Kid (Bonk’s Adventure)
  • Castlevania: Rondo of Blood
TurboGrafx-16 Mini Japanese Version

TurboGrafx-16 Mini Japanese Version

The Announced Games

New Adventure Island

New Adventure Island

New Adventure Island (or, in Japan called Master Takahashi’s New Adventure Island) is a side-scrolling platform game made by Hudson Soft. Originally, it was released for the PC Engine or TurboGrafx-16 in 1992 and re-released for the Virtual Console service in 2007 and the PSN in 2011.

This is the fourth game in Series of the Adventure Island franchise. When I was a child, I played the third one and was absolutely in love with it. It is actually safe to say that it was my favorite game for quite some time.

While Master Higgins (our protagonist) is getting married to his girl Tina, a kind of a shadowy figure called Baron Bronsky kidnaps Tina and some of the island’s kids. You control Higgins through six stages with four areas in each of them (with the fourth always being the boss) to rescue them.

You have a few different weapons to choose from – the standard ax, a boomerang, arrows, and fireballs. Also, be careful to not forget to eat fruits. If you do, you’ll die of hunger!

Ys Book I & II

ys 1 2

Ys I & II is an action role-playing game compilation for the TurboGrafx-CD released in 1989 by Hudson Soft and NEC. It is an enhanced remake of games released by Nihon Falcom in Japan previously. It was one of the first video games ever to use CD-ROM, which meant it could take advantage of better graphics, animated cutscenes, voice acting, and a soundtrack. This game’s English adaptation was also one of the first to use voice dubbing!

As this is an action role-playing game, the plot is huge. Exploring it takes time and provides a rich storytelling experience, which I will leave that for you to explore.

Dungeon Explorer

dungeon explorer

Dungeon Explorer is another action role-playing game released for the PC Engine or TurboGrafx-16 in 1989.

You can choose to be a fighter, thief, warlock, bishop, elf, bard or a gnome and carry on hacking and slashing your opponents. Your goal is to find the Ora stone for the king of Oddesia, which was hidden by the aforementioned king to keep it safe from an alien invasion. The stone can bring life, happiness, and light and kill Natas, the alien King Satan.

The game has an included multiplayer with multitap. You progress through dungeons and fight bosses such as Bullbeast or Grimrose to finally get the hold of the Ora Stone. When you achieve that and give it to your king, he uncovers himself as Natas and steals it. Players then chase him down, confront him and kill him, bringing peace to the world.

Ninja Spirit

Ninja Spirit

Ninja Spirit, otherwise known in Japan as Saigo no Nindou, is a platform arcade game developed and published by Irem in 1988.

This game’s hero is named Tsukikage who’s a young ninja on a quest to avenge his father, killed by a mysterious half-man half-beast creature. It’s based in an alternate feudal Japan. Armed with a katana called Righteous Cloud, you can attack in any direction through the seven different stages this game offers. Woodlands, wastelands, temples or cliffs, you need to slash your way to the end of each one where you will encounter a boss. Aside from the katana, you have access to several other extra weapons and power-up items that help you progress further.


R Type

R-Type is a horizontal-scrolling shooter arcade game also developed and released by Irem in 1987. It is the first game ever to run on Irem’s 16-bit M72 arcade system.

You control a starship called the R-9 “Arrowhead” in an effort to destroy the Bydo, an alien race that wants to destroy all of mankind. Just like most old games, this one is comprised of sequential levels with a boss fight at the end. You are supposed to navigate through terrain and fight enemies using various weapons.

By default, you get a weak but rapid firing main cannon and a stronger secondary wave cannon, that you have to charge by holding the fire button. Also, during the game, you can obtain a device called the Force. The Force’s primary function is that it serves as two different additional weapons – one only usable while it is attached to the ship, another only when it is detached. When detached, you can’t use one of the three powerful weapons it gives you but can use the second set of guns it has and shoot them while the force is at the distance from your spacecraft. It also doubles as a shield and is completely indestructible, dealing damage to enemies on contact and absorbing damage.

This game was greatly praised when it came out for its graphics and addictive gameplay. It was actually cited as one of the best shoot-em-up video games, as well as one of the greatest video games of all time. Be sure to give it a go if you plan on getting a TurboGrafx-16 Mini!

Alien Crush

Alien Crush TurboGrafx-16 Mini

Alien Crush is a pinball game developed by Compile for the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 and released in 1988. Later, it was re-released for the PSN and the Virtual Console.

The game features a science fiction theme that reminds of that from the movie Alien, and you are fighting against the aliens with your pinball skills. It consists of two screens arranged vertically, with flippers on the bottom. You can also get to some hidden bonus rooms that usually involve destroying all the aliens for bonus points.

Konami has taken us all by surprise when they announced this console. But, if we didn’t expect it, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad or useless. You can truly play some timeless classics on this system, and knowing that I’d be really glad to give it a shot!


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