a game by AlfaSystem
Platform: PC Engine
Editor Rating: 6/10, based on 1 review, 2 reviews are shown
User Rating: 6.0/10 - 1 vote
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See also: Shoot-Them-Up

Early in the 33rd century, an enormous, living spaceship called the Sin-istron entered our solar system and promptly devoured Pluto. Now it's hungry for the rest of our planets, and it's your job to put the Sinistron on a strict diet.

This isn't going to be easy. The only way to stop the Sinistron is to pilot a spacefighter into its huge body, battle your way past its internal defenses, and destroy its evil brain. To make things worse, the other spacefighters in your squadron were lost in an ion storm. You are the only one who can keep Earth from becoming a snack.

Sinistron is an easy game to categorize - it's a side-scrolling shooter in the same style as Psychosis and Aero Blasters. Like most modern shooters, Sinistron fills the screen with torrents of bombs, missiles, enemies, and other hazards. Though not totally devoid of strategy, it's definitely a game for the quick of thumb.

The strategy mostly has to do with the weapons you pick up and how you use them. When the game begins (or when your ship is destroyed and you have to start from scratch), your spacefighter is armed with a basic forward-firing gun and a hypersonic blaster. Both weapons are controlled by button II, and that's a problem. To effectively use the gun, you must switch on turbo-fire. But to use the hypersonic blaster, you must switch off turbo-fire, hold down button II for a few seconds to energize the blaster, and then release the button. The blaster destroys everything within a small area around your ship, but leaves you dangerously vulnerable while it's recharging. Tip: Forget the blaster.

Your ship also has an armored nose that's impervious to virtually anything. After collecting power-ups, you can press button I to open the armored nose like a bird's beak. This lets you fire a wider spread of shots, but leaves your cockpit exposed to hits.

Power-ups are scattered throughout the game, including such goodies as extra speed, more powerful weapons, and satellites which protect your flanks. The game has six stages, though stage 1 is a short cakewalk.

There's nothing new in Sinistron, but it's a demanding shooter with colorful graphics. And, thanks to unlimited continues, it successfully walks the fine line between challenge and frustration.

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PC Engine

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Don't you just hate it when you're the only one left to ward off some world-eating, monolithic machine? If so, you're certainly not going to like the odds in Sinistron, a shoot-em-up for the Turbo-Grafx-16 from IGS. On the other hand, long odds may be just the challenge you're looking for!

Main Course - Earth

Sinistron is a biomorphic ship whose greedy goal is to swallow the Earth. You're the only one who has what it takes to carve up this terrible attacker before it digests you and the planet. The Sinistron itself is divided into six sections, each representing one stage in the game. Although the first few stages aren't too difficult, the final ones are nearly impossible!

Stage 1, the Mechanical Stage, is similar to most early levels in shoot-em-ups - it offers the player a taste of what's to come. It's a great place to stock up on power-ups, especially Speed Modules.

In Stages 2 and 3, the Gas Tunnel and Biological stages, you'll find the action gets tougher. In fact, even the background comes alive and attacks you!

In the last three stages - the Deep Space Stage, the Liquid Organs Stage, and the Cerebral Cortex Stage - more and more creatures bent on your destruction appear. You'll see everything from shooting asteroids to guided attack droids!

A Feast Ior the Eyes

Each level has its own background, complete with smooth scrolling and pulsating energy tubes. And check out those gorgeous graphics! IGS included a generous amount of detail, especially on the second level where an electrical storm rages behind you in the background and the mountains are so life-like you'll feel like climbing them.

Jaws - The Shield

Since this battle takes place in the 33rd century, your ship has certain abilities no other ship has ever had. Technology is great, isn't it?

One of those special abilities is a unique shield, the Ramming Shield, which consists of two parts that make it look like a bird beak. This shield nullifies small enemy shots on contact and regulates your firepower. How does it work? Using Button I, you can put the shield in one of three possible positions - closed, half open, and fully open. Depending on how powered-up the main weapon is, you can access one or all of these positions. When the shield's closed, the weapon fires in a small arc. When it's fully open, the main weapon spreads out its shots in a much wider arc.

Color-Coded Firepower

As far as weapons go, Sinistron offers three options that are just enough to do the job. Weapons and equipment power-ups are available from small Recon Pods that release their cargo when you destroy them. Each weapon is color-coded, so you'll be able to quickly tell what you're picking up.

Orange capsules contain the Vulcan Flame Cannon, basically an all purpose gun. When fully powered it blasts a very effective spread shot. Purple capsules hold the Crystal Pulse Laser. This laser is the most penetrating of all weapons, but its beam is. very thin. When the Laser is powered-up the beam gets wider, but its strength is reduced. Finally, the blue capsules are heat-seeking Chaos Missiles. These missiles are weak, but they have the advantage of being able to hit things behind you.

Extra Protection

In addition to the standard offensive weapons, your ship plays solid defense. You can pick up one or two cometshaped plasma droids from the Recon Pods. They act as indestructible lines of defense by hovering above and below your ship. Use them to your advantage.

Speed Modules are also available from Recon Pods, and they greatly increase your ship's maneuverability. This can mean the difference between life and death in the later levels.

Your ship has one other defensive capability, but you'll probably only want to use it as a last resort. It's called the Hypersonic blast Unfortunately, it's almost useless because it does so little damage.

Parting Shot

Sinistron is an excellent shoot-em-up, but it isn't perfect. First of all, the music is rather bland, and it sounds basically the same for every level. Second, the game's pace is a bit slow. It's like you're driving on a highway at 5 mph. Everything comes towards you at normal speed but it takes forever just to reach the next mile marker. Finally, the last stage is so difficult that only the most fanatic Turbo-players will be able to beat it!

All in all this is a graphically intense shoot-em-up that's a thumb-numbing challenge, but maybe you'll be too much for Sinistron to swallow!


  • Use the Chaos Missiles in the Cerebral Cortex stage (Stage 6) to protect yourself from enemy heat-seeking missiles.
  • Different shield positions are useful for different areas. Learn where and how to use your shields!
  • The end boss of the first stage, a small ship, has four main sections you can destroy. To end the battle quickly, however, just aim for the two frontmost sections. They're the heart of the ship.
  • In the Biological Stage (Stage 3) shoot each mushroom god that hangs from the ceiling. When they drop to the ground, they'll cover up invisible holes that release small flying insects.
  • The end boss of the Biological Stage (Stage 3) is a bit tricky. The best strategy is to rush the top head and destroy it quickly. Then concentrate your lire on the lower head as you dodge the remaining fire-snake.
  • Find a sate path and follow it every time in the Liquid Organs Stage (Stage 5). Certain areas of the maze lead to deadly endings!

Snapshots and Media

PC Engine Screenshots

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