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31 Bonus Levels of Christmas
Smash TV: Pleasure Dome
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 16, 2010   |   Episode 22 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at 31 of the best-known bonus stages in all of video games. Each day we're going to look at a different level and review it, while also trying to figure out what makes it tick. Join us as we post a new episode of the 31 Bonus Levels of Christmas every day leading up to the biggest holiday of the year!
Smash TV: Pleasure Dome
[ Console: Arcade | Year: 1990 | Grade: B ]

Trust me, it looks better on the TV screen!
The Context: Smash TV paints a bleak future where television game shows have evolved past the likes of Jeopardy and The Amazing Race. Instead of answering trivia questions and racing across the world, contestants are expected to kill thousands upon thousands of robots, snakes, orbs and guys with chainsaws. They do this in hopes of winning BIG MONEY, BIG PRIZES, I LOVE IT!! Each contestant is expected to pick up as loot as possible, while also keeping an eye out for hidden keys. Collect enough keys and players will be treated to a very special bonus level towards the end of the game. TOTAL CARNAGE!!

The Rules: Players run around an empty arena collecting women to earn bonus points before tackling the final boss battle.

If you type "Pleasure Dome" into Google Images, you better be ready for some disturbing results!
That's right; the object here is to pick up as many prize girls as possible before time runs out and forces the player to battle the evil emcee. There are no hidden mines or bad guys to worry about; this is a race to pick up as many women as humanly possible. Players are ranked at the end and earn extra points for picking up the most women.

The Verdict: Unlike most of the stages we've covered in this holiday feature, Smash TV takes an awful lot of doing. This is one of those bonus levels that you will not earn every time, which can be frustrating if you're trying to get to it on a deadline. This stage is something of a guilty pleasure. I understand that there's no real skill involved, but

The Pleasure Dome returned in Total Carnage, forever linking these two classic arcade games!
I grin from ear to ear every time I pick up the hundreds of girl icons. The Pleasure Dome is definitely cool, but it's not worth the trouble of picking up the keys.

Completely Missing the Point: I know this is some future TV show and people's morals have changed, but doesn't it seem a bit sexist to give out the prize girls as, well, prizes? These are hard working women who are real go-getters. Just because they have a humiliating job where they are paid to look pretty and have large breasts, that doesn't mean the host can give them away as prizes. And what would any man want with hundreds of high maintenance prize girls? It's hard enough keeping a wife and two mistresses happy, what am I supposed to do with hundreds of new headaches.
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