16t (And the Sega Meganet)

When you see a title like this, you’re mindset is going to be clueless. I just found a ROM of this game out of the blue, played it, made no sense to me, researched it and figured out why a small number of people have ever heard of it. Here is a footnote of a game and all because of what you were supposed to play it on. 16t (16 ton), developed by Chow-Chow-Wow-Wow Ltd. and published by Sega and was released in 1991. The game was released for the Sega Mega Drive exclusively in Japan, but this didn’t come in a cartridge, it was a downloadable game…in the 90’s?

Introducing the Sega Game Toshokan (セガゲーム図書館), meaning Sega Game Library, released on November of 1990. This was an online service where you can download games from a subscription service. You got a cartridge and a mega modem, which you connected via phone line. So basically it was online gaming before it was truly a thing and showed how innovative Sega could be. The service had 6 launch titles when it was started and more came after. The games were usually relatively small because of the limited connections at the time. There were a number of games that were released and a few did come to the west.

Unfortunately, because of the lack of titles released, the fact that the service was far too expensive, the fact that no one wanted to risk developing for it and the fact that the Mega Drive didn’t do very well in Japan at all, it was a complete failure commercially and could eventually be found for cheap at bargain stores. By that point, the service was dead, it was eventually discontinued and the service’s plug was pulled. In Brazil, they got their own version in 1995, it focused on e-mail services and eventually was able to do online multiplayer with chat features. You know what, props to Sega for doing something unique even if it didn’t work out the way it did, think about it, this was one of the earliest examples of online console gaming and we probably need to thank Sega for something we kind of nowadays take for granted, it was truly innovative and unique at the time and it’s now a common place in the world of gaming.

So the game I’m playing was one of those games from the service and it remained like that ever since…until someone uploaded a ROM since it’s the only way to play it considering that you can’t get it via physical cart or even the service itself since it’s been discontinued.

Before I tell you the story, I’m going to talk about the game itself. You play as some doped-up looking guy in a onesie, you get launched to platforms, a slot like bar lights up and where it lands, a series of enemies will drop down, to kill them, you can throw 16 ton weights at enemies, crushing them into a bloody pile. You can place these tons for many different reasons. After killing the first set of enemies, the next batch will drop down, after finishing all the batches, you complete the level and you’re off to the next one. Enemies include a zombie, a mummy and from what I assume a cyber woman (Torchwood much).

The gameplay is very simple, though it can get arduous later in the game, depending on how the levels are made. The controls are floaty but fits the game well. It can sometimes slowdown when there are loads of sprites around. The level design is weak and just very messy and there’s only one piece of music and that’s in the opening screen.

So, what kind of story could this game have? Well you’re a computer programmer who goes into the computer to debug it from the virus monsters that lurk in his system, he debugs them by throwing 16 ton weights at them.

Funny considering that you could make up any story for it and it wouldn’t make any difference because this is one of those games where it ha so little depth and point to it that being a footnote is what it deserves, so why am I reviewing it in the first place? Well it’s more to do with the hardware and service it came from. If you wanted to collect it then it would have to be a collectible since it’s pretty much unusable. It’s funny though that the hardware/service is way more interesting than one game that you could get from that very service.

Overall, 16t is a game that is pointless as all those mobile games out there, it’s cool for a good few minutes before dropping it faster than a bass. Do you want to know the ending? I did complete it and what happens? The programmer finishes the job, but gets crushed by a 16 ton weight, effectively dying in a computer. MY GOODNESS, EVEN THE ENDING IS MUCH MORE INTERESTING THAN THE GAME ITSELF.

Apparently it was released on a compilation but I can’t find much more information about it, so just get a ROM for it.



2 thoughts on “16t (And the Sega Meganet)

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