Garbage Before Beauty: Trash TV Demo

Alternative title: reality TV

Hello! Did you miss me? Did you even notice that I was gone? I’ve been holidaying for the last week, leaving more resolute men to sift through the upheavals and upheavings of E3, but I’m back now.

To the surprise of not a single soul, I choose to return by gesticulating in the direction of a stylised indie game. Trash TV appears to be a platform game at first but is really more of a puzzler, although a puzzler in which the solution to everything is GUNS. There’s loads of GUNS and they enable the television that you are inexplicably controlling to escape from the garbage-haunted recycling plant that is an abattoir for such trash and detritus. The demo’s on Steam, the soundtrack is superb. Trailer below.

Apparently it’s a co-op game, although I was most definitely blowing things up and progressing all on my own. The demo is rather miniscule but it should allow you to work out if the visual glitching makes you want to dig into the game’s code and correct all the effects, saving your scorched retinas (retinae?), or if, like me, you simply sit back and coo with delight every time an explosion tears at the screen.

You can be even more like me by enjoying the overabundance of effects here while complaining about Max Payne 3 doing something similar, and then you can act surprised and confused when people shout words like ‘hipstocritical oaf’ at you when you walk down the street.

Although the demo is on Steam, the full release won’t necessarily make it to the service and creator Lawrence Russell hasn’t fixed on a release date yet. The demo’s appearance on Steam is, according to, thanks to it “being a finalist in Intel’s Level Up 2011 contest”. You can find demos for the other finalists here.


  1. Flukie says:

    I was expecting big money, big prizes and to love it.

    • Martel says:

      Hah, same here

    • MordeaniisChaos says:

      Sad to see otherwise :(

    • Bhazor says:

      Still the best coin-op of all time.
      “I love it!!!”

      • Dominic White says:

        Going back and trying to play it seriously now.. it doesn’t hold up too great – it actually cheats. It’s literally (no joke) impossible to win on one credit, because it silently bumps up the difficulty level as you play to the point where it just instantly kills you when you walk into a room. It only lowers the difficulty if you feed it more coins.

        Midway did that a lot. It’s the kind of thing that killed arcades outside of Japan. Even the most brutal of bullet hell shmups is still beatable with just one life. Those things are playtested to death, but Smash TV is unwinnable.

  2. Belsameth says:

    I’m rather enjoying Imagine Earth from that same compo.

  3. Ultra Superior says:

    I missed you Adam. You’re the best RPS writer.

  4. Drayk says:

    I sense a stealth Bastard Vibe in this !

    • Milos says:

      Funny you should say that, I also immediately thought Stealth Bastard although I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I don’t play many different platform games.

  5. Heliocentric says:

    So… Super Meat Boy’s “this is exactly what you must do” paired up with Stealth Bastards “surprise, that was a trap”.

    Fuck no… I’ll go download the demo… Curse you free trials!

  6. Vexing Vision says:

    Your definition of “excellent soundtrack” failed to convince me.

    Also the TV-effects make my head hurt. :(

  7. Mayjori says:

    why no release on steam?

    • Premium User Badge

      Adam Smith says:

      There MAY be a release on Steam but the demo being there isn’t guarantee of that. One of the competition prizes was to have the demo hosted – the full game will have to go through normal submission procedures though.

    • Bishop says:

      It’s also a fair way off being finished.50 of 100 puzzles made if I remember correctly.

  8. pakoito says:

    Trash TV was cool and well done. The other demos wouldn’t even work on my netbook, except White Laboratory (soulless tower defence) and BeatBuddy (eternal loading times).

    For a contest aimed at Intel graphic cards, it is a huge fail.

    • KungFuMassa says:

      Regarding the Intel graphics cards and performance — the minimum spec for the games this year was the HD Graphics 3000 spec — not something that would be in netbooks, I believe, but please don’t quote me on that. This year had more of a desktop/Ultrabook target.

      I’m one of the guys who helped market Level Up this year.

      • pakoito says:

        4500MHD. XNA 4.0 doesn’t work with most intel cards, it’s even in the specifications. Give those guys a negative from me.

  9. El_Emmental says:

    For some reasons, I don’t find myself enjoying difficulty in platformers (all the timing-perfectly-you-moves, learning hazards patterns, etc), having to get the “perfect” run to just continue. I completed enough platformers to know that feeling, and even when the platformer have some original tidbits, it’s always the same main thing.

    It’s like when you just completed “Trials 2: Second Edition”, you aren’t motivated to dive into that kind of game for the next 3 months.

    I just wish these games had a “relaxed” mode, with some power-ups/tricks allowing you to make mistakes but still carry on nonetheless (Braid’s take on this issue was rather nice: you could always rewind, and each puzzle was rather short).

  10. oceanview says:

    Yes please. Love these games. And brilliant soundtrack indeed.

  11. Muzman says:

    Wow, a retro 2d platformer I actually like the look of. How the hell?
    The music is cool, the lighting is cool, the effects are cool. It’s not 8bit-alike w. chiptune bullshit!
    Just get some normal sound effects and lose the inflato blocky font. You’re doing so well guys.

  12. Phasma Felis says:

    “Hipstocritical” is my new favorite word.