Alien Crush Returns is a WiiWare reimagining of the video pinball game Alien Crush developed and published by Hudson in 2008.
When an alien spacecraft is spotted in the solar system, the people of Earth send a team to investigate. They make contact with an enter the alien craft as it orbits one of Jupiter's moons only to be forced to fight for their lives.
Alien Crush Returns features five tables. The three primary tables can be played in the story, arcade, and versus modes. The remaining two are special boss tables which are only available in the story mode.
The story mode spans five missions, each one taking place on a different table. Missions one, two, and four are set on tables in which the objective is to destroy a specific group of aliens that populate the table. Missions three and five are fights against giant bosses that must be defeated by damaging them with the pinball. The bosses have special attacks that can slow the table flippers to reduce their power. They can also destroy the pinball outright by physically smashing it.
In arcade mode, the player selects one of the three primary tables to play on and aims to achieve a high score. High scores can be uploaded to an online leader board using the Nintendo Wifi Connection.
The online mode is a versus time attack in which players compete to beat the opponent's score. The mode can be played against regional opponents or worldwide.
This option allows players to view local high scores as well as the international and regional leader boards for Arcade and Versus.
At its core, Alien Crush Returns plays like many standard video pinball titles. The game is played using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, with the B and Z Buttons acting as the flipper buttons. A setting in the options menu allows the player to set the handedness of the controls, so lefthanded players may hold the Wii Remote in their left hand and control the lefthand flippers with the B Button. The table may also be bumped to adjust the path of the pinball by swinging the Wii remote, to the left, right, or forward, but doing so too often can result in the table entering Tilt mode.
A trio of special power-ups may be called into play by pressing the A Button. These power-ups are:
- Boost: Gives the ball a short speed-boost.
- Reverse: Allows the ball to reverse its path momentarily.
- Duplicate: Creates a clone of the pinball when activated.
The Reverse and Duplicate power-ups are not available from the start and must be unlocked by progressing through the story mode.