Total Carnage is an Arcade top-down dual-joystick shooter and is often seen as a spiritual successor to Midway's earlier Smash TV. It was developed by Mark Turmell who was also the lead designer for Smash TV. Other similarities between the two titles lies in the sound: Jon Hey composed the music and Ed Boon supplied some voice work for Total Carnage as they both did for Smash TV.
Total Carnage was released across many home consoles along with its original arcade release.
The year is 1999 and a new world war is brewing. The war is against a country ruled by the evil General Ackboob, and he has closed his country off from the rest of the world. Reporters discover that he is hiding a Baby Milk Factory, but as they dig deeper they find that this is not the truth. The factory is actually manufacturing an army of mutants that could help Ackboob take over the world. The United States sends in only two soldiers, named Captain Carnage and Major Mayhem, to stop Ackboob's evil plan. They are tasked in destroying hordes of mutant troops, rescuing hostages and defeating Genral Ackboob.
Total Carnage is a bloody shooter that plays from a overhead perspective. One to two players can enter a game, and the goal is to shoot all enemies on screen. Each character can face all directions on the screen, and their only ability is to shoot. Different weapons can be collected that will give the players extra power. Each level will have them shooting through small enemies, and they will eventually meet a boss. Each boss is a large mutant monster that has a specific weak point to defeat them. There is the occasional mini game which will have the player pressing a button rapidly. One of the mini games has them attempting the execute General Ackhboob in an electric chair.
Upon collecting the first key, a message appears that upon collecting 220 keys, it grants the player to reach the Pleasure Dome which contains a huge score bonus.