Developer: Remedy Entertainment
Version Reviewed: 3.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
These days, Remedy Entertainment is best known for critical darlings like Alan Wake and the Max Payne series. However, in 1996 they put out an over-the-top car combat game called Death Rally. The original PC game has now come to the App Store with all of the guns, gas and garages intact.
After being imprisoned during a surprisingly effective cutscene/tutorial, players are soon thrown into Mad Max-style combat races. In Death Rally, winners aren’t just who’s the fastest but who’s the deadliest too. It’s one thing to come in first place by boosting past the competition. However, it’s arguably more satisfying to just blast everyone to dust. Luckily, both play styles are pulled off well. By collecting the various parts strewn throughout each map players can upgrade their speed and durability while building new weapons like shotguns and flamethrowers. Of course players can just pay for these bonuses too but where’s the fun in that? Using the virtual thumb sticks to move and aim gives the game a dual-stick shooter feel and while actions may come off as a little slow, they are smooth and deliberate.
Death Rally also makes sure to keep its carnage nice and fresh. There plenty of different mission types like standard races, head-to-head races, king of the hill shootouts, and even boss fights against gaming legends like Duke Nukem and Polygon News Editor Brian Crecente. That same variety also applies to its detailed, 3D visual style. While everything falls under the post-apocalyptic theme players will get to race through canyons, warehouses, and abandoned city streets. At times the visual quality even rivals contemporary graphical powerhouses like Borderlands Legends. As for the music, just remember that this game is from the 90s.
A game like Death Rally can’t help but be a little mindless. After all, it’s about cars blowing each other up. Just know that it’s dumb fun with emphasis on the fun.