Rampage - A monster smashing ZX Spectrum review by Florinthedwarf



They some ugly looking creatures. Look pretty angry too - something I said? In an age where eating people is generally frowned upon, it's good that games exist where you're rewarded for it. No, this isn't the game conversion of the film 'Alive', it's Rampage of course! If the idea of smashing some buildings, eating a helicopter or two and destroying police cars sounds appealing then this could well be the game for you. I say 'if' but how could these things not be appealing? What's wrong with you, man?

Hey! What are you looking at? You're the oversized monkey claiming a magenta building, not me!
Rampage features three monsters - Lizzie, Ralph and George who were all once human but have have mutated into various monsters after being bitten by a radioactive lizard, Werewolf and gorilla respectively. I think. Why this hasn't given them super powers like their radioactive arachnid counterpart, I don't know. Well, of course they haven't been bitten by various radioactive beasts (that would be ludicrous) - it's (obviously) because they're all victims of experiments gone wrong, and what better way to seek revenge than to go on the rampage (aah, I see) and destroy as many towns as possible? There is no better way, otherwise they would have done it, I'm sure.

I'm no building expert, but I think that may be beyond repair.
Each of the lovely creatures only want to destroy everything but for some reason the authorities are not keen on this notion, so have decided to throw everthing at them. From helicopters to tanks to SWAT teams, they are hell bent on bringing these creatures down and are to be avoided (or eaten, if they're unlucky enough) as you take control of your chosen beastie to unleash destruction on the buildings found on each level. Take down all the buildings and you move on to the next city. Not easy given the heavily equipped enemies as previously mentioned; and on top of that, as you smash your way into each building there are things that you need to avoid. See a helpless scared human and it's dinner time, but should you happen to stumble across something a little less tasty like a packet of cigarettes, toaster or a bomb for example, then expect to lose a little bit of energy. You may think that spotting things not to eat may be easy but, when you're in a fit of rage smashing everything in your sight, it's very easy to end up grabbing and chomping on something you shouldn't. Bad times, indeed.

Another thing to avoid (yes more things) are photographers who, should you not be quick enough to eat them, will flash you with your camera which dazzle your creature and in turn send you crashing to the gound. Ouch. Should you lose all of your energy, your creature returns back to their naked (ooh!) human form and run off into the distance. Rumour has it, that when the monsters do change back, they can be eaten by the other monsters should you be quick enough to catch them, though personally not having the quickest of reactions, have not been lucky enough to pull it off. Damn. Must keep trying.

Sausage scam? I thought those hotdogs I bought from that dodgy looking guy in the pub tasted funny.
The niceties of this game start off with the fact that there's the ability to have three human players playing simultaneously. In the lack of enough humans, or enough space on your keyboard, your Spectrum will gladly fill the hole. Or two. Also, as you can see above, there's a little added humour before each level with newspaper headlines greeting you before you start; mostly talk of dodgy sausages but always a little mention of the current monster situation.

On top of that, Rampage is a good looking game, with some nice animations. Should you not move your character for a while, they wlll turn and look at the camera when bored, which I've always found fun, and the equally humourous 'hands across the eyes' look of despair, Wile E. Coyote style, as they find themselves on a crumbling building; and being too late to do anything about it, find themselves tumbling to the ground with it. I've no sympathy - they've only themselves to blame. No one made them smash the place up!

Arrrghhhh!!! Monsters!! Ooh, there's a sale on.
Aside from looking nice, Rampage is also a lot of fun. It's very satisfying laying that final blow on a building and watching it tumble to the ground and with the added benefit of being able to hit the other players as you go, it only adds to the appeal - especially if playing with friends. You can smash anything, jump from building to building, eat people - this game has a lot going for it. If you're looking for criticism, you could argue that the characters move relatively slowly and the longer you plug away at the levels, repetitiveness does come into play. I think this is where having a multiplayer is important, as this helps mix things up a bit as having a fight is always good fun, but if you're into smashing buildings over and over like a maniac (did someone call me?) then this is definitely the game for you.

Rampage is one of the games where if someone was to ask me my favourite games on the Speccy, it initially wouldn't come into mind. It's only when I really think about the games that I didn't play as often, but still enjoyed nonetheless, that this one would pop up. Weirdly, it's one I forgot about for a while which is a shame as there's lots of fun to be had, even of playing alone and even more when you get some friends involved.

Right, I'd better be off - I think I see a giant Werewolf at my window. Where did I leave that spare toaster?

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