Hang on to yer helmet….
…cause you’re in for a threat. That’s right, the 1997 PC mega-hit Carmageddon can finally live in your pocket. Lets get something straight first. This is video game violence at its finest. This game was censored in many countries, replacing humans with zombies and green blood (in UK) and robots (in Germany). It was even completely banned in some countries like Brazil. You’ve been warned, on to the game now.
To say that Carmageddon is a race game would be very very wrong. You can race, sure. You can even win a match by racing. Should you? Heck no. There are two more ways to win the match. Waste every opponent (excluding cops) or kill all the pedestrians. Take your pick. You start out with 3 minutes on your clock. Every action you take (every kill you make), whether it be passing through a checkpoint, killing a pedestrian or simply smashing other opponents will add time to the counter. So in theory you will never run out of time. Even if you decide to go berserk and rampage across the map. There is another rule here, what adds time, adds credits as well. Credits are needed to make repairs, recover from the abyss you just fell in, and upgrade your car after the race.
There are power ups scattered around the map which can be divided in offensive (solid granite car), helping (time and credits) and plain weird (Pedestrian Electro-bastard Ray). And there are mines. Usually hidden beneath the water surface (not always), should be generally avoided, or used to steer your opponents into.
Carmageddon offers 36 maps with diverse landscapes. They become available as you progress through 99 matches. Each match should be completed by all three methods (racing, wasting, killing) if you wish to acquire 100% completion. To make things even more diverse, you have total of 30 different cars you can unlock by wasting certain opponent on the given level. If you see the note “steal-worthy” at the beginning of the race, go for that one first. If you waste it, its yours. If this seems too boring for you, you can unlock everything for .99 cents, a sort of paid cheat the developer is offering.
The game offers on-screen virtual buttons, on-screen analog controls and tilt to steer, each configurable separately for steering or throttle and brake. Although Carmageddon for android is direct port from the ‘97 PC (and MAC) version, it brings certain enhancements and optimizations for the small screen. For example, to access the map anytime you can just swipe from left to right, same goes for the repairs, just tap the car model in the upper right corner of the screen, while swiping from right to left will bring out the action replay window.
The physics are wacky at best. You will often find yourself flying above your opponents or crashing and twisting while trying to make a basic turn. So yeah, its not realistic (surprised?) and that is exactly why I pointed out that Carmagedon is not a classic racing game. However, the learning curve is not that steep, and you will master the controls very fast.
Graphics are the same as they were 16 years ago, pixelated sprites combined with low-poly textured objects with bilinear filtering. It’s not the prettiest game you’ve ever seen, but it has its charms nevertheless. Sound is excellent. Everything is here including the music and all the juicy comments like “Son of a b**ch!” and “Goddamn mother!”. Framerate is smooth most of the time. There are occasional hick-ups now and then especially on older phones with 512 mb of ram and less, but nothing game breaking.
Should you get it?
Yes Carmageddon is violent. If you don’t feel offended by the violence and you like semi-free roaming driving/killing games, then by all means go for it, you won’t be disappointed. Older gamers will find themselves engulfed with joy for having this nostalgic masterpiece in their pockets, and the younger ones will have a chance to taste a bit of gaming from the good ol’ times. The developer, Stainless Games ltd. offers a free version of the game as well, featuring 5 opponents and only one stage, “Maim Street” in Bleak City.
|Great gameplay||Dated graphics|
|Great sound||Average controls|