Sure to be a monster hit

Rampage logo

EVERYBODY must have at some stage in their life watched a film and wished they could be the hero. Well if your hero is the same as mine, Godzilla in The Best That Ate Tokyo *b/w 1949) your hour has come. Rampage puts you in the role of one of three towering monsters: a giant King Kong type, a vastly oversized werewolf or the old favourite Godzilla. What is your objective? Simple - smash, maim, kill, destroy, obliterate...

Each scene begins with our assembled heroes on the pavement outside some suspiciously fragile-looking buildings. Do what comes naturally. If you find it hard to get motivated into all this anti-humanitarian destruction, think of what destruction on this scale will do to all the estate agents and insurance salesmen. When the place is completely decimated you move on to the next town. - of which are 738, all the way from Peoria to the dark side of the moon.

In an effort to prevent you from turning the civilized world into a Beirut lookalike Army the Army has positioned SWAT teams in cunning vantage points from where they assault our metamorphic monsters. King Kong wil have more to deal with than a few pathetic biplanes this time as a few helicopter-gunships enter the fray, strafing wildly. Later tanks appear with more advanced firepower, which can cause a fair amount of pain judging by the expression of the stricken beast. Each hit you take may not inflict much damage, but it all adds up. The only way you can make up for this is by eating regularly. What do you eat? Well, as you are climbing the sides of buildings, smashing as you go, you may notice that some kind of people have left out some food, milk, toast or even their goldfish for you. If they have not, that is OK because you can always eat the people and have a few choppers for desert.

Up to three people can play at a time, though using the keyboard is verging on the impossible. If they players are not friends, you will be pleased to know the monsters can beat each other up as well as the buildings.

There is not much by way of a plot, it is just mindless destruction, which is perhaps is more honest than many games on the market that try to dress up violence, destruction and general bad behaviour as being brave and noble as long as there is a cause to be championed.

There is no "fight the good fight" here unless you are in the Animal Rights Militia. There is a small amount of romance though. Occasionally a girl will appear in one of the windows. She can be rescued for extra points. You can eat her afterwards, of course.

Graphically the game is very pretty and the animation of the monsters is excellent, from the defiant growl and shake of the fist to the way they cover their eyes when they fall off a building. Sound is adequately supported. There are some nice stereo effects with the toppling buildings and a satisfying chomping noise when the beasts tuck into a human.

Rampage logo


George, Lizzie and Ralph are not the sort of names you would imagine monsters bearing a remarkable resemblance to King Kong, Godzilla and the Wolfman would have, but they are determined to smash their way through as many of America's finest cities as they possibly can.

Converted from the Bally Midway coin-op, the game can handle up to three simultaneous players - each controlling a monster - and when you are not fighting amongst yourselves the idea is to destroy a set number of buildings by climbing up and punching whacking great holes in them.

Obviously the citizens which to defend themselves, so the army has been called in and does not mind shooting or lobbing sticks of dynamite at you one little bit. Every hit you take reduces your stamina - pictured in the form of a horizontal bar at the top of the screen - and once it reaches zero the game is over. To prevent this happening simply reach out and chomp as many people as you can, which revitalises you no end.

Rampage is a fun game to play. The animation is fine and so are the backgrounds, if a little basic, and the sound effects are reasonably good. The game itself is simple, addictive and, when three of you are playing at once, quite pleasingly manic: but do not expect it to keep you playing for months on end, 'cos it won't.

Rampage logo

Price: £24.95

There have been one or two attempts in the past to recreate the atmosphere of the old B movies you used to be able to go and see in the pictures on a Saturday morning, when Godzilla reigned supreme. Some succeeded mildly (T-Wrecks, the Chewits Game, for example) while others have failed miserably (The Movie Monster Game). Probably the most successful of all is Bally Midway's Rampage. A glorious feast of destruction, doom and death by consummation.

When it hit the arcades, and I do mean hit, Rampage was an instant smash, and yes you guessed it, I do mean smash. The idea was simple Up to three players at once played around a Gauntlet-style cabinet, each playing one of three 'monsters'. George the giant gorilla, Lizzy the oversized lizards (sounds familiar so far) and Ralph the enormous wolf. The objective, tear down cities.

Tearing down cities could not be easier. In each city, there is a small selection of skyscrapers dotted about. Each of the three has to climb up and down the sides of the buildings and basically punch holes in the walls. When a sufficient number of holes have been knocked in a building, the foundations crumble and the building falls to the ground where it lies a broken heap of rubble.

Now obviously you cannot expect to tear apart the capitals of the first world without a little bit of resistance, and resistance comes in the form of good old Uncle Sam's army. Soldiers lean out of the windows of the buildings and fire energy-depleting bullets at you, or lob grenades in your direction. Helicopers buzz you from above, and then launch a stream of evil looking missiles. Tanks roll along the ground and fire AM (Anti-Monster) shells in your direction. And all the while your energy level is dropping and dropping.

So to top it up, you eat. What do you eat? Anything you like. Now, the things that you find to eat can either be good or bad. Bad things deplete your energy even further and consists of items such as flamethrowers and television sets. Things that are good to eat are things like goldfish and enemy soldiers. Yum.

The graphics are amazingly faithful to the coin-op, right down to all the little touches. Like the cute expressions on all the monsters faces, and the sweet way they chew when they eat. It all moves very well, without any sprite glitches. None whatsoever. Not even one. Wow.

It is a little too hard to get onto a building, far too easy to get off when you do not want to and far too tricky to get off when you do. Even so, the game is still tremendous fun to play, especially in multi-player mode. Thankfully the Amiga version of Rampage, long awaited I might add, has successfully managed to capture the slightly chewy texture and decidedly sweet flavour of the original coin-op. Rampage is a cute little number, a rare old treat. Fans of the machines should definitely buy. Everybody else should buy it.