The Hit Squad
It all started as a normal day in the greasy fast food restaurant. When George, Lizzie and Ralph bit into their Big Muck hamburgers they didn't realise what they were eating (well you never do). The company's Research Division had accidentally shipped out some experimental additives and they had got into the Big Mucks. Suddenly George, Lizzie and Ralph bust out of their clothes (oo-er!) and exchanged them for coats of fur. They became a gorilla, lizard and wolfman, all fifty foot high and looking for revenge.
Up to three people can play in this fight for survival. You control the monsters and can climb up buildings, smash windows and eat the people inside (well it beats fast food!). But watch out, because inside some of the buildings are nasty objects like toasters, TVs and cacti which don't do your stomach much good it you gulp them down. Eventually the buildings collapse, and you have to jump clear before you get crushed in the rubble. Destroy all the buildings between you and progress to the next level. Easy fun, if it weren't for the military who aren't keen on your handywork. They shoot at you constantly, knocking down your energy level.
I love Rampage. The graphics are nicely defined and colour isn't too bad. Bashing and crushing the buildings is the best bit though (you didn't know I had an evil streak did you?). The game has its fair share of humour too: when you run out of energy you turn back into a human and run off screen in your birthday suit!
Rampage is packed full of addictiveness and playability. It may have lost some of the appeal it had originally but at £2.99 it's a must for all gamesplayers.
Retail Price: £9.99
Author: Bob Pape
In yet another big licensing deal, Activision have bought the cult arcade game Rampage to the home computer market.
Between one and three players take the part of mutated monsters George, Lizzie or Ralph, as they set about destroying a city full of buildings.
The monsters are initially dropped onto the screen, and are confronted by several buildings, all of which are destroyed to advance to the next level. This is achieved by climbing up the sides of buildings, and either smashing out the windows, or knocking holes in the side. Once enough structural damage has been inflicted, it collapses in a cloud of dust.
All three monsters have damage meters, which are decreased every time they're hit by hail of bullets from army helicopters and tanks, or stay on a collapsing building. An entirely diminished damage meter has fatal consequences.
To supplement their energy, the monsters collect a wide variety of edible objects in the windows of buildings, and protect themselves by smashing the army vehicles that fire at them.
The game ends once all three monsters have returned to their human alter-egos.
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: large, intricately-detailed monsters with colourful backgrounds
Sound: stomping and bashing effects only
Options: 1-3 players
Although Activision have successfully included the three player option in this conversion, things get cramped both on and off screen. To be honest, I find the gameplay rather dull - there's no chance of annihilating the armed forces, and consequently Rampage just becomes a race to find good food, with nothing to do except avoid crumbling buildings. The action gets dull quite quickly, and even with a couple of other players to spice things up, there's little to keep you playing.
Rampage is a pretty jolly game, and boasts some very bright graphics. Some of the screens are very attractive (as attractive as half a dozen multi-storey buildings can be, I suppose) and the characters are great. The gameplay appeals to my vandal and sadistic instincts, and going around smashing whole buildings down and eating people is highly enjoyable. Then there's the extra fun of being buried under rubble... However, the gameplay lacks variety and consequently I doubt its long-term appeal.
Graphically, Rampage is really good - skyscrapers, roads, railway tracks and trees are all excellently drawn, and the backdrops are great, with pylons and transmitters to add to the realism. The basic idea is one of chaos - you have to bite and punch pieces out of the buildings and eat passing cars. The monsters are all as violent as each other, which can cause a problem when one turns against you! in some of the windows of buildings there are little people which give you extra energy if you eat them! I thoroughly enjoyed playing Rampage, and with an extra player or two it becomes even more fun-smashing.
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