This is Carmageddon: the driving game that got banned in several countries. The driving game that’s less about driving, and more about killing. Hit the gas and aim for the gizzards.
Newly released for iOS, this is a 12+ rated no-holds-barred killing fest. It’s non-stop gory driving violence with plenty of offensive language thrown in for good measure. In some working environments, both the game and some of the screenshots that follow may be considered NSFW.
For the benefit of any readers too young to remember it from last time, allow me to briefly explain how the game works.
You drive a car equipped with all manner of blades, points and weapons. The aim of the game is to finish the course, while simultaneously killing as many innocent pedestrians (and occasional animals) as possible. Each one you strike explodes in a gory mess of bones and guts. Bits of them lie motionless on the ground until the end of the race – until you drive over them, of course, when they become a messy red streak on your tyres.
Of course, while you’re busy killing people, the other drivers in the race are hellbent on killing you. Although you could simply try to drive round and round the defined racing line, in reality that never happens. You get smashed off course by an opponent, find yourself lost down some back street, and end up going on a death and destruction spree of your own.
Let’s leave the killing behind for a moment, and talk about gameplay. The driving mechanics are excellent. Your car is easy to control when going slowly, and increasingly hard to control as things get faster, just like the real world. The default control layout is sensible and easy to grasp, but I like how they’ve made it possible to define your own control positions. In the settings, you can open a mode that lets you drag all the pedals and buttons into positions that suit you best. If you’re planning on a lot of high-speed killing and wish to do it in comfort, this may appeal to you.
As your car gets more damaged (which it will), driving gets harder. The more damage you take, the less responsive the controls will become, until eventually you reach the point where your car simply won’t go at all. A damage gauge in the top-right corner shows you what’s broken and how badly: tap and hold on this to repair it all.
You’re rewarded for exploring. Drive around certain less-obvious corners and you might find a power-up of some sort, or a secret tunnel full of green goo and scientists in bio-hazard suits. You need to kill them too, of course, if you want more points.
As the mayhem continues, your character shouts and swears. He (or she) gets pretty annoying pretty quickly, but thankfully you can turn that voice off in the settings (look for Pratcam Volume).
Once you’ve achieved something spectacularly vicious and distasteful, you may wish to record it for posterity and post it on YouTube. Carmageddon comes with its own action-replay mode that lets you trim out a video of your proudest moment, and upload it directly to YouTube from within the game.
It’s worth noting that Carmageddon for iOS is a re-creation of the same game that came out in 1997. So while some people may file it under “driving games” and others might file it under “death and killing,” there may be another group who file it under “quaint retro.” The visual presentation looks like it’s from another era, because it is. The gore is tame by modern standards, although the sheer quantity of it leaves some other games gasping for breath.
And that brings us back to the killing. Allow me to speak from the heart here. I know it’s supposed to be cartoonish fun, and I know it’s all just a silly joke. Back in 1997, when I was in my mid-20s and didn’t have kids of my own, I enjoyed playing Carmageddon. I thought it was hilarious. Now I’m older (much older) and my tastes have changed. I didn’t find it funny this time. That’s not a criticism of the game, just a reflection of how my own tastes have changed. That’s just me though: I have little doubt that most younger gamers will find Carmageddon is two dollars well spent.
Sometimes, resurrecting retro games for modern platforms turns into a disaster, but in this case developers Stainless Games have got it just right. The game you play is a perfect, faithful re-creation of the original game from 15 years ago, but there are enough modern twists (such as the posting to YouTube, the flexibility of controls, and so on) to show that they’ve understood how iOS is different and adapted the game accordingly.
Source: App Store.