In yet another big licensing deal, Activision have bought the cuff 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.
'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.'