Amstrad Action1st February 1988
Published in Amstrad Action #29
America beware! Three large and angry monsters are out to destroy the cities of the USA. It's all the fault of the Greaseburger Fast Food Emporium. Their research division accidentally shipped out some experimental food additives to improve the taste of the burgers. Ralph, Lizzie and George ate them and then had a sudden urge to rip their clothes off and turn into fifty foot monsters.
The game is split into 50 cities and the monsters spend three days terrorising the occupants before moving on to a new city. Across the top of the screen is a damage meter and score for each of the monsters; the rest of the screen shows the current part of city that you are in.
George the Gorilla, Lizzie the Lizard and Ralph the Wolfman can all be controlled from either keyboard or joystick with the possibility of three players at a time - one on joystick and two on keys. The objective of the game is simple: climb up buildings, smash them to pulp and watch them fall to the ground. To smash a building you just climb up and move the joystick in the direction that you want to punch while holding down the fire button.
Sometimes when you punch a hole in a building, objects appear. There are two types of object, edible and inedible. Eating the edible ones like goldfish and humans restores your damage meter, eating inedible ones like toasters and cacti makes you take damage and fall off the building. When a building has taken sufficient damage cracks will appear and you should then jump off, because if you don't then you will fall to the ground and damage yourself. When all buildings on a screen have been destroyed then you move to the next screen.
The occupants of the cities get a little annoyed at all this mindless destruction on the part of the monsters and as a result they call out the police, air force and national guard.
Helicopters, tanks and soldiers fire at you while you get on with the serious business of destruction. Each hit increases the amount of damage that you take and if you run out of energy then you revert back to your human form and shuffle off the side of the screen.
A tune plays throughout the game, but it tends to get on your nerves rather than add to the action. Sound effects are simply punching sounds and that of failing buildings. The three monsters are easily identifiable and are large, colourful and well animated. The buildings are uninspiring with little colour and variation. All of the vehicles and aircraft are simple and move reasonably well.
What made this game fun in the arcades was the three player option and unfortunately key clash has to some extent ruined the game on the Amstrad. Mindless destruction of the USA is great fun though and you should help in this worthwhile endeavour as soon as possible.
A three player game is great fun at first, even if they have picked a daft bunch of keys that you can't redefine. The monsters are big and brutal, just the way we like them. It's a game that suffers in the long term from getting repetitive - one demolished building is much like another You'll love it at first but it won't keep you hooked for too long.
Green Screen View
Whether you're a green, blue or brown monster, there's no problem playing on a green screen.
First Day Target Score
P. The monsters look good.
N. Pity about the drab scenery.
P. Irritating tune.
P. Sound effects aren't much better
Grab Factor 82%
P. Demolition is great fun.
P. Three players adds to the enjoyment.
Staying Power 70%
P. 150 screens to complete.
N. They are all very similar
A good game that lacks variety in the long run.
Going on the Rampage, or scaling the Ramparts?
In a direct comparison the two games are very similar but have the following important differences:
- Rampage can have 1, 2 or 3 players whereas Ramparts can only have 1 or 2. Even so, the choice of keys for the former is poor.
- Graphically Ramparts is the better game with more detailed and colourful backgrounds. However the monsters in Rampage are better animated than the knights.
- Sound and music on Ramparts is much better with Rampage coming a poor second.
- Control of the monsters in Rampage is much better than that of the knights in Ramparts, where climbing and destroying walls is much more finicky and frustrating.
- As far as gameplay is concerned Rampage is by far the better game with a lot more addictiveness and humour. This factor, in the end, is the most important.