Rampage is an action video game developed and published by Bally Midway for the arcade on 1986-07-03. It was subsequently ported to over a dozen other platforms. It is the first game in the Rampage series.
In the game, the player plays as one of three scientists who has inadvertently changed themselves into a kaiju (giant monster). While in this state, you run amok and destroy buildings, wipe out the military, and eat civilians. If you take too much damage, you'll turn back into a human and sheepishly run away, but, if you succeed in destroying all the buildings on the screen, you move onto the next city.
The arcade original uses the same dual resolution trick seen in Spy Hunter where sprites are drawn in a higher resolution than background tiles.
I first saw this game being played in the arcade of the Lakeland Ice Arena. Although I never had any money to play it, I would occasionally see older kids playing it and I thought the idea of playing the bad guy to destroy cities looked very interesting. Some time in the early 1990s, I had a copy of the game. I remember playing it with my cousin Josh and frequently beating him up in the game to the point where he screamed at me to stop. One Saturday, when I had the game, I took advantage of the infinite continues, and played all afternoon for about three hours hours until I finally beat the game. Since them, I've had no desire to play it again.
I own this game on the NES and have beaten the NES port.
Best Version: NES
— This section contains spoilers! —
- In the arcade original, the monsters are well drawn and animated. I like their comical faces and movements. Some ports captured this as well.
- You're given a fair amount of control over your monster. You can jump, climb, punch, and eat things, the latter two even while in the air which really helps capture the feel of a rampaging monster.
- You can beat up the other player, which can be a lot of fun.
- The original game, and most of the ports, don't have any music, only sound effects. The NES port at least adds a couple tunes, although they're not very good.
- A couple ports don't allow you to play as Ralph the Werewolf.
- It's very hard to dodge all of the projectiles being shot at you, so you're constantly taking damage. Even if you eat as many good things as you can, the barrage of bullets and dynamite guarantees you'll die before too long, even if you're really good.
- Once the initial enjoyment of destroying cities is over, the game becomes dull and repetitive. You'll see everything the game has to offer by the fifth day or so. After that, it's 127 days before the game loops without ending. Most of the ports run forever as well.
Arcade - Cabinet. Art by Brian Colin.
Every Activision port uses this art.
The NES port by Data East uses this art.