It’s Monday again and as we reach for our favourite caffeine drink, we at Codec Moments think: “Is there a way to get a quality game, for the same price as our cup of java?”
This week’s game for the ‘Cost of a Coffee’ is Carmageddon on iOS and Android. Carmageddon is a racing game with a difference, as the clock starts ticking down when you start and it’s game over when it reaches zero; you can add more time by passing checkpoints, smashing up opponents, or ploughing through pedestrians with bonus points awarded for style! Likewise you’re not limited to winning the race in the traditional manner; you can also take first place by eliminating all of the pedestrians or wasting all the other opponents. Carmageddon, from Stainless Games, was originally released on the PC in 1997 and was inspired by the film Death Race 2000. In an attempt to create marketing buzz in the build-up to release in the UK, the distributer SCI submitted the game to the British Board of Film Classification to obtain an 18 rating; this was not actually a legal requirement at the time as the game did not feature video footage. The attempt backfired as the BBFC effectively banned the game, refusing to certify it unless the blood and gore was removed. Following some censoring, the game launched in the UK with red blooded human pedestrians replaced by green blooded zombies and oil spewing robots; the original version, now available on iOS and Android, was approved 10 months later.
You play as Max Damage or Die Anna in 36 levels set across 11 environments including a city, a mountain resort, a chemical plant, an abandoned mine and some rural roads, complete with cows for you to collide with; there are also 28 characters for you to crash and smash with, each with their own unique vehicles which will be unlocked as you play through. The cars attributes make for another layer of complexity in the game, with smaller, faster cars being weak and easily wasted but good for racing (not that you’ll want to do much actual racing) and heavier, more powerful cars, are better to waste your opponents’ vehicles with; there’s even a car that will kill nearby pedestrians with lightning bolts, my personal favourite! Power-ups can be collected along the way which have many crazy effects, from simply increasing your time to turning your car and the world around it into a giant pinball machine. With all this mayhem, there is an action replay system that allows you to review the countless carnage created from collisions with cops.
The game looks polished on a smaller screen and the touchscreen is nicely implemented and not frustrating to get to grips with, if you’ll pardon the pun. It can also be edited to your desire offering a choice or digital, analogue or tilt inputs for your playing preference pleasure. The soundtrack has the same charm as the original game; from Max Damage’s high speed wailing to the announcer’s interjections… it’s all there.
The most stunning thing about the game though is the price, Carmageddon is £0.69 on iOS and Android. Admittedly that’s a whopping 19 pence more than a Chocolate Babyccino, but I’d go out on a limb this week and suggest you might be able to afford a quality mobile game and a minty mocha if you feel like pushing the boat out.