Death Rally in Review – So, where’s the ammo?

Few titles have left me with more fond memories than the good old Death Track – one of the first racing/shooting games ever. Unsurprisingly its top-down remake in the late 90s -Death Rally – immediately became my favourite pastime for hours on end. So when I heard that Remedy was bringing this classic to the iDevice, I was thrilled beyond imagination. My only concern was how Death Rally would transfer to the touchscreen.

Death Rally is a genre all in itself, uniting top-down racing and shooting. You play a reckless driver having been hunted down and forced to compete in the brutal Nascar offspring in exchange for his life and freedom. The goal – to attract the attention of the mysterious Adversary and beat him in his own game, preferably sending him to kingdom come in the process.

Wreaking havoc at high speed is what Death Rally is all about. The basics involve racing around the track against 5 AI controlled players. The one who comes first is naturally the winner. The rest – sore losers. If they reach the finish line at all that is. Yep, finally you can let loose all the rage that has a habit of building up when the opponent overtakes you on a turn. Your car has a machine gun with unlimited ammo that fires automatically and a special weapon with limited, but replenishable supply of ammunition. And on the road you will find destroyable crates with repair, ammo and cash bonuses, as well as spare parts.

Speaking of spare parts, Death Rally features quite an extensive, if somewhat simplistic, car upgrade system. After each race you are awarded cash based on how well you did and you can spend it on repairs or upgrading the vehicle and/or currently selected weapon. A mild frustration here – you can only spend cash on the currently selected car/weapon, making it a bit difficult if you want to get a fully upgraded car park. New weapons and cars are unlocked one by one as you collect the spare parts on the levels, making for a slow but steady progression.

The levels themselves are semi-random, with about 8 available at any given moment with various difficulty levels and modes. Though there are only around half-a-dozen different tracks, the game mixes them up by throwing in different modes (reverse, sideways) and challenges (specific car/weapon, head to head, etc). In the end you won’t find yourself bored with the scenery.

The graphics in Death Rally are amazing, with detailed environments and superbly colourful vehicles. I did miss the ability to choose a custom colour for your car from the original, substituted by a choice of several presets for each car. I also missed a minimap of sorts as the race track is not so obvious on some levels, making it easy to run into walls. The most controversial design choice for me were the controls; there is simply a virtual joystick that has your car turning towards where your thumb is pointing. After experiencing the abundance of controls modes in Reckless Racing (TMA Review), Death Rally’s seems rather limited.

Regardless of the minor flaws, Death Rally is a unique and addictive blend of racing and shooting action that will hold your attention for quite some time. The experience offered is currently unmatched on the App Store and if you’re hungry for some high-speed destruction, Death Rally is definitely the choice for you. And did I mention that it’s universal?

With this I declare Death Rally officially touched!

Kiss It Rating - 5/5

App Summary
Title: Death RallyDeveloper: Remedy Entertainment Ltd
Reviewed Ver:1.1Min OS Req:3.2
Price:$2.99App Size:80.39MB
  • Superb addictive action
  • A wide selection of cars and weaponry
  • Excellent Retina-quality graphics
  • Lack of a satisfying finale
  • A semi-automatic weapon/car progression system with limited customization options
  • Only a single control scheme

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