I have a soft spot for titles from before the dawn of well defined videogame genres. I also love games with lots of environmental interaction, and Rampage World Tour delivers on both accounts.
Originally an arcade hit in the 80’s, Rampage World Tour is an updated sequel that stars a cast of giant, B-horror type monsters as they go on their titular rampage. The monsters are actually human, mutated while working for Scumlabs, and they exact vengeance by completely obliterating numerous cities that house the naughty conglomerate.
The levels are presented in a side view, and loop around at the edges. The maps are pretty small, but there’s a boatload of them — some with unique landmarks — and they don’t take long to complete. The goal of each stage is to destroy as many buildings as possible before the whole area succumbs to a massive bomb strike (presumably to keep the arcade players from loitering around).
The controls are very stiff, but each monster has the ability to jump, punch and kick. Combined with directional input, this allows the player to strike in numerous directions, pick up and eat people, kick at various objects on the ground, perform leaping attacks, and quickly hover by tapping the jump button.
Climbing buildings is done by pressing up while standing next to one of their sides. Once attached, the player can scale walls and attack with punches and kicks. Punches break windows, grab and eat humans, and interact with various objects that are randomly revealed once the windows are broken. Kicking gradually damages the entire floor, bouncing it in and out of the building itself. Unlike punching, it can also destroy walls and leave only a couple of girders holding up the structure. Finally, if the players scales up to the rooftops, he can punch or jump on them repeatedly to destroy the buildings one story at a time.
Revealing and using what’s behind the windows is a major gameplay element, but it’s hard to be too deliberate with it as the player is constantly assaulted by policemen, helicopters, tanks, robots, jetpack soliders, tanks, etc. Combined with the floaty movement and stiff controls, it takes a lot of fun out of the game.
Still, all the various little interactions breathe a lot of magic into the experience, so I’ll focus on enumerating those:
- People scream and fall out of buildings as you attack them.
- Squat structures possess bouncy domes, allowing the player to use them as trampolines and hit floating objects for extra points.
- Broken windows can reveal electronic appliances that shock the monster if touched. The same goes for electric signs that hang on the sides of buildings and prevent the player from freely scaling the wall.
- If bathrooms are attacked, they often spray the monster with water, knocking it off of the building and damaging it as it falls.
- Unveiled candles can be used to light the whole building on fire, quickly destroying it without any extra input from the player.
- The “More Power” collectible drastically increases the monster’s strength, allowing it to smash entire floors with a single attack and take down buildings in just two or three hits. Extremely satisfying.
- “Tourist Traps” are background locations that contain hordes of humans. These can be smashed and their crowds eaten repeatedly to replenish health.
- The wreckages of buildings often contain loose wiring, fiery debris, or dusty clouds. If touched, these elements can electrocute the monster, light it on fire, or make it cough incessantly.
- The monsters can eat all sorts of humourous objects, including graveyard skeletons and old boots. Most of these make the monster throw up, damaging it in the process, but it’s actually kind of fun to experiment with what should and shouldn’t be consumed.
- It’s possible to jump onto and ride some of the larger enemy vehicles.
- Toxic waste transforms the monster into a flying behemoth for the duration of the level. This upgraded creature can spit fire, and although it can’t climb buildings, it can quickly smash them when it hovers in front of the structures.
- Each monster has a unique allergy that’s triggered when a specific animal is eaten: dogs for George, birds for Lizzy, and cats for Ralph. Triggering an allergy causes the monster to sneeze and take down an entire building in one go.
- Window-flags can be hit to cycle through various countries, each one changing the next queued level. A similar mechanic is implemented with billboards that auto-cycle through ads — the next level changes based on which ad was on when the billboard was destroyed.
- When a monster’s health reaches zero, it turns into a naked human that slowly creeps off-screen. When multiple players are in the game, not only can they fight each other, but they can also pick up and eat the killed comrade (this would definitely be an achievement in a current-day version of the game)!
All these loving touches don’t make Rampage World Tour a great game, but they’re definitely enough to make it a quick and fun distraction.