The Game: Monsters are running amok in cities across America… and you’re one of them! A giant lizard, a giant werewolf and a giant gorilla walk into a bar and tear it down. Monsters can compete to see who will topple tall buildings first, or they can qang up on puny defenseless human scum. It’s pretty easy to knock over buildings, and pretty easy to take a lot of damage from the armed forces who have been called out to stop the creatures. If they accrue too much damage, the monsters de-evolve to their un-mutated original human form, and require quick action (and additional quarters) to stay in the game. (Midway, 1986)
Memories: A devilishly fun masterpiece of pure destruction, Rampage appeals to any current or former kid who’s ever gained an innate understanding that the next best thing rto building something is to knock it over again. Rampage‘s implied violence is cartoonish at worst, with just a wink and a nod toward the classic Toho and Universal Studios monster movies. And that is a great combination.
Rampage is one of those games that is at its absolute best with multiple players – so much so that it’s not that great as a single-player experience. There just isn’t much to do without at least a second player other than try to set new speed records for wanton destruction. A second player adds either competition or gleefully nihilistic cooperation. Add a third player, and you’ve got pure chaos – Rampage at its best.
Rampage has had many sequels, often adding new locales, obstacles, and monstrous abilities, but those additions seldom do anything but strip away the near-perfect simplicity of the original.