Carmageddon review (iOS/Universal)

October 19, 2012

“Oh, but I’m always crashing in the same car”

10 word description: The full original “banned” free roaming, bloodthirsty, anarchic driving  game.

10 word review: Ban this sick filth! Sorry, my mistake – that was 1997.

Spot the eyeballs

You will like this if you enjoy: Video games where you drive around like a maniac, running pedestrians over for points and wondering if you’re going to eternally burn in hell for enjoying it way too much. Personally, I enjoyed the surprise of a 15 year old game – one of my favourites – completely living up to my memories of it.

Wasting the other competitors is often the easiest way to complete a race

The good news: Carmageddon is an insane amount of fun; sick, depraved and stupid but definitely a lot of fun. Graphically it looks like what it is, a game from 1997, but there have been some enhancements and the overall visual impression is pretty good. Tons of tracks and cars to unlock as you progress, and an optional single IAP if you’re too eager to unlock all the cars by playing the game. Note – that IAP is completely optional and does not involve in-game currency, or nags to buy it.

I love the smell of burning vehicles in the morning

The bad news: At the time of writing, there’s a problem with saved games where your iCloud save can completely disappear. This is apparently a Game Center / connectivity issue and can be resolved by closing the game down completely (in the task bar), restarting it and waiting for Game Center to connect before going to the saved games screen. Hopefully this issue will be properly fixed soon, as I experienced it and had a few minutes of despair before my saved game miraculously reappeared.

Arcadelife verdict: I have fond memories of Carmageddon (1997 – PC), specifically the patched ‘Splat Pack’ version where all the blood, guts and other banned content had been reinstated following the nanny state do-gooder censorship of the initial release. I was concerned that the iOS release would fall far short of my admittedly rose-tinted (gore-tinted more like) memories and I was very surprised and impressed when it didn’t.

Greedy fat bankers must die

As a touch-screen driving game, Carmageddon is a delight to play; the controls work very well and can be configured quite extensively if you don’t get on with the defaults. Visually it is nowhere near as pixellated and blocky as I feared it would be, thanks to some graphical enhancements and probably the fact that it’s running on a much smaller screen than the original version.

Look out, it’s the police!

The game is a lot of fun, although I don’t expect everyone will appreciate the gloriously violent, gory and very silly gameplay and subject matter. The great news for fans of the original is that this version isn’t an embarrassing museum piece that you’ll play for 20 seconds and never go back to, it’s a great chunk of chaotic driving fun and it’s still the hilariously addictive and entertaining guilty pleasure that it always was.

Top marks to Stainless for getting Carmageddon onto the iOS devices and a personal thanks from me for not ruining my memories of this great game!

If you missed the special offer to get Carmageddon free on release day and you’re not completely convinced you will enjoy it enough to spend actual money on it, there’s now a permanently free lite version available.

You can’t beat a good splatter bonus

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 8/10
Audio – 8/10
Controls – 10/10
Content – 10/10
Fun – 10/10
Final rating – 92/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0
iTunes link

Carmageddon website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (iOS 6)
iPad (iOS 5.1.1)


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