For some reason, my Arcade Mania article for Rampage World Tour has gotten the most hits of any post on my blog. So, I might as well go back and cover the original, as well.
But really, what more is there to say about it? It was developed by Bally Midway and released in 1986, and along with Track and Field, Rampage was one of the most defining button-mashers of the ’80s. There’s no real skill involved, it was just good, mindless fun, and it ate a lot of quarters.
I don’t quite recall where I first saw it or played it, but it did catch my attention right away. I mean, you get to play as a giant monster and destroy buildings. It fulfilled any King Kong or Godzilla fantasies you might have, but of course, it was always the most fun with three players. It’s definitely a party game at heart, and that made it perfect for the arcade.
It does wear thin after a while, though. Once the novelty wears off, there’s not much of an actual game underneath. It was more of a “keep popping in quarters to relieve stress” kind of experience. I wonder how many people actually had the money or attention span to destroy all 128 cities in the game. Once you played through one level, you had already seen pretty much everything the game had to offer.
There was one funny bit of controversy about the game, however. Once your monster has lost all his/her health, they transform back into a tiny human made up of only a few pixels. Some activists, however, made a big deal about them being naked, and claimed the game was pornographic. Of course, this was free publicity of he best kind, and players rushed to the arcade to started dropping quarters.
Rampage has had numerous sequels. There was the aforementioned Rampage World Tour, followed by Rampage 2: Universal Tour, Rampage Through Time, and Rampage: Total Destruction, as well as a spin-off called Rampage Puzzle Attack.
Rampage is one of those rare games that’s not really all that great, but is still considered a classic. I wouldn’t say it’s stood the test of time, as it was an ideal arcade game but just doesn’t hold up on home consoles. Still, it has a certain appeal, and if you’ve had a bad day and just need to take your frustrations out for a few minutes, it might get the job done.