Earlier this morning, Eli and I spent some time with the iPhone and iPad version of the 1997 "cult" classic Carmageddon [Free]. For the most part, it appears to be a straight-up port with just a few modern visual and technical tweaks and trimmings. As a result, it looks like an old game and it feels like one, too. Check your expectations at the door.

Carmageddon, for those of you not in the loop, is a free-form racing game where you're rewarded points for killing civilians. The goal of each race isn't necessarily to come in first place, but to cause the most... destruction as possible. It's weird like that.

Nostalgia is powerful, so we encourage any of the series' fans to give this a shot. If you're unfamiliar, check out this video and see if the game clicks with you:

  • Massive Missive

    Yeah, but is it violent? Maybe you could have someone who likes the game write the post about it next time?

  • darwiniandude

    Not free, now $1.99

  • JJE

    Back in the day, the OFAP never rage quit a game more than this one. If its all the same to you ill keep my fond memories intact. It was a gimmick back then; today it's just an old gimmick.
    Didn't think about the FPS issue. So I guess 60 is ok now? We'll see what they do when they come out with the reboot.

    • Elliot Levin

      See, that's the thing - yes, it was completely a gimmick, but the twist was that it was a gimmick wrapped around a surprisingly good racing/demolition game. The models and physics were good, the crashes hit hard, and it was a genuinely fun challenge. They could have taken out the pedestrians and blood and this still would have been a good game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brandon.blokzijl Brandon Blokzijl

    <3 it's so great. Brings back tons of memories. Great controls, perfect transition from the pc version.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tamas.farkas.9081 Farkas Tamás

    this is a great port of the original game. who ever played it will like it, others not sure 🙂

    • MidianGTX

      I didn't play the original, but I played similar games like the Rush series, Vigilante 8, etc and I'm loving this port. At least... I would if it would stop deleting my saves.

  • Ueberdummy

    Great!! Even the good old Fear Factory soundtrack is there;)

  • korkidog

    This game sucked when I played it on the PC back in the day. I am sure iOS didn't make it any better.

  • MasPollo

    Wow, the precious posts were so positive about this game, and then you spent the full 7 minutes of video just trashing it. Confusing.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      I think you should watch again if you think we're trashing it.

      • http://www.metzener.com/ Dave Metzener

        I've watched it twice so far. Brad seemed to think the game totally sucked. Pretty clear.

        Also, "Carmageddon" is not the Kickstarted project. Carmageddon: Reincarnation is the purpose of the Kickstarter campaign. Since they exceeded their $400,000 goal, they said they would release the original Carmageddon would be released on iOS.

      • http://twitter.com/try2bcool69 Jay G

        I don't think YOU were trashing it, Eli, I think that miscreant Brad was.  The same Brad, BTW, who hates pretty much everything that doesn't make your eyes bleed.

        Brad trashes every single game you guys play together, at least that seems to be the impression he's giving off, like he is pretty much always a gusher of negativity, and a little too smug.  He really is the Ebert of the two of you.

  • http://twitter.com/RubiconDevelop Rubicon Development

    I had the pleasure of working on this range of titles the first time around, and it pleases me immensely to see this on my phone. It's a faithful port in all but one key area - this version has a good frame rate.

    Give it a break a bit, it is what it is - the new game will be coming later. And this wasn't kickstarter funded btw, that was the big new thing they're making. Giving this away free was one of the backer rewards is all.

    Don't forget. Or if you're not old enough to remember, be advised:

    This game invented the concept of 3D physics in games. No, it really did. This one game changed the landscape. Some later game might still have, but some later game didn't need to - Carmageddon got there first. (And I didn't do that bit so its not bragging, lol)

    • geoelectric

      Mantis was the first game I remember with Newtonian physics. But that was space. Also sucked to play. 🙂

      I remember having mad fun with the PC version of Carmageddon changing the physics constants in the config. The most memorable was taking gravity up past Jupiter level. As soon as the race started the physics engine would kick in, and all the cars would just collapse in place. Epic.

  • http://twitter.com/multiplang Plang Fu

    It's interesting to see impressions on this game from non-Carmageddon fans. I'm in the opposite category to you guys on this one, but you make some valid points.

    I think I probably have too much nostalgia to think about the game objectively, but I do also completely agree with one of the comments about above that this was a great game due to excellent controls, physics, handling, and all of that other important stuff in any car game.

    Ridiculous violence was an amusing addition but that was never the draw for me.

  • Nathan Strum

    Just to clarify a point made in the video - the Kickstarter project was not for this version. That was done for an all-new game in the franchise coming in 2013. The only connection this has to Kickstarter is that the first 24 hours of it being free was a "thank you" to the backers for successfully funding that project.

    As a fan of the original, I think the game looks and plays amazing. It's still the same goofy, gory fun as before, but nicely presented and implemented for iOS devices. Sure - it doesn't have state-of-the-art graphics, but that wasn't the intent. The point here is to give fans of the original a way to play the game again, plus, it will introduce new people to the franchise and help bring in additional funding for the new game. I'm delighted with it!

  • Tim Cant

    The is like the polar opposite of the Duke 3D port, it gives you a much better experience than the original version. 

    The graphics are better and IMO it looks fine. I haven't played anything decent for ages, but this is really fun when you get the hang of it.

  • http://www.metzener.com/ Dave Metzener

    For myself, this game is pure nostalgia. I played it back when it was first released. Not as a single player game, but in a LAN party with 5 or so other players all competing to be the last car driving. It was a blast with real humans behind the wheels of all the other vehicles.

    I wonder if Stainless Games will get this version working with other players in Game Center or at least locally.

    Don't forgot too, this is just a stepping stone for the release of the new Carmageddon: Reincarnation. Kickstarter got this whole thing started and I get the feeling that C:R is going to be EPIC!

  • nonstickron

    If it wasn't for this game Burnout wouldn't exist. I only played a little so far, turning is tricky...going straight is trickier, but I'm happy this is on my phone.

  • Elliot Levin

    As annoying as this comment is, you're more or less playing the game wrong in this video. Chasing checkpoints is a sure way to make this a boring experience - did you see all those enemies that were still driving around when you finished? Use the map and hunt them down, that's the only way you'll unlock new cars and get money for upgrades. If you treat this as just a checkpoint racing game, you're missing 85% of it.

  • Lazlo Nibble

    This video is like watching MST3K with someone who keeps bitching about how the movie is a standard-def pan-and-scan transfer, and that they can't follow the story because the little guys on the bottom of the screen won't stop talking.

  • Slamdunk Software

    But what are the controls like? Is this a review?