Today at the Eurogamer Expo in in London, UK-based Stainless Games is demonstrating their upcoming iOS version of Carmageddon, the exquisitely grotesque automotive blood-on-the-pavement title that started doing its job as a rage-sink for gamers way back in 1997.
One of Stainless’ first titles, Carmageddon is a sandbox 3D driving game that puts you behind the wheel of one of several available Mad Max-style rugged racing vehicles with a hint of the post-apocalyptic. It’s a timed race against AI competitors through checkpoints spread through various environments, such as cities, mines, snowfields, etc. Extra time can be earned by running down hapless pedestrians, wrecking competitors’ cars, or gathering bonuses. It’s a race — yes — but the gameplay is really about the carnage more than the finish line. Happily, one need not actually cross that finish line ahead of the pack to win; victory can also be achieved by grinding every pedestrian on the map into a red, chunky paste or by completely destroying every competing vehicle. Is it a classy title? Not at all, but many of us have spent countless hours in front of the game, wreaking virtual gore with smiles on our faces (like the one there, just below).
Carmageddon for iOS is a universal app that will feature 28 opponents, 36 levels across 11 different environments, 30 playable cars that can be unlocked by victory or IAP, and an action-replay system that will allow you to savor your own bone-crushing savvy and share it directly to YouTube. The game utilizes touchscreen controls in the form of left / right, accelerator / brake buttons along the bottom of the display, with taps to reset and repair the vehicle and swipes to bring up a map and the replay system.
I’ve bloodied my tires quite a bit in the past day or so in the limited, free version of Carmageddon that will be launched along with the full, $1.99 title. Watching the hale of limbs and organs raining down upon vehicles engaged in flaming, head-on collisions on my iPad’s screen really takes me back to the fun of the original. And, despite the iPad’s lovely Retina display, the 3D visuals also evoke the feel of 1997 gaming, as the in-game textures appear to be pretty close to what was used 15 years ago, as does the poly count of the environment. Don’t get me wrong — the polys are sharp and the framerate is very high, but this is not a port that involved a completely new set of regenerated assets, as some were surely hoping it would be.
Having access only to the limited version of the game (just one car, just one map), I am obviously unable to fully assess Carmageddon for iOS right now, but I’ve had a lot of fun with this version, so far. While no date has been set, the full release is coming soon at a price of $1.99, and in keeping with their Kickstarter promise, Stainless Games will be offering Carmageddon for free for the first 24 hours of release. Stay tuned for a heads up when it lands.