Retro Review: Rampage


Platform: Sega Master System

Released: 1988

Developer: Bally Midway

Publisher: Sega

With the forthcoming theatrical release of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s latest blockbuster, I thought it would be a good time to revisit the game of which the movie is based. Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s get ready to Rampage!

You wouldn’t initially think that a game like Rampage would be a good choice to be made into movie as there is hardly any story. However, the more I think about it Rampage is probably the perfect choice for a special effect popcorn extravaganza! It has huge monsters smashing up buildings so what more could you want!? Let’s face it, if they can make a movie based on the board game Battleship then a movie can be made about practically anything!

In the game you get to choose one of three monsters including George who is based on King Kong, Lizzie who takes inspiration from Godzilla and Ralph who is a huge wolf creature. Playing the game alone or with a friend your objective is to smash up the buildings in each city until they are completely demolished.

Of course the authorities aren’t going to just let you get away with your wanton destruction and as a result you are attacked by soldiers, tanks and helicopters. As you are quite a large target it is often difficult to evade enemy attacks but you do have a decent energy bar which can be topped up by snacking on chicken or munching on the odd human. Not everything is edible and even big monsters cannot consume toasters as they give you an electric shock!

Rampage has been released on practically every platform but the Sega Master System is typically bright and colourful as you would expect from the wonderful 8 bit system. The music is ok but is a little bit repetitive.

The game plays fine with my only gripe being the controls are a little bit tricky when climbing up a building from the ground. However, I found that jumping towards a building worked much better as you automatically grab onto it.

Rampage is still good fun after all these years but it loses its appeal after a while as there isn’t much variety in the levels or gameplay. Still, if you’re going to check out the movie and are a fan of the game then I’d definitely recommend you fire it up for old time sake.

Graphics: Bright and colourful which is typical for games that appeared on the Sega Master System. 7

Sound: Basic music which is quite repetitive as it plays the same tune over and over. 5

Playability: Simple gameplay that is fun enough for a quick game but there isn’t much to keep you coming back for more. 6

Re-playability: Although it was nice to go back and play Rampage I doubt I’ll be rushing to play it again anytime soon. 5

Overall: Rampage is still a decent fun little game especially the Sega Master System version, but don’t expect it to keep you occupied for hours.  5

Review by Chris (co-host of 60 Minutes With)