Tuesday, May 29, 2012

App Review: Death Rally for iOS

This post is a quick review for Death Rally on iOS, highlighting the good and the bad in the game. I played it on an iPad 2, although there is Retina Display support on the new iPad. Death Rally is an iOS universal app, meaning it is a one-time purchase that will run on both your iPad and iPhone/iPod Touch.

Death Rally is a remake of the DOS game of the same name, released in 1996. It is now available for Windows for free as well. I reviewed this game on the iPad 2.

The Good 

  1. Very long gameplay: The game takes a very long time to go through. There are loads of cars and weapons to unlock and upgrade in levels. It took me months to finish the game. There are six tracks and some special events on some of those. There is also a  "Duke Match" that shows up at one point (that is replayable after finishing) in which you participate in a brawl/showdown against the legendary Duke Nukem himself. Yes, Duke Nukem is in Death Rally.
  2. Six tracks with increasing difficulty: All the races take place on six tracks. As you progress through the completion percentage, there are harder events available. You can play them in any order you want and the events shuffle around after every race. The game progresses as you unlock more vehicles and parts and then master them. These are unlocked from collecting parts in the races themselves.
  3. Good graphics: I wouldn't say that the game has spectacular graphics that are on par with Infinity Blade: Dungeons or anything like that. But it has the graphics it needs to be a good game. Explosions are amazing and you feel the awesome pouring down on you as you drift through them, although the game has an almost-top-down view.
  4. Simple storyline: Remedy Entertainment has not forced in a big plot or storyline to mess with the simple racing game that Death Rally is. Occasionally, you do get interactive 'cutscene' races and comic book like story development but you don't really need to pay attention to them to enjoy the game. You are not supposed to remember anything or go on specific missions; it is a simple game where you pick a track, race and shoot down opponents.
  5. IAPs are not annoying: There are loads of in-app purchases in the game. For those wondering if they will be forced to purchase stuff in order to advance in the game, IAPs are not annoying at all. They just let you acquire unlockable items early on. In the multiplayer campaign, you may be pressed down by them a bit more, but it is certainly not unplayable without them.
The Bad

  1. Difficult and repetitive multiplayer mode: While the single-player campaign is nice and easy, the multiplayer campaign requires some grinding to complete. This campaign is similar to the main story mode, except that you play with real players and some AI. You unlock weapons and vehicles from dropped parts that you get on wasting your opponents. The developers want to make you shell out as much money as they can in this mode. While finishing this campaign is not impossible without IAPs and the grinding required is not very intense or annoying, it is certainly slightly harder than the single-player campaign.
  2. No documentation or instructions: I played the single-player campaign for quite a while. But after reaching 190% (out of 198 for whatever reason), I cannot proceed, no matter how many races I play. I just moved on to the multiplayer. Some events have stars on them (possibly meaning that I have completed them) and they show up with other events. I don't understand some of these things and would like some instructions that explain the menu basics.
The Verdict

Death Rally is a video game remake done right. It plays well, looks good and it is very long. The minus points I have highlighted above are in no way dealbreakers in my opinion. Do you have an opinion about this game to share? Let me know in the comments! I'll read each one and maybe even add them into the article.