Apr 16, 2012
Racing is just more fun with deadly weapons. That’s the M.O. of Remedy’s Death Rally, now available on Android. This isometric racer has players racing up to 5 other opponents, trying to beat them by either crossing the finish line before them, or by making them not finish at all. Each car has a basic machine gun, to go along with a special weapon like missiles or flamethrowers, and an optional spike bumper. Money is earned for kills and for performance in races, which can then be spent to refill health and upgrade cars and weapons. The game is free to play, and has money multipliers, and the ability to unlock new cars, stages, and weapons early. Otherwise, they must be unlocked by picking up parts through the levels.
The game is structured perfectly for mobile. Races take about 90 seconds on average, with some 3-minute deathmatch levels to go along with it. The game is about always moving forward, always earning money, always going along to the next race, with plenty of choices for that next race. That forward progression makes it very easy to suddenly waste a lazy afternoon just playing the game. The controls use a virtual joystick for driving in the proper direction, which actually works really well, along with an action button for deploying the special weapon. It’s simple and it works really well.
The progression in regards to monetization feels unoptimized, though. The issue is that new vehicles and items are unlocked very slowly. Parts are available throughout the levels, yet even without the multiplier, money is earned quickly enough to where plenty will be ‘wasted’ toward increasing the fame rank well before a new vehicle is unlocked. As such, this is designed to tempt impatient players to just pay to unlock the next vehicle or weapon. It’s silly to buy that multiplier for many reasons because it just means that the desire to buy the next vehicle is even stronger. This feels different from the iOS version, which has been free at times, and I don’t recall ever feeling clogged up in progression like I did in this game. The online multiplayer of the iOS version is lacking in this game as well, although that only recently launched on iOS.
While the progression is frustrating, the game is still extremely fun, and I don’t have a problem with dropping at least a couple dollars on a fun title. It just feels compulsory at times, and a waste of that earned in-game currency because I don’t want fame. I want better, newer cars. Still, the game is well worth checking out.