Death Rally is a top-down combat racing game developed by Remedy, published by Apogee, and distributed by GT Interactive Software. It was released in 1996 for MS-DOS, but in 2009 it was re-released for Windows as freeware.
The game is simple in concept: You are a racer with a poorly equipped car, trying to make your way up the ranks by competing in increasingly dangerous races to earn cash to upgrade your car. The goal is eventually defeating the notorious "Adversary" and claiming the title of Death Rally Champion.
The gameplay is surprisingly deep for a game of this age, with various tracks, cars, and weapons to choose from. The game’s top-down perspective is reminiscent of classic arcade games, which gives the game a unique feel. The driving mechanics feel intuitive and smooth, allowing you to focus on the action and carnage happening all around you.
Death Rally offers six cars to choose from, ranging from the weak but nimble Vagabond to the powerful and fast Deliverator. Each car can be customized with upgrades for its engine, tires, and armor, allowing you to tailor your vehicle to your play style. You can also purchase various weapons and power-ups, such as landmines and rocket fuel, from the black market to give you an edge in the races.
The game's races are intense and chaotic, with competitors blasting each other with weapons and mines while trying to outmaneuver each other on the track. Winning races and completing missions for sponsors earns you money, which can be used to purchase new cars or upgrade your existing ones.
The game’s difficulty is well-balanced, with each race getting progressively harder but not to the point of frustration. It's also possible to play without using weapons, which adds an extra layer of challenge to the game. The graphics are simple but effective, with the game’s top-down view making it easy to keep track of your car and the other racers.
Death Rally does support multiplayer through network and serial/modem connections for up to 4 players and two players, respectively. This feature adds to the replayability and longevity of the game, as players can compete against each other instead of just against computer-controlled opponents.
Death Rally is a fun and challenging vehicular combat racing game that still holds up well today. The game's top-down perspective and intense races make for a unique and thrilling experience, while the customization options give you plenty of ways to tailor your car to your playstyle. If you're a fan of old-school racing games or just looking for a fun and challenging experience, then Death Rally is definitely worth checking out.