Pobtastic / Rampage

Created Fri, 29 Dec 2023 22:28:38 +0000 Modified Sun, 21 Apr 2024 09:21:46 +0000

Rampage (1986 Activision)


A disassembly of Rampage, created using SkoolKit.
A disassembly of Rampage, created using SkoolKit.


See “Road Trip To Lauda” for the full road-trip story.

I didn’t appreciate Rampage when I first bought it for my ZX Spectrum with my paper round money. I can tell you exactly why, it just isn’t especially fun when played with only one player. I never managed to see it in the arcades either, I’m not sure why really - it certainly should have been around when I was going there. Perhaps at that age, I wouldn’t have gone on the train to Southend with my friends, so I’d maybe have only caught it on family day-trips to Clacton or Birchington-on-Sea (and I’d generally just be on my own then too).

The first time I can honestly say that I really appreciated Rampage was when I acquired, almost by accident, a genuine Bally Midway arcade game. I took my wife (then girlfriend) on a short weekend road-trip to Southern Bavaria. Mainly to buy a Gauntlet and a Paperboy but also for a very short driving break (we visited Bruges in Belgium first) and I “casually asked the seller if he had anything else he wanted to sell…” and so, yes - ended up with a Rampage cabinet too.

My Rampage Arcade Machine

Once I cleaned it up and got it working, I realised - it’s a fantastic game! And even more so as a multi-player game. That’s where the real joy is, as you can play against each other (even punch each other) or destroy the cities together - it’s up to you!

ZX Spectrum

So I took another look at the ZX Spectrum version, and I can honestly say that I’d forgotten that it’s actually quite good. It’s a very pretty game for a start, the graphics are large and colourful. It does suffer a little as a 1UP game, but I think my younger self was a little harsh. It’s still a lot of fun!

Better still, the author Bob Pape, has done an interview1 and also written a book2 on his adventures writing ZX Spectrum software!