by Bob Pape, Colin Tuck, Mark A. Jones, Z
Activision Inc
Crash Issue 72, Jan 1990   page(s) 56

The Hit Squad
£2.99 (rerelease)

It all started as a normal day in the greasy fast food restaurant. When George, Lizzie and Ralph bit into their Big Muck hamburgers they didn't realise what they were eating (well you never do). The company's Research Division had accidentally shipped out some experimental additives and they had got into the Big Mucks. Suddenly George, Lizzie and Ralph bust out of their clothes (oo-er!) and exchanged them for coats of fur. They became a gorilla, lizard and wolfman, all fifty foot high and looking for revenge.

Up to three people can play in this fight for survival. You control the monsters and can climb up buildings, smash windows and eat the people inside (well it beats fast food!). But watch out, because inside some of the buildings are nasty objects like toasters, TVs and cacti which don't do your stomach much good it you gulp them down. Eventually the buildings collapse, and you have to jump clear before you get crushed in the rubble. Destroy all the buildings between you and progress to the next level. Easy fun, if it weren't for the military who aren't keen on your handywork. They shoot at you constantly, knocking down your energy level.

I love Rampage. The graphics are nicely defined and colour isn't too bad. Bashing and crushing the buildings is the best bit though (you didn't know I had an evil streak did you?). The game has its fair share of humour too: when you run out of energy you turn back into a human and run off screen in your birthday suit!

Rampage is packed full of addictiveness and playability. It may have lost some of the appeal it had originally but at £2.99 it's a must for all gamesplayers.

Overall: 74%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Crash Issue 49, Feb 1988   page(s) 13

Producer: Activision
Retail Price: £9.99
Author: Bob Pape

In yet another big licensing deal, Activision have bought the cult arcade game Rampage to the home computer market.

Between one and three players take the part of mutated monsters George, Lizzie or Ralph, as they set about destroying a city full of buildings.

The monsters are initially dropped onto the screen, and are confronted by several buildings, all of which are destroyed to advance to the next level. This is achieved by climbing up the sides of buildings, and either smashing out the windows, or knocking holes in the side. Once enough structural damage has been inflicted, it collapses in a cloud of dust.

All three monsters have damage meters, which are decreased every time they're hit by hail of bullets from army helicopters and tanks, or stay on a collapsing building. An entirely diminished damage meter has fatal consequences.

To supplement their energy, the monsters collect a wide variety of edible objects in the windows of buildings, and protect themselves by smashing the army vehicles that fire at them.

The game ends once all three monsters have returned to their human alter-egos.


Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: large, intricately-detailed monsters with colourful backgrounds
Sound: stomping and bashing effects only
Options: 1-3 players

Although Activision have successfully included the three player option in this conversion, things get cramped both on and off screen. To be honest, I find the gameplay rather dull - there's no chance of annihilating the armed forces, and consequently Rampage just becomes a race to find good food, with nothing to do except avoid crumbling buildings. The action gets dull quite quickly, and even with a couple of other players to spice things up, there's little to keep you playing.
BYM [65%]

Rampage is a pretty jolly game, and boasts some very bright graphics. Some of the screens are very attractive (as attractive as half a dozen multi-storey buildings can be, I suppose) and the characters are great. The gameplay appeals to my vandal and sadistic instincts, and going around smashing whole buildings down and eating people is highly enjoyable. Then there's the extra fun of being buried under rubble... However, the gameplay lacks variety and consequently I doubt its long-term appeal.
MIKE [62%]

Graphically, Rampage is really good - skyscrapers, roads, railway tracks and trees are all excellently drawn, and the backdrops are great, with pylons and transmitters to add to the realism. The basic idea is one of chaos - you have to bite and punch pieces out of the buildings and eat passing cars. The monsters are all as violent as each other, which can cause a problem when one turns against you! in some of the windows of buildings there are little people which give you extra energy if you eat them! I thoroughly enjoyed playing Rampage, and with an extra player or two it becomes even more fun-smashing.
NICK [80%]

Presentation: 78%
Graphics: 73%
Playability: 67%
Addictive Qualities: 65%
Overall: 69%

Summary: General Rating: A competent conversion that should appeal to fans of the original.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 27, Mar 1988   page(s) 70

Reviewer: Rachael Smith

Watch out. I'm back! Kink Kong's on the rampage! Brave men shudder, women scream, children puke babyfood and gurgle. Yes, it's arcade licensing time again!

If this had been a movie they'd have advertised it with the lines 'Too big for one screen! See the giant ape smash high-security banks into oblivion! Thrill as the giant lizard gobbles innocent bystanders! Go oo-er as a 30 foot werewolf stomps everything in sight!'

Promising stuff for a game of mass destruction which makes every other massacre look tame. Tiny helicopters swoop around your head. Tanks take pot shots at you (tanks for the pot shots, guys). Even the inhabitants of the skyscrapers lob dynamite. But it hardly bothers you because... you are invincible (almost)!

The idea's simple - which is good because so are the three monsters. You stroll into town, and smash up the modern architecture like a 30 foot Prince Charles. Grab any goodies revealed to renew your strength, avoiding the rather obvious no-no's, such as bottles of poison, then jump off the building before it cracks up and collapses.

One to three players can take part, with your Spectrum controlling any unattended characters. If your fellow rampagers get in your way you can move them on with a swift fist. Once you've bashed a whole block you progress to the next screen. But don't fall off too many roofs or you'll turn back into a minute mortal, shivering in your birthday suit.

All great fun for a while but being a monster can become a drag. Godzilla arrives home after a hard day in Tokyo. Mrs G has his slippers ready. "Hard day, dear?" "Graargh! I don't care if I never see another skyscraper again!" Yes, there's too little challenge to guarantee job satisfaction.

So unless you intend to play it three-handed, when the fun factor increases a little (but you'll need joysticks), or you're a monster fan of the original, you might just give this a miss for something with more lasting value!

Graphics: 7/10
Playability: 7/10
Value For Money: 6/10
Addictiveness: 6/10
Overall: 6/10

Summary: Smash everything in sight but don't expect too much of a smash from the thankless task of clearing the inner cities!

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 49, Jan 1990   page(s) 52


Fancy a bargain? Look in the basement! But mind the sta-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-airs! (KLUNK!) Marcus Berkmann supplies the bandages.

The Hit Squad
Reviewer: Marcus Berkmann

If nothing else, the Hit Squad games are certainly well presented. Looking at the cassette inlay for Rampage really made me want to play this game - quite a surprise, really, as I remember it from first time round. Actually, it's not that bad - it looks fab and plays smoothly, but the overall idea's just not strong enough. The game features three normal everyday Joes transformed, bu dodgy fast food, into 50 foot monsters determined to crush (or eat) virtually everything in sight. You play one of the monsters - up to three people can play, or the Spec can take the other parts - and you have to climb up any available skyscrapers, pummel holes in them, and blag anything that looks edible (that includes humans). Unfortunately, the National Guard has been called out, so you must be careful to avoid helicopters and, more importantly, their bullets. You must also watch out for buildings that have been over-pummelled by you and your playmates - they have a tendency to collapse on top of you. Lose your energy and you are changed back into a slightly embarrassed human - albeit one that's feeling fairly full up.

Nice idea, eh? Trouble is, it's all a little one-dimensional for sophisticated gamesters like you and me (hem hem). There's not a lot of challenge - once you've done one building, you just move onto the next - and, like the coin-op that spawned it, it's all style, no content. Well programmed, though, and good fun for about 15 minutes.

Overall: 54%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 71, Feb 1988   page(s) 54,55

Label: Activision
Author: In-house
Price: £9.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Sewli Mannan

Fancy smashing a few cities with Lizzie the Lizard, Ralph the Wolfman and George the Gorilla? Yes? Good, 'cause Activision have bought out a new game called Rampage where you have to smash your way through New York, San Francisco, Dallas, etc. Rampage has an odd plot, I mean just imagine controlling a sci-fi film monster such as King Kong, Godzilla and Werewolf!! But nevertheless the game is quite cute.

The idea is to make your monster smash its way through many colourful cities, smashing the skyscrapers and buildings with its bare fists! You've got to eat anything that you can lay your paws on in the buildings except the electrical goods and potted cacti! As soon as you have smashed one city a new city will appear, all ready for you to flatten.

Rampage can be played three people, each controlling a different monster but if you want to play on your own, just get the computer to control the other two monsters who are trying to knock down more of the buildings than you can.

Sensibly enough, the nation ain't going to let the monsters get away with all that savagery so they have brought in the military and gunship helicopters to get rid of them. You have to either punch them out of existence or stay out of their firing line.

There are 50 cities to be smashed and the monsters spend 3 days in each city, making a total of 150 different screens. Some of the graphics in Rampage, are great. The skyscrapers are very colourful and the definition is good. But the monsters are just blackish dull grey. There is the chance of you mislaying your monster in a mass of dot clash.

Altogether Rampage is a slow moving game and does get boring when you're just climbing skyscrapers and smashing them in. There are many better budget releases.

Overall: 6/10

Summary: Promising coin-op loses much of its appeal on the way down the conversion lines. Mediocre.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Issue 6, Mar 1988   page(s) 60

Activision, £9.99cs
C64 version reviewed Issue 5 - ACE Rating 887

The monster mash makes it to the Spectrum, and was well worth waiting for. The monsters are all monochrome and it can be a little difficult to tell who's who at times. Still a great game to play, and Spectrum arcade conversion fans will not be disappointed.

Ace Rating: 880/1000

Transcript by Chris Bourne

C&VG (Computer & Video Games) Issue 97, Dec 1989   page(s) 97

Hit Squad
Spectrum, C64, Amstrad: £2.99

Activision's conversion of the cult three-player coin-op, which sees the players as either King Kong, Godzilla or Wolfman, each fifty feet tall, reappears on art's budget label with hopes of crushing the opposition like one of the many cities which be levelled throughout the game. To hamper the progress of the mutant monsters are the good ol' US Army who come on droves, armed with machine guns, rockets and helicopters, with the intent of wiping out your energy (depicted by a bar at the top of the screen) and turning you back into a weedy human.

Rampage is as close a conversion as anyone could possibly hope to achieve on the Spectrum. The three-player option has been thankfully retained, and the monochrome graphics capture the spirit of the original.

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Overall: 71%

Summary: An accurate conversion, fun for people who can't get enough of the arcade game. Others may not be so ecstatic about it, though.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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