Death Rally

aka: Death Race, Death Rally (Classic), Death Rally: Death in the Fast Lane, Hi-Speed
Moby ID: 256
DOS Specs
Buy on Windows
$0.00 new on Steam
Included in See Also

Description official descriptions

Death Rally is a top-down racing game where the player can rely on more than speed to be the number one, and brains must be riding along brawn to get the most from each race.

Starting with only $495 and a lowly car, the player must compete in one of three races (picked from 19 tracks) with increasingly difficult opponents but higher rewards, getting enough money to buy new cars, choosing from six models, and enhance them with one to four upgrades for engine (increase top speed), tires (improve traction, allowing to drift less on turns) and armor (reduces the damage caused by opponents, mines or collisions). But there are more ways to spend money by reaching the underground market where the player can buy land mines (can be dropped to get opponents directly behind or create traps in narrow sections), get some rocket fuel (which increases boost speed greatly at the expense of some damage for both the user car and the ones directly behind) or bribe a mechanic to mess around with the best-ranked opponent car. All these upgrades are valid for one race only.

The race varies in length depending on the difficulty chosen, but follow the same structure: four drivers with the starting grid set according to the championship table, with the worst placed starting in front and so on, and the first to cross the line after the stipulated number of laps wins or the last driver standing wins. At the same time, the fourth place driver gets no points and no money, including pick up bonuses, and lapped drivers get the same luck. The player can use a booster to increase speed for a few seconds, but once the reserve is depleted, the player has to wait it replenishes or pick up icons scattered on the track. Similar items appear to replenish ammo, repair the car or give small money bonuses. Occasionally, large money and repair items appear, which provide a much larger bonus.

Along the money earned in races, there are several bonuses if the player manages to wipe out all competition, complete the race without a scratch, achieve a streak of wins, or fulfill certain missions for some sponsors, such as collecting steroids and winning the race or destroying an opponent. The value of these bonus changes according to the car: a bonus with the Vagabond can be worth as little as $650, but with the Deliverator a mission can be worth 12 grand, regardless of the race selected.

The ultimate goal is to top the championship table, and then defeat the Adversary in a special track.

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Credits (DOS version)

36 People (35 developers, 1 thanks) · View all



Average score: 79% (based on 13 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 122 ratings with 10 reviews)


The Good
Gameplay is very good. Graphics are good which is probably due to the fact that the programmers are all part of Finnish demo groups. The mushroom effect looks still good.

The Bad
The game is maybe a little bit too simple and short.

The Bottom Line
Drive and win or kill and win or be shot and lose. The game continues in the Finnish traditional way of making games.

Slicks 'N' Slide is very much like this game.

DOS · by Heikki Sairanen (75) · 2000

Cool & Addictive little game

The Good
-The easy gameplay. Just head out on the track and have some fun. -I loved the black market option where you can buy various upgrades that aren't available in the standard market. Like the turbobooster, spikes to ram your opponent with, mines and off course the sabotage. - The music is also great. Most games from that time used MIDI's. This game uses MOD's. - I also loved all the offers from various underground crooks. They can ask you to pick up some narcotics along the way and finish first before everyone would know about it, or they can ask you to disable a specific driver. All these little opportunities pay off even better then finishing first.

The Bad
Well the shareware version was harder than the full version. That's because you can't buy everything from the black market at once in the shareware version. In the full version you could buy everything from the blackmarket.

The Bottom Line
This is a fun little game that is extremely addictive, because you'll have to make a name for yourself. It's easy gameplay makes it even more addictive. It's hard to win, but it's easy to play.

You won't be disappointed.

DOS · by Goteki45 (323) · 2003

Overhead racing at its finest.

The Good
It included high speed action, a very fast frame rate, incredible music and graphics, and an evil edge! The courses are well designed. The 3D overhead graphics will suck you in. It runs perfectly on my Pentium 75. The tracked mod music is great; I especially like the funky horn driven piece for the two "raceway like" tracks. Get the mines and a spiked bumper from the underground market when you can: they will aid in your destruction of the cars! Kill all of the cars for an added bonus from the Grim Reaper himself! Race Duke Nukem! Even Tommy Chong makes a guest appearance!

The Bad
Um, after thinking for 5 minutes, I still can't come up with anything...

The Bottom Line
The best and most fun way to play this game is to have a "kill all of the other cars" strategy.

DOS · by Peter Hall (150) · 1999

[ View all 10 player reviews ]



The six cars are all based on real-life cars: the Vagabond is a VW Beetle, the Dervish a Ford Ranger pickup, the Sentinel the Peugeot 405, Shrieker is based on the Chevrolet Camaro and the Wraith is based on the Porsche 911. The only exception is the Deliverator, a rocket car with some similarities with the Mach 5 from Speed Racer.

Copy protection

Death Rally (along with a few other later Apogee CD games) had a HUGE (approx. 500 MB) file on the CD that the program checks for upon startup, meaning effectively that no one could just install the game to their hard drive and just run it...if the file isn't found, the game refused to play, even if the game doesn't need the CD for any normal gameplay purposes.

Freeware release

The free Windows version was released only because the fans really wanted it.


Remedy's (a Finish game development company) Death Rally has sold more than eighty-five thousand copies worldwide which was an enormous success in Finnish standards.

Working title

The first release of this game to Apogee's beta testers was called HiSpeed. Its name was later changed in the second beta to Death Race, however due to another copyright, that name didn't stick either which lead to the final name, Death Rally.

Information also contributed by Eric Baker, Luis Silva, Picard and Satoshi Kunsai


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  • MobyGames ID: 256
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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tomer Gabel.

Windows added by Picard. Macintosh added by LepricahnsGold.

Additional contributors: Accatone, Xantheous, Frenkel, tarmo888, formercontrib, Patrick Bregger, 7HEPOW, MrFlibble, ZeTomes.

Game added August 29, 1999. Last modified February 29, 2024.