The Speed Rumbler
It's the 21st century in America. Technology has improved by leaps and bounds, and now (most) people live in peace. But in a small town somewhere, a vicious terrorist group known as Zapper is terrorizing small towns and kidnapping innocent people so that they can build a secret weapon. And, as it turns out, the family and friends of someone code-named "Super Joe" just so happened to be one of the innocents caught! Now Super Joe's hungry for revenge. Can Super Joe and his armored car destroy the Zapper organization and save his town from utter destruction in time?
The Speed Rumbler is a action game where the player races against the clock in an armored car piloted by Super Joe, destroying other cars and saving captives along the way. Super Joe's car is armed with a gun that he can use to shoot down enemy cars, but the enemy cars have a few tricks up their sleeve, so Super Joe should always be on guard. As the player progresses through the game's six stages, Super Joe can be given a boost by saving captives, who then award him with bonus points, increased fire power, or speed-ups. If Super Joe's car is destroyed, he can continue the fight on foot with his rifle. But unfortunately, Super Joe is not as powerful as his car - one hit and he's history.
Super Joe has 24 "hours" to destroy Zapper. The game is over when Super Joe runs out of lives or time - or if he successfully completes his mission.
Credits (Arcade version)
Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 2 ratings with 1 reviews)
I learned about The Speed Rumbler in the arcades around 1988 or 1990. By then I already knew the Mad Max movies and Spy Hunter, so it immediately caught my interest: it wasn't a merely racing game, but a game about driving AND shooting your opponents. The Speed Rumbler however, has more depth than that. It has a story developed in a post apocalyptic future world, where this "Zapper" gang has gone further than kidnapping your family and friends; they have taken over the civilization next to you and care not a whit about seeding chaos and mayhem, and if you are crazy enough to face them they won't make it any easy. You take the role of Super Joe, and you have to drive on every stage from an "A" point to a "B" location as fast as you can, as you only have 24 hours to reach your family. You are armed with a gun and a car. The whole path is full of enemies, though, which will do everything as possible to kill you. Your enemies will be on foot, cars, trucks, tractors, hovercrafts, and tanks, or they will shoot you from buildings. From your car you can shoot, hit, or run them over. Zapper have built an anarchy and logically, everything goes nice and fair. Driving your car you can take some damage from your enemies, but you are not invulnerable. More likely, your car has an energy gauge, which when depletes, will set your car in fire. That means that you have to quickly roll out and continue the war by yourself until you find another car. Of course, Super Joe can't take as much shooting as his car. One hit and it's over... unless of course, you act quick to dodge the attacks. Soon you will realize that Super Joe isn't "super" because of superiority, as he's just as tough as any enemy. He is super because he has the guts of waging an uneven fight. Therefore, you may notice also that unlike other shooting games, you don't have to kill all enemies to go forward, but to get rid of those in your way. Like other Capcom games, you will find power ups on your journey. There are cells with prisoners, if you either shoot or crash them they will be released, and by collecting them you earn points, regain health, or power up your car's speed, armor, or shooting capacity. The Speed Rumbler, despite its graphics which may look cute, has nice details: enemies are different, and some have mohawks... just like in Mad Max. The music is also catchy.
The Speed Rumbler is very hard. It's not a game for someone who can't stand frustration. Controls aren't easy either, as the car in full throttle is prone to slide out in corners.
The Bottom Line
If you loved those movies from the early 80s where the hero is way weaker than its foe, or you liked Mad Max, with a more post modern form of depicting a rough place like the far west, AND you are not afraid of a tough challenge, you have to try this game. It's one of those rare Capcom gems waiting for you to be discovered.
Arcade · by jose vargas (22) · 2016
|Speed Rumbler(arc.) released for Windows(via Steam) on Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium||Andrew Fisher (695)||Aug 25th, 2022|
Although Super Joe's car in-game is generic, on the promotional artwork there are two versions of it, and they are easily recognizable: The Japanese Flyer shows a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Mk.II (version from around 1981), while the marquee for the American market depicts a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (from circa 1978). Both are heavily modified with an exposed engine.
- MobyGames ID: 66150
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by ryanbus84.
Commodore 64 added by Troy Lyndon.
Game added June 15th, 2014. Last modified June 18th, 2023.