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Death Rally (DOS)

79
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

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 or completing a streak of wins, or accepting certain missions for some sponsors, such as collecting steroids and win the race or destroy 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.

Screenshots

Death Rally DOS Borneo - successfully used a mine
Death Rally DOS Palm Side -  between two palms
Death Rally DOS Suburbia - right before the start
Death Rally DOS Downtown - found some money

Alternate Titles

  • "Hi-Speed" -- Working title
  • "Death Rally: Death in the Fast Lane" -- Tag-lined title
  • "Death Race" -- Working title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Quite possibly the best damn racing game you'll ever lay your hands on! Satoshi Kunsai (1817) 4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars
Best racer I've ever played. Tomer Gabel (4416) 4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars
Top view racing at its best ThE oNe (178) unrated
Overhead racing at its finest. Peter Hall (127) unrated
Its Shareware version was better indeed! At least more addictive! Accatone (5186) unrated
The best racer of all time Plix (207) 4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars
Car racing from above. Good game, lots of extras. MajorDad (474) unrated
A terrific game of the old racing genre. RmM (64) 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars
Cool & Addictive little game Goteki45 (308) unrated
Goo Heikki Sairanen (105) 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

The Press Says

PC Player (Denmark) 1997 87 out of 100 87
GameSpot Feb 14, 1997 8.5 out of 10 85
The DOS Spirit Dec 01, 2006 5 out of 6 83
PC Player (Germany) Jan, 1997 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
High Score Feb, 1997 4 out of 5 80
Power Play Dec, 1996 73 out of 100 73
PC Games (Germany) Dec, 1996 72 out of 100 72
All Game Guide 1999 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70

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Trivia

Cars

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.

Sales

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

Related Web Sites

Tomer Gabel (4416) added Death Rally (DOS) on Aug 29, 1999
Other platforms contributed by Picard (29302)