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Retro City Rampage is an open-world game inspired by the Grand Theft Auto series that combines driving with fighting and shooting in a retro 8-bit style. Originally started as a homebrew NES demake of Grand Theft Auto III, it was eventually developed into a full game. The game is set in eighties and the protagonist is a mullet-styled gangster who wreaks havoc in Theftropolis city. It draws many elements from the series it was inspired by, such as the ability to hijack any car, fight on foot with melee and ranged weapons, and shake off the law when too many crimes are committed.

The main story mode consists of a number of missions that involve heists, extortion, but for instance also helping out Doc Brown from the Back to the Future movies to help repair his time travel car. The game has a quirky style and hectic pace, and is filled to the brim references to popular culture, especially movies, celebrities and other games with many cameo appearances. Next to the main mission various side missions can be taken on or the city can be explored in full at the player's leisure. During certain parts 30 challenges can be triggered where an objective needs to be completed in a short time, such as driving around a tank or getting air time shooting a bazooka. These can later be replayed as arcade challenges from the main menu. In addition there is a free roaming mode with the maximum amount of money right from the start.

The protagonist, dubbed The Player, can fight with his fists and other melee weapons, or shoot a large variety of guns. There are about 25 in total. These are collected while playing or are bought in shops. There is also a cover system where it is possible to duck behind objects and fire quickly. Any car or bike of the 40 available can be taken over and pedestrians can be mowed down, leaving behind money. The gun targeting has a lock system where it is possible to strafe around an opponent without losing the target direction. Other options include the ability to jump, and pick up and throw objects, including pedestrians. Committing too many crimes raises a threat meter causing the police force to arrive in increasingly larger numbers. The main character can buy various customizations, play arcade games or gamble at the casino. There are five special, permanent power-ups such as "Speed 'Kills' Shoes" for faster speed that are discovered or bought throughout the game. Vehicles can be repainted at spray garages, but cops can also be shaken off by collecting cop cloaking devices that make them lose the trail. Health is replenished by collecting hearts or buying food at vending machines.

In November 2014 Retro City Rampage: DX was launched, a new version for all previous platforms and introducing new platforms. It is a re-mastered version with the ability to switch to the original version of the game in the options. It was originally launched as the initial version for the 3DS platform earlier that year. Changes include faster vehicles, more checkpoints, tutorials, hint screens and tweaked missions, challenges, visual effects, visual enhancements and difficulty. Weapons can be selected from a grid instead of cycling through them and there is a new UI for the handheld version, including zoom, touch and a dynamic camera. There are more video filters options and two additional graphics modes: RETRO+ and 8-BIT. Weapons have been rebalanced and it is now possible to jump right away after shooting. The update also introduces parking garages where 54 cars can be parked.


Retro City Rampage: DX Windows There are many TV color and simulation settings, such as this Virtual Boy mode.
Retro City Rampage: DX Windows A part of the city map
Retro City Rampage: DX Windows Cut-scene sequence of a meeting with the criminal mastermind Jester.
Retro City Rampage: DX Windows Title screen

Promo Images

Retro City Rampage: DX Screenshot
Retro City Rampage: DX Screenshot
Retro City Rampage: DX Screenshot
Retro City Rampage: DX Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "Retro City Rampage: 486" -- DOS release title
  • "Retro City Rampage" -- First PS3 / PS Vita / Wii / Windows / Xbox 360 title
  • "Grand Theftendo" -- Working title

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User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

Pocket Magazine / Pockett Videogames PS Vita Aug 02, 2013 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Push Square PS Vita Oct 17, 2012 9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars 90
NintendoWorldReport Wii Mar 06, 2013 8 out of 10 80 (UK) PlayStation 3 Oct 12, 2012 8 out of 10 80
GameSpot Windows Oct 12, 2012 7 out of 10 70
Game Informer Magazine PS Vita Oct 11, 2012 7 out of 10 70 Xbox 360 Jan 04, 2013 6 out of 10 60
G4 TV: X-Play PS Vita Oct 16, 2012 3 out of 5 60
Retro Spirit Games Windows Oct 15, 2012 6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars 60
ZTGameDomain PS Vita Oct 18, 2012 6 out of 10 60


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Contributed to by Cavalary (10489), mars_rulez (44118), Sciere (539144), Kabushi (220214) and vileyn0id_8088 (21106)