Episode 14 - Carmageddon

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Today we're doing something special. We've covered a controversial game on this website before but this time we're not only highlighting a similarly scandalous game but we're also urging everyone who likes dark humor games to support a good cause. But we'll get to that later. First let's talk about one of the greatest games ever made. A game in which you not only have the option of running over pedestrians with a car, you are pretty much encouraged to do so. Banned in several countries and heavily censored in the UK (a game made by British developers, mind you), today's dark humor highlight is a satirical, over the top mockery of racing games which may or may not have been inspired by Death Race 2000. This is Carmageddon.

Developed by Stainless Games in 1997, Carmageddon was an instant hit due to its scandalous gameplay and over the top dark humor. Later on the game spawned two sequels, the first of which was pretty good, but nothing compares to the greatness of the original Carmageddon. Upon first glance this game looks like a racing game. It's not. Sure, there's a timer and there are checkpoints that you can drive through in sequence and if you complete every lap you win the race, but why would you do such a thing when you can ram your car into your opponents until you total their vehicle? Not to mention that the map is littered with pedestrians who explode upon the slightest touch (realism is for the weak!) into a pile of blood and gore, each of whom gives you a precious time bonus that allows you to finish the level before the timer reaches zero.

Carmageddon Gameplay

In Carmageddon you play as one of two psychotic racers, Max Damage or Die Anna. Each racer comes with a custom built car complete with spikes and blades that function well in the races. Each race features six participants. The player's opponents drive similarly awkward looking death machines as Max Damage and Die Anna. Examples include Stella Stunna who drives the Electric Blue, a swift car with a built in Electro-Bastard Ray (more on that later), or Screwie Lewie, driver of The Twister, a monster truck with a giant drill at the front, or Heinz Faust who races like he's at war, riding into the carnage with the King Merc, an armored silver Mercedes on tank tracks, or Don Dumpster who drives a plow called The Plow which has the word "Gotcha!" painted on the front with blood. These vehicles make the cars in Dick Dastardly's Wacky Races look legitimate (if you don't know who Dick Dastardly is, you're probably too young for this website and should probably not be playing Carmageddon).

The game takes place in different environments including cities, beaches, the countryside, the desert, and even a ski resort, providing good variety. The races also feature cop cars that try to destroy you if they see you run over a pedestrian. Except they don't particularly care about collateral damage and will go to any length necessary to destroy your car, running over  any and every pedestrian in their way. Talk about hypocrites...

During the races you can run into various upgrades that give you an added bonus for a limited amount of time. This can include useless but hilarious bonuses like Vesuvian Corpses (which turns corpses into volcanoes of blood) or Pedestrian Harvest (which sticks the pedestrians to your car), but also very useful things like the Acme Damage Magnifier (a must if you want to waste Heinz Faust before you fully upgrade our car) or the Pedestrian Electro-Bastard Ray, a weapon that automatically zaps any pedestrian in range and which is very useful for racking up some insane combo bonuses.

Speaking of bonuses, the game rewards you for running over pedestrians in a creative way. Running over them backwards for example almost always gives you the "Extra Style Bonus" and running into an object and ramming it into a pedestrian gives you the "Nice Shot Sir!" bonus. Likewise, the more insane the stunts you perform in the game the more likely you'll get a "Cunning Stunt Bonus", so don't be afraid to drive off the top of a roof. Don't worry, in the single player mode you are invincible. Ran into a concrete wall at 200 miles per hour? No problem! Just keep pressing the backspace button.

The game also features a multiplayer component though it's questionable whether you can make it work these days, albeit the single player component works just fine in DOS emulators.

Now, some people may have concerns over the effect this game might have on players. While we seriously doubt that such people would ever bother reading our website, let's make something abundantly clear. Carmageddon is a game. It's only purpose is to entertain people with a penchant for dark humor. It's so over the top it's impossible to take it seriously, and anyone who thinks that playing this game will make people want to run over pedestrians or ram their cars into the traffic at maximum velocity in real life is a complete idiot. We have proof. We've played Carmageddon since its release and to date we have never run over a single pedestrian in real life. Nor would we even if actually had a car and a driving license.

So to summarize, Carmageddon is quite simply one of the best dark humor games ever made. Simply the fact that it was censored in the very country where it was developed and altogether banned in several others makes it a must play for any dark humor enthusiast, and the gameplay is very entertaining and never gets old. So go get a copy and play the game in a DOS emulator! But before that, hear the good news!

Here's your chance to help the game developers of one of the greatest games ever made bring their game franchise back from the dead. Stainless Games have recently reacquired the rights to the Carmageddon franchise and they are now developing a revival called Carmageddon: Reincarnation. This new game intends to return to the roots of the franchise bringing back the old days for our pleasure. All the good things of the original Carmageddon spiced up with modern graphics, a truly great game in the making. However, Stainless Games needs funds to finish the game, and with the recent advent of crowd funding we all can now participate in funding a great game. The fundraiser is taking place on Kickstarter and the aim is USD 400000. As we post this 14 days remain of the fundraiser and there is still nearly a 100 grand missing from the target amount. So if you would like to see a new Carmageddon title, go to the Kickstarter website and support the creators with as much as you are able to spare. This can be as little as 1 dollar, though the 15 dollar donation makes more sense since you get the game on Steam as a reward if you donate this much, meaning that you probably get the game with a significant discount. Of course, if you're rich, you can donate a lot more and possibly even meet the developers. (For those of you who have never heard of Kickstarter, you get various rewards for your donations, the least of which is being credited for your support.) So ask yourself the question... Do you want to run over a hundred pedestrians and splatter them all over the concrete? Do you want to ram your unsuspecting victims into a lamppost or perhaps through a plate glass window? Do you want to total the cars of your fellow competitors who are all equally as psychotic as you are and whose cars are every bit as outrageous as your own? Do you want to perform surreal stunts only to fall onto a pedestrian from the top of a roof? Then what are you waiting for? Go to Kickstarter and help Stainless Games bring Carmageddon back from the dead, right now! And be careful when you cross the street. You never know when Max Damage takes the Red Eagle for a spin.

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