At a Glance: A grizzly journey through post-apocalyptic mayhem based on the hit movie. You must fight to survive in a savage wasteland amid the chaos of the ruined highways, desperately clinging to the last dregs of hope in your very soul while scavenging for precious petrol.
Platform: NES-Download Emulator (191k)
Download: Get it here! (84k)
A man crawls toward you on his knees, begging for just one drop of sweet, sweet gasoline. YOU CAN'T HAVE ANY, JERK!
Game Plot: For those of you unfamiliar with the movie, Mad Max is essentially a road-war in a post-apocalyptic society collapse shenanigan-laden future of despair and tragedy. Everyone has taken to war on the highways, flinging dynamite at each other and driving everywhere at seven hundred miles per hour thanks to their turbo nitro boosters, then turning around and complaining about the scarcity of fuel. Kind of like the highways now, but less savage and with more midgets in funnycars.
You are Max, a man struggling to survive after the fall of society, in a land where gangs ride around fighting over tanks of gas. That's it. You start off in a mysterious canyon inside your car, a sanctuary away from the cruelties of the world as you are safely nestled behind a bunch of tires on the ground. Flinging a stick of dynamite through your windshield, you blast the tires away, zipping off onto the two-lane highway. The chase is afoot!
As one might guess in their fascinated curiosity over this game's intricacies, it's all about the gas. You're constantly reminded of this precious commodity as your fuel gauge sinks from full to empty at about six gallons a second. Thus, it is a frantic race against time to find a source of more fuel. In your car.
Most of the game is spent driving in circles. There are inexplicable patches of oil strewn about the road, and casually riding into one sends you spinning off to your doom. Navigating the wasteland is no easy task; you'll be faced with stacks of tires blocking the road, stacks of rocks blocking the road, stacks of tires AND rocks blocking the road, and gaping ravines in the middle of the road which you must jump.
Thankfully, you can pull off on rare occasions to explore caves or shop for supplies. Entering a cave with your car transfers you to the REAL action of the game-- running around as Max himself. In this mode, you run around huge underground warehouses with boxes and pitfalls everywhere, fending off hordes of decrepit midgets who charge towards you in pursuit of gasoline Valhalla.
Should you survive these treacherous catacombs, you'll be rewarded with dynamite, canteens, bandages and- oh yes! FUEL! Using this newly acquired fuel, you're able to traverse the wastes with renewed fervor; that is, of course, until yet again you run out and are immediately told you've lost the game.
I hope Mr. T has enough gasoline for the whole family!
At the shop, in the meantime, you can trade food and water for fuel, repairs, and ammunition with a mow-hawked burly man. Considering the brutal nature of the wastes, one might wonder why max doesn't just cut the man down like the other scum he encounters, whisking away his precious supplies-- but remember, dear friends; Max is a vigilante, not a murderer.
It is possible to purchase an arena pass, which one might presume would lead to a battle royale unlike any other, but I'll be damned if you can find anywhere to use it without the dynamite-flinging watch towers and oil slicks running you into the ground before your arrival.
The music is a 20 second endless loop in this adventurous title, and the myriad of ways to die was truly a treat. From what I gather, Running out of Fuel, Falling to your Doom, and Dying in the Wreck are the chief ways for a man to be overcome by the odds.
Weapons: While in your waste-traversing chariot of pain, Max can hurl sticks of dynamite at his foes. Damnably useful, you can destroy barricades and blow your enemies into blistering shrapnel-- presuming you can actually score a hit. On foot, you're left with the sawed-off shotgun from the movie- I don't recall it being able to fire three hundred rounds a minute though...
HEART-STOPPING ACTION AWAITS YOU!
Enemies: There are other cars, of course-- those faceless morons who randomly ram into your car... then maliciously do it again and again! Then, their counterparts, the vicious gangs who fling dynamite at you, stealing your shtick- Rapscallions! Where is everyone getting all this dynamite anyway? Even the towers, monolithic constructs of tires and iron, merrily fling dynamite as you drive by- and there are bloody hundreds of these things, lining the roads everywhere. Those rascally gangs sure have been busy! When exploring the mystery warehouses, you're faced with gray midgets and green midgets. There is no difference between the two- both just charge at you, and melt into a puddle of goo if you shoot them. Madness! MIDGET Madness!!
Defining Moment: Paying the sweaty shopkeeper to give me a "Full body overhaul" for three waters and three foods was quite the insight into the fundamental needs for gratification wastelanders seem to crave. And fuel! I equate the gaming experience to that of being beaten about the groin with a tire iron, doused with gasoline, then thrown into a woodchipper just for an unexpected twist.
Each category in the rating system is based out of a possible -10 score (-10 being the worst). The overall score is based out of a possible -50 score (-50 being the worst).
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
Cons: causes bad nightmares. I used to have to eat beef until I passed out to have these kind of terrors, but this machine does it for me every time I fall asleep inside it.
The Rom Pit is dedicated to reviewing the most bizarre and screwed up classic console games from the 1980's, the ones that made you wonder what kind of illegal substances the programmers were smoking when they worked on them. Strangely enough, the same illegal substances are often necessary to enjoy or make sense of most of these titles. No horrible Nintendo game is safe from the justice of the ROM Pit.