Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Motor Massacre

Motor Massacre was released by Gremlin Graphics in 1988 and is a wicked mix of a number of my favourite games, which is always going to be a great thing!

The action takes place in a grim post-apocalyptic future where each city is suffering after the devastation of war and resembles something like a Mad Max movie. All food stores were destroyed in the holocaust and people are starving until Doctor A. Noid came up with a food substitute called "SLU" to help the waning populous.

Why are these masterminds always qualified doctors? Anyhow, it was all a trick because SLU tastes like poo and turns the people into crazed zombies! So it's up to you to rescue the city from its psychotic drivers, explore buildings, and then battle in a demolition derby event to ultimately find the doctor and end this misery. Yes, Motor Massacre is actually more than one single game: the cities are explored from the comfort of your ATV in a top-down fashion similar to Chicago 90 or Nitro. Enter buildings and it changes to something like a Time Bandit or Gauntlet.

Driving around the city is tremendous fun as you are free to roam the streets, blasting away at anyone who might get in the way. All other drivers are out for blood and want you dead by means of their silly road rage antics so it's a good job your vehicle is fitted with a cannon to defend yourself. Use it to blast the suckers into oblivion but always watch out for hazards such as oil spills and explosives carelessly left lying in the road. Do note the gun turrets which line many streets and are annoyingly highly accurate. An interesting "mechanic" is how your vehicle's appearance alters the more damage it endures, so I'm grateful the holocaust didn't destroy the repair shops which also offer a wide range of other services like fuel, weapons, and ammo. The mechanic working here scares me but I like his T-shirt! There are some more places and these offer a good opportunity to collect goods like weapons and health, so look out for their location using the road markings (Pandy's Pork Palace is available right from the start and contains a handy ATV upgrade). However, you will soon discover that these places are also thriving with ghouls and odd creatures lurking in the shadows - but you are armed with a pistol - so shoot first and ask questions later! Keep searching these places and you should find the arena pass to a demolition derby event where you battle foes by pushing them down into a chasm of instant death. Success grants you access to the next city...

At heart, this is a pretty basic game with crude graphics and jerky scrolling to match. However, I must admit being mightily impressed with the animation of the little running men, reminds me of Impossible Mission. Sadly, the sound effects are just as poor as the visuals but, let's be honest, when did aesthetics matter to gameplay? Sure, technically this is a weak effort but Motor Massacre is bucket loads of fun and I really enjoyed zipping around the city looking for my victims. Could have been far better, but it's an addictive game bursting road rage and I can spend hours playing!


 - Shockingly, I don't know of a hard drive installable version but Old Games Finder have the floppies.
 - AtariMania features Motor Massacre within the ST database website.
 - I won't mention the dreaded and evil A-word but Hall Of Light has some awesome maps. Of course, that game is the same as ours so I found these maps extremely helpful [cities, buildings and especially the arena]. Look carefully!