Carmageddon, Game Boy Color

Believe it or not: the Game Boy Color has a version of the infamous Carmageddon available for it, with overhead scrolling streets and tiny pedestrian zombies that you can run down in a variety of different cars. It was developed by Aqua Pacific and first published by Sales Curve Interactive in Europe and Titus in North America in 2000.

Carmageddon for the Game Boy Color is a far cry from the 3D-modelled excesses of the original PC version of the game (or the more modern remake), although it is still fun to play – to a certain extent.

Just like in the original Carmageddon you can either complete a set number of laps, run over all pedestrians, or destroy all opponent cars to win a race. And as you win races you earn points and money, the latter of which you can use to buy more cars. Unlike in the original Carmageddon your car can jump if you press the jump button, which is bizarre. Of course your car can jump if you aim it at ramps, or logs, or other parts of the landscape that are designed to send your car into the air, but having an actual jump button seems a little over the top.

There are eight groups of tracks, each with four different races, and you start in group one and must complete a certain number of races to unlock the next group. A password system allows you to continue where you left off, if you make significant progress.

This being a Nintendo-approved game I found it somewhat surprising that you can run down pedestrians, although they are zombies (with green blood), and not red-blooded people, like in the uncensored original. In the German version of this game the zombies have been changed to robots and the green blood stains removed completely.

While Carmageddon on the Game Boy Color is playable, there isn’t much to it and it does become repetitive quickly. The tracks themselves are hard to navigate and it’s not clear how to actually complete laps on them. So you end up guessing where to go on the track, rather than knowing.

Crashing into other cars is okay, but even that becomes boring because there isn’t much to it. There’s no car deformation and no real indication that you’re actually doing any damage to opponents. Running over zombies is kinda fun, but even that loses its appeal quickly because there’s no real variety to it.

Overall: Carmageddon on the GBC is a missed opportunity. With a bit more variety, and a bit more detail and thought put into it, it could have been good, but as it stands it’s a fairly poor attempt to bring destruction racing to a handheld.

More: Carmageddon on Moby Games

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