Tetris meets shoot-'em-up, Rampart was originally a one or two-player arcade game combining strategy and artillery action. Build your castle from Tetris-style pieces, place your cannons, bombard the enemy, try to repair, do it all over again. Later arcade revisions incorporated 3-player, and the PC conversion does as well, making it a faithful, entertaining classic for multiple players on the same PC.
Here comes a true arcade classic. Rampart is one of the games, which once filled the gaming arcades all over the world. Originally released by Atari in the late 80s it is one of the rare games that is both simple and addicting in the glimpse of an eye. Another expression, which comes to my mind, is "pure"... Rampart is pure arcade gaming!
The game features both single and multiplayer modes. The single player is all about defending an island against attacking ships. After choosing your army's colour at the beginning of the game, you see an overview of the island, which is separated into several regions you have to defend in any order you like. When you've decided, which region to start with, the overview zooms to a map of the respective region and you have to select your home-castle. This castle is surrounded with walls and right after placing some cannons, the first attackers appear.
The game itself is divided into two phases then. First is the fire-phase. In this one you have the simple goal to destroy as many of the attacking ships as possible. The better your aiming skills are, the less damage your own fortifications will take. Fire and destroy! After a short while the first phase ends and the real challenge begins: the build-phase. Here you have to repair and try to extend your fortress in a very limited time using Tetris-like blocks as wall segments. These blocks may be rotated as in Tetris and will most surely not fit into your wall's gaps properly. The larger the surrounded area and the more castles are within, the more points you'll get to buy new cannons. At the end of the phase you have to have at least one castle surrounded with walls, else you'll lose the game. Then the additional cannons may be placed and the next fire-phase is about to begin... All this might not sound too interesting, but you'll be astonished, how fast this game draws you into its grasp.
The main strength of the game lies in its versus mode, however. As Rampart's origin is the gaming arcade, you might imagine that it is more of a console-style party game, than being suited for single player PC gamers. Unlike in single player your opponents are not unknown ships, but your friends sitting right next to you in front of the same computer. Each player has his own castle and may destroy his opponents at will. This fact may breed bad blood and even result in contusions sometimes, depending on you're friends and your own aiming skills. Almost understandable, as it is greatest fun to send your defeated mates to the guillotine and chop their heads off (symbolically, of course).
The game's graphics are good and functional, nothing more. But more is not needed, however. The sound is quite good and even shows some pieces of digitized speech, and in addition to the original release, the PC version features up to three players instead of only two and therefore even improves the fun in versus mode. The downside is, that few PCs feature three joysticks or gamepads and most players will have to squeeze themselves in front of a single keyboard. After all the keys for all players may be defined freely in the game setup. Alas, this is the only advantage compared to the original arcade game and the reason why I can do nothing else, but rate this game with a moderate 3. It hurts somehow, but everyone knowing the original arcade machine will understand this decision and nevertheless still download the game. Everybody not knowing the game machine should really take a look at this still good conversion of one of the greatest arcade games ever made!
Very addictive Strategy/Action/Tetris-Crossover. Shoot the ships, build up your castle - sounds simple, but it isn't, coz' the castle-building is done in Tetris-Style. Well, I like this game very much. It's great for some action and puzzlin', you can play it for a few minutes during lunchbreak or so (but beware, there is a chance, you'll stick to it for more than just five minutes!). Very unique idea I think, just try it out, even got multiplayer-mode.
A near-perfect conversion of Atari's 1990 arcade hit. Rampart is a game of medieval warfare that boasts fast, furious gameplay, good graphics, and a very high addictiveness quotient.
Like all good arcade games, Rampart is easy to learn but hard to win. The goals in the Combat Phase in one- and two-player games are slightly different. In one-player game, your goal is to sink enemy ships, while the goal is to destroy enemy castle walls in two-player mode.
What makes Rampart different from most arcade games, and what makes it a lot of fun to play, is the great combination of action and strategy elements. Before you can enter the Combat Phase, you must first strategically place the cannons within the castle walls. After the Combat Phase, you move into the Repair Phase in which you can repair your walls. In this phase, you can also place (randomly created) parts of walls over the landscape to gain more territory to place cannons on. There is a time limit for placing walls, so your friend won't have to twiddle his thumbs impatiently while you scrutinize all strategic locations ;)
With excellent graphics and the same solid gameplay that fully retains the addictiveness of original arcade hit, Rampart is simply a must-have for action fans, and even strategy fans who fancy a bit of action. The music is a bit dull, but that's a very minor nitpick. Highly recommended, especially if you can find someone to play against in the two-player mode.
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