Retro Game of the Day! Rampage
Rampage is one of those staples that everyone has played and enjoyed at some time or other - yet no one ever talks about. That's a strange thing, as the game was quite good when it released and is still pretty fun even now, just to let off some steam if nothing else. The original arcade released back in 1986 by Midway - I picked up the home conversion for my NES upon it's release 2 years later.
Looking at these pics, the NES version was not what you'd call a looker, neither were many NES games of the period - the original arcade had a lot of nice graphical touches, and the main competitor (Sega Master System) was quite easy on the eyes as well. The NES was pretty barebones for it's audiovisual presentation, but one didn't step up to the plate for Rampage's aesthetic - it was 'cause you wanted to smash stuff.
The game revolves around the idea that two (3 in the arcade) people have mutated into giant monsters, and are hell bent on destroying all the major cities in the United States. To do this, you climb up buildings, smash their sides/windows/foundations, and eventually they crumble to wreckage. The military gets wise and assaults you with helicopters and such, but you can just smash the puny humans out of the air. Still, they can eat at your health, likewise you'd better not be standing on a building when it's about to collapse or you are gonna go down with the ship. Lose all your health and you revert to a (named) normal-sized person who slinks offscreen - nice touch.
The game is quite simple, but in that it was good fun,a stress-reliever - the type of game that I have long-maintained "should be a video game!" Monster simulators are fun! I remember happening upon the arcade in a movie theater once, getting glued to the thing for the better part of an hour, and then counting down the days to the release of the NES port.
Rampage is an idea worth revisiting in some fashion or other, I look forward to see what comes out with this theme in the future - in the meantime, I still proclaim that the NES port is a good time, but you'd definitely be better served investigating the SMS, seen above (or arcade original). Atari Lynx had a nice "deluxe" version as well.