Today I am checking out Death Race for the NES. This is one of those “unlicensed” NES games that came on a weird cartridge and is, of course, worth a fair bit of money these days. Interestingly, what we have here is a game that was put out by the same folks that also made another rare NES game, Chiller and yes, this one here is just as violent.
You, Gotta, Do What You Gotta do
One of the more interesting facts about this game is that it is actually based on a movie, Death Race 2000 which was released many years earlier. I am not sure the game actually has an official license, but the basics of the “story” are that in the USA you head around state to state, killing as many people as you can with your car…. No wonder this did not get the good ol’ Nintendo Official Seal badge on it.
Super Off-Road Killers
The visual style of Death Race for the NES reminds me a great deal of Super Off-Road a game that I love. You view the action from a top down perspective that is quite raised. This makes this makes the sprites rather small, but despite the lack of any major detail you can tell what is what. The soundtrack does not fit the game at all! When I am picking what guns I want and what tires can drive over people best, I do not need some happy and whimsical tune playing.
RPG Racing Of Death!
One of the most surprising aspects of this game is how deep the ideas the designers were. There are some RPG type mechanics in Death Race for the NES which I find very interesting. Before you race, you get to select not just the “color” of the car you want, but many other things too. These range from the types of tires you have, guns, missiles, and engine!
The actual gameplay is rather simple, you start by selecting what state you want to race in and from there you need to get as many points as you can. You do this by killing pretty much anyone else you come across ranging from the cops, other racers, and pedestrians too! The controls are not great, but at the same time, they are not bad either. They are the kind of thing that once you get the hang of them you will start to have some fun.
I am not sure I would say that Death Race for the NES is worth the kind of money it is going for these days. However, I will say that this is a kind of fun game and one of the more violent and over the top NES games that the console has. It is certainly worth a look and if you are willing to stick with the game to get the hang of the rather awkward controls you will find this a rather fun experience.
- It has a rather interesting history
- It is impressive how many ways you can customize your death machine!
- The presentation is decent enough
- I found the gameplay to be fun in small blasts
- You can cause carnage all over the USA!
- The soundtrack does not fit the game at all,
- The controls take a while to get the hang of
Download Death Race
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
- P-200, 32 MB RAM