Bird tossing? Check. Fruit slicing? Check. Rope cutting? Check. Top-down vehicular car combat racing…?

Time to brush up on your car combat skills cause we’ve got a new entry in the iOS universe. The question however, is does it translate into a spectacular car frag fest that controls well, offers a beefy amount of fragging weapons and overall feels at home on the mobile device forefront?

So, you’re tired of slicing fruit and tossing birds are you? Well Remedy has a cure for that, and it’s a remake of the classic PC top-down combat racer “Death Rally.” Remedy selected developers Mountain Sheep (the creators of Minigore) and Cornfox & Brothers when they set out to make not just a faithfully updated port, but a re-envisioning of the classic title that was released back in the 90’s.

This version of the game puts you in a career type mode, allowing you as the racer, to choose between race types, tracks and other various challenges presented to you in an easy to navigate interface. Upon first starting out, your car packs nothing more than a pathetically weak machine gun. However, after a few wins, you’ll be equipping Gatling guns, mines, missiles, laser-guided weapons and all sorts of other awesome explosive weapons to toss on your vehicle. After each race, you have the option of upgrading your car (armor, speed etc) with accumulated earned money from your previous races. Obviously the better you do, the more cash you’ll earn for car upgrades.

Unlockables are a huge part of Death Rally. You pick up weapon parts during actual races, allowing you to unlock bigger and better weapons. The part pick up aspect of the game also allows you to pick up car parts, helping you to unlock faster and better cars. After roughly 30 minutes of solid gameplay, you should be able to unlock around 3-4 different car types.

The game’s graphics are also a HUGE draw. They look absolutely fantastic on the iPhone 4’s retina display and the added horsepower on the iPad 2 really makes Death Rally shine. With impressive particle effects, a silky smooth frame rate, and a sense of speed and destruction, this game certainly doesn’t fall flat in the sexiness department.

Finally, with regards to content, Death Rally currently doesn’t feature any sort of multiplayer gameplay, so it can be argued that a HUGE aspect of the game is currently missing. However, Remedy has promised that we will be wrecking our friends online via Game Center very shortly. Even as I write this review, Remedy has already released two fairly large updates offering new cars, new race modes and challenges, a few new weapons, a second control scheme, bug fixes and more. With such updates already out, I firmly believe that they will certainly deliver on the promise of multiplayer as well.

So, top down vehicular car combat racing…? CHECK.

In Conclusion

Death Rally is a fun combat racer that graphically packs a punch and is extremely pick up and play friendly for all iOS devices thanks to it being a Universal app. But will it last? My short answer is yes. My long answer is that ultimately Remedy/Mountain Sheep hold such an answer in their very own hands with the promise of even more regular updates, the linchpin of which will be the promised Game Center-supported multiplayer gameplay mode.