Exaggeration is fair-play when it comes to demolition derby.
Fickle physics, explosions sanctioned by the likes of Michael Bay and extremely tight fields of play? Yeah, Thunder Rally has them all but martial arts? Re-incarnation? That too.
Typical Entertainment isn’t revolutionizing the sport, no. The goal still lies in ramming your opponents your opponents into oblivion and being the last man standing. The means however to achieve said goal may vary.
For instance the studio claims that Thunder Rally’s drivers are recruited on the basis of brute strength/Car-Jitsu – the kind that’s capable of putting fist-to-bumper if need be. Rightly so if you, player, find yourself with an overturned/dysfunctional automobile, the game allows you to fight on foot.
This until you manage to commandeer an opponent’s vehicle, or they run you over. In the case of the latter you’re brought back to the playing field as a catapult loaded with fiery barrels that may be hurled at the surviving remnant.
The oddly designed fields themselves have moods of their own, choosing to drop care packages loaded with powerups – vehicles even – while often attempting to deliberately drag players off the field via contraptions.
As you’d imagine then Thunder Rally makes for a perfect party game which is exactly what Typical has in mind when they speak of fast-paced, hilarious matches. So much so that it was slightly hesitant on providing me access to the early alpha, knowing that I was barely social; it yielded to my pestering eventually.
The game’s intent is that of providing a local multiplayer experience for anywhere between 2-8 players. I can attest that the top-down, pixelated-art approach works and works well, the explosions/collisions are satisfyingly loud, the music’s heavy metal in its accompaniment, player punches/kicks are indeed capable of flipping cars and the power-ups are bizarre.
Think sticky mines, snow plough type front grills, jet engines and hood-mounted machine guns, to name a few. Vehicular physics are appropriately floaty to the point that flinging yourself off the field is very plausible, although I’d have liked my DualShock 4 to rumble since it didn’t.
‘We’re aiming to make Thunder Rally excel in the 4-8 player niche,’ technical artist Paul Gerla told me. ‘Currently on track to release on Steam but are also aiming to port the game to the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.’
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