It was supposed to be the next big thing, with lots of buzz surrounding it at the 1980 AMOA trade show. Pac-Man? Too abstract! Defender? Too complicated due to all the buttons! Nobody will play those...or so the Bally/Midway and the other vendors thought. 20 years later, Rally-X has the unfortunate legacy of failing expectations and being an also-ran, at least in the US. It's really unfair though, as it's one of the more entertaining games in the early Namco canon.

Gameplay offers a maze-like setup as you drive your blue car around picking up all the flags on the course. A fleet of red cars are on your tail, and large rocks are strewn about that you have to dodge. The only real weapon you have against the blue cars are a smokescreen trail that serves to confuse them. Once you pick up all the flags it's on to the next round. If you collide with anything, the effect produced is a comic book-likeBANG. Every few stages, a "challenging stage" appears, where you race through getting as many flags as you can until you run out of fuel. This was actually the first game from Namco with such stages, it got used to greater and more memorable effect in 1981's Galaga.

Galaga was also one of the games that overshadowed the enhancement effort on the game called New Rally-X. The game showed up later in the two previous forms plus a new arrangement update in Namco Classics Volume 2. As far as home conversions there's versions for the MSX, Atari 2600, Famicom, X68000 (New Rally-X), for Win95 in the Revenge of Arcade, for the PSX, Dreamcast, and Nintendo 64 in the Namco Museum packages, and it's emulated in MAME.

Tank Batallion -- Ms. Pac-Man

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