The Retro City Rampage wiki last edited by Kalor on 12/15/14 12:04PM View full history


Retro City Rampage is a 2D deliberately-retro open-world action-adventure game developed and published by Vblank for the PC (via Steam), PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita (both via the PlayStation Network) on October 9, 2012. Inspired by the Grand Theft Auto franchise, players control a character from a high top-down perspective with the intent to cause as much mayhem (and other criminal activity) in the large city as possible. The game is stylized to resemble games from 8-bit consoles (such as the Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Master System), with careful attention to detail (including a restrictive, yet customizable, color palette). The game also features numerous homages to (and parodies of) video games and other pop culture of the 1980s (and early 1990s).

Players control The Player, a small-time thug-for-hire working as a henchman (for criminal mastermind The Jester) in the city of Theftropolis. During a bank heist gone wrong, Player finds a time-traveling telephone booth, which transports him to the future (circa year 20XX). With the time machine broken, Player must help Doc Choc (a scientist who mistakes the Player for a time-traveling hero) gather the parts needed to repair the time machine while doing other odd jobs, avoiding law enforcement, and foiling the plans of Doc's rival, Dr. Von Buttnik.

It was later released for the Xbox 360 (via Xbox Live Arcade by D3 on January 2, 2013) and Wii (via WiiWare on February 28, 2013). A Nintendo 3DS was released in February 2014. Shortly after the New Nintendo 3DS was announced, Vblank shared on Twitter that the original 3DS version would be updated to take advantage of the added buttons when played on the new system.


RCR is an open world game in the style of Grand Theft Auto, and the player is free to go wherever they want to at any time. The map shows blips where missions can be started, either story missions (blue) or side missions (yellow). If the player commits any crime while a police officer is nearby, they will chase down the player, and as his crimes escalate, more police will gradually chase him, with the army intervening with tanks at the highest wanted level. Health is replenished by either picking up hearts or buying food from vending machines.

The story missions have a range of gameplay. Some missions play like classic NES games, for example one of the first missions plays like Paperboy, where the player has to deliver leaflets by throwing them into mail boxes. Other missions are similar to ones found in GTA games, such as travelling to the other side of town to kill a target, or tailing a car.

There are also minigames; Nolan's Arcade, named after Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, features a light version of Bit.Trip Runner and a 'test your might' game like the one from Mortal Kombat. When driving a taxi, players can start a taxi driving minigame. Spread across the map are 'rampage' icons where the player has to cause as much damage as possible with a specific weapon in a limited amount of time.

Player's appearance can be customised. There are numerous shops around town where players can get a new haircut, tattoos, sunglasses, or even a 'face transplant' to look like the game's developers, or other real life personalities ranging from fellow indie developers to even some games journalists.


As the title of the game suggests, Retro City Rampage has a deliberately retro look to its design that evokes games of the 8-bit era. The game's title is even patterned after that of the NES game River City Ransom. Retro City Rampage also references other titles of the era, such as a stage that resembles the second stage of Contra, but from the top-down perspective.

Display Filters

The game can be made to look like various game consoles, such as the Super Game Boy.

Retro City Rampage allows users to use a range of display filters which pay homage to classic gaming machines:


The game features a wide variety of weapons ranging from fists, all the way to an NES style light gun. Entering the Konami Code at any point in the game gives players access to all of the weapons.

Critical Response

Retro City Rampage was given the distinction of appearing at PAX 2010 as a PAX 10 selection. This merit is given to new and upcoming independent games of a distinctively high quality that show a great deal of promise. At PAX it was also awarded DIYgamer's Editor's Choice and Machinima's Best Indie Title of the Show as well as being nominated for Destructoid's Game of the Show. It has also been nominated for excellence in audio and received honorable mentions for the grand prize and excellence in visual art at the Independent Games Festival.


Not only does the game feature numerous references to NES games, there are also a lot of references to old TV shows too; the A-Team's iconic van appears as a vehicle called the 'T-Squad', and the 'Generaly' is a muscle car with a confederate flag on the bonnet, similar to the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazard. Doc Choc's appearance is very similar to Doc Brown from the Back to The Future films, and appropriately his car resembles the infamous DeLorean. A lot of these references also appear indirectly as shop names and billboards. There are also place names in the game, such as Granville Zone, that are named after real locations in Vancouver, the developer's home town, as well as an area called 'Primate Peninsula'.

System Requirements

Minimum System Requirements:

  • OS: Windows XP/Vista/ 7
  • Processor: 1.8 GHz
  • RAM: 512MB (1 GB recommended)
  • Graphics: 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 9.0c,
  • HDD: 50 MB

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