Harms Way is a free hybrid racing/shooter advergame developed by Bongfish for the Xbox 360 (via Xbox Live Arcade). It was released alongside Doritos Crash Course on December 8, 2010 as part of Doritos's "Unlock Xbox" promotion.
Set in a dangerous wasteland, the game is a multiplayer team-based game with four teams of two, each team consisting of a racer (who attempts to win the race while collecting power-ups that help friendly turrets and harm enemy turrets) and a turret gunner (who tries to shoot down enemy racers and turrets while unlocking shortcuts for the friendly racer and blocking paths for enemy racers).
As finalists in the 2010 Unlock Xbox promotion, both Doritos Crash Course and Harms Way were subjected to gamer voting through December 26, 2010 on the Xbox Dashboard (in which the contestant that submitted the winning game idea receives $50,000 as a "consulting fee"). Due to the popularity of both games, both Jill Robertson (who submitted the idea for Doritos Crash Course) and Justin Carpenter (who submitted the idea for Harms Way) won the prize.
Eight players (humans or A.I. opponents) take control of either the "Driver" or the "Shooter" in one of four factions: Team Mirage (blue), TrailBlazers (red), Dust Devils (yellow), or Road Hogs (green). Multiplayer games consist of campaigns of three races (in three tracks: Navajo Arch, Desert Bloom, and Wasteland). Teams earn points in each race determined by their Driver's final position and their Shooter's score (which is gained by shooting down enemy racers).
As the Driver, each player must race around the track for three laps while avoiding obstacles and enemy turrets, helping their Shooter become the strongest turret gunner, and going through shortcuts set up by their Shooter. Players can race in one of four vehicles:
- Buggy - Good speed and handling, poor health.
- Pickup - Average speed and health, great handling.
- Truck - Average speed and handling, great health.
- Bus - Great speed, good health, poor handling.
Along each track is a series of power-ups that racers can drive over to collect:
- Nitro Boost - Gives the car some manual boosting power. Nitro Boost can also be gained by drifting through corners.
- Shields - Temporarily surrounds the car in a reflective shield, causing enemy Sniper Rifle and Burst Rifle shots to ricochet back to the Shooter, taking them out. Shields can also be gained by doing barrel rolls.
- Turret Upgrade - Upgrades the friendly Shooter, allowing them to fire the Burst Rifle (on the first upgrade) and the Missile Launcher (on the second upgrade). Does nothing in single-player games.
- Turret Downgrade - Downgrades all enemy Shooters. Does nothing in single-player games.
- Mines - Found at certain points in the track, this power-up allows the friendly Shooter to fire barrages of proximity mines.
As the Shooter, each player mans one of several turrets scattered around the map. The primary objective of the Shooter is to gain points by shooting down enemy vehicles and turrets while making sure their friendly vehicle wins the race. Depending on their upgrade level, Shooters have access to four weapons:
- Sniper Rifle - The basic bolt-action turret weapon with pinpoint accuracy and the ability to zoom. Useful for taking down enemy turrets and for instantly killing enemy racers (through "Windshield Kills", equivalent to headshots).
- Burst Rifle - Unlocked at the first upgrade level. A machine gun that's useful for spraying at enemy cars at close range (and for unlocking shortcuts).
- Mine Launcher - Unlocked when the friendly Driver finds a Mine power-up. Each shot fires a barrage of proximity mines at an area.
- Missile Launcher - Unlocked at the second upgrade level. A powerful missile launcher that can lock on to enemy vehicles.
Shooters can also temporarily slow down an enemy vehicle (by shooting its tires), occupy enemy turrets (by shooting it until the Shooter gets gunned down), unlock shortcuts for their friendly Racer (by shooting specially marked "shortcut" locations), and block the path of enemy Racers (by shooting specially marked locations).