Namco’s rubber classic joins the ranks

Following last week’s fascinating Genji and the Heike clans, this week, the retro publisher Hamster remains in the realm of Namco’s early years of development, adding the pioneering maze runner Rally-X at the Arcade Archives.

Released in 1980 in response to Sega’s precedent Face-to-face, Rally-X tasks players to race through a series of mazes, collect red flags like this annoying ass meme on Twitter, and hopefully avoid a brutal high-speed collision with their racing mates – chasing the player as the Pac-Man ghosts of Dom and Letty. If an opposing car gets too close for comfort, players can get torn apart with a 007 smokescreen, buying precious seconds to gain distance.

Check out the action in the video below, courtesy of YouTuber Old Classic Retro Gaming.

To the output, Rally-X was a hit in its native Japan, becoming the sixth best-selling arcade game in a year that saw Namco dominate the booming coin scene. The simplistic runner helped pioneer elements that would soon become commonplace in games, such as bonus stages and continuous playing of themed tunes. Rally-X has not enjoyed the same success abroad, with historians claiming its very difficult nature kept players from spending their hard-earned quarters. The Dark souls of… Pac-Man? Rally-X would see a sequel in 1981, and even an upgraded port, New Rally-X arrangement, in 1996.

Rally-X is available for download now on PS4 and Nintendo Switch, priced at around $ 8.

Chris Moyse

Editor-in-Chief – Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s. Former Saturday Night Slam Master. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors.