You'd never know it from looking at it today -- what with the ultra-graphic deaths in games like Call of Duty and its contemporaries -- but Carmageddon was once a hugely controversial game. Its automotive violence got the game banned in several countries in the late '90s, but now that we're (theoretically) desensitized to pixelated blood and gore, the once abhorred title is now available for your iPhone and iPad.
You play Carmageddon much like a traditional racing game, but with a few twists. First, there are three ways to complete each stage: by finishing the required number of laps of the track and hitting every checkpoint along the way, destroying the vehicles of your opponents by running into them or damaging them in some other way, or running over every pedestrian on the track.
There are a total of 30 playable vehicles ranging from sleek sports cars to bulldozers, all of which are perfectly suited to running down screaming city dwellers and crushing your competitors. As you perform various actions around each track, you'll gain in-game cash that you can use to repair your vehicle mid-race. This becomes increasingly important as you face more skilled opponents, since your car can get taken out of the race rather quickly if you fail to repair it.
One of the coolest features of Carmageddon's iOS incarnation is the built-in replay editor. While you cause vehicular mayhem, the app is constantly recording your shenanigans, allowing you to grab the craziest parts of your run, tweak them to your liking and publish them to YouTube. It's slick, quick and it's a great way to relive the hilarious moments that are bound to happen.
At the moment, Carmageddon doesn't have MFi game controller support, which is a bit of a disappointment. The on-screen control buttons work fine most of the time, but a physical control option would definitely be a great addition.
At US$0.99, Carmageddon is a great deal and even if you've never played the PC original, it's a great window into the most controversial game of yesteryear.