New Rally-X is a mobile version of an old arcade game in which you drive a car around a maze to pick up flags scattered across the game map. The game is a time trial in that you have limited fuel so you can’t go exploring forever. But you will have to explore a good deal since it’s not a straight road from one flag to the next. Adding to the challenge, there are obstacles, including rival opponents who will chase you and boulders that serve to impede you.
Certain stages are designated as Challenge levels. The Challenge for the player is to race through and get all the flags before you meet significant opposition. Obviously, the longer you hang around, the worse of a situation you’ll find yourself in. In terms of difficulty, the game can be steep to master for those not used to 1980s style of gaming, ergo it can be terribly unforgiving.
The gameplay is set on a 2D top down board. A tribute to the original designers of the game, New Rally-X maintains a vibrant color palette. Those looking for a remake or some sort of bonus mode will be a little disappointed. The only other gameplay to be found here is the aforementioned Challenge mode. Otherwise, the levels progress linearly in typical arcade fashion.
There is no multiplayer in New Rally-X. Namco makes it up by letting you upload scores to a global scoreboard. I think this portion could be improved if we could somehow adopt a ghost mode so players can compete against each other offline or at the very least, have novices learn from experts.
Although New Rally-X won’t conjure up as much nostalgia as other Namco properties like Pac-Man, like most of Namco’s wireless games, the presentation is true to its arcade predecessor. Fans of the emulation scene will be impressed. This facet always affords Namco a leg up, particularly in the area of authentic sound effects and simple but catchy musical tunes.