Demolition Derby (80's)
Retro Coin Op Synopsis
Seven years after Chicago Coin’s Demolition Derby, Bally Midway revived the car-crashing sport in its own four-player, full-color update. Midway’s Demolition Derby looked and played a little differently than its black-and-white predecessor, but the lure of destructive mayhem remained the same.
Set in an muddy, rectangular arena (seen from above), Demolition Derby sent six or more cars into mortal combat, all trying to smash the vital front ends of their competitors (wherein lay the radiator, engine and other necessary parts). To protect the car’s front, Bally Midway thoughtfully included a “reverse” gear on its two-position shifter. Thus, instead of head-on collision, the name of the game was back-to-front impact.
Up to four players could join in the destructive fun at once, but cooperation was severely discouraged. The derby always went on until the last car remained intact, and if best buddies ended up having to square off gladiator-style, then so be it. Each player car had a “Damage Meter,” which indicated how beaten-up it was at any given time. As the meter got lower, the car’s hood began smoking, and eventually the thing would simply explode, leaving nothing but an oil slick. Repairs were possible, but only by picking up the wrenches and screwdrivers that occasionally appeared in the arena.
Released during the 1984 market crash, Demolition Derby wasn’t quite the hit it might have been two years earlier, but the appeal of “every car for itself” combat was undeniable. Four-player interaction made the game a favorite of many, as groups of smash-happy drivers rammed each other’s grills until the quarters finally ran dry.