Demolition Derby


Demolition Derby you say? Now that's the kind of game you can't mistake for anything else...

Back in the mid 1990s, as a much smaller and more easily amused boy, I was given an early Christmas present in the form of Destruction Derby for the PlayStation. I'm not terribly sure I was aware of what a PlayStation was though, as I wouldn't get one until later in the week, on Christmas Day itself. Needless to say I read the manual a fair bit in preparation for playing (remember those days where manuals mattered?) and soon hopped right into the carnage.

This isn't Destruction Derby however, but Demolition Derby, and it is basically identical, only simpler - ten years of technological advancements in gaming tends to do that. Does it do what it says on the cabinet? I know one way to find out.


That's right, by watching YouTube. While I have seen Demolition Derby up and running on the Internet Archive, I can't for the life of me get my keyboards to do anything with it. I must be missing the simplest of solutions, so apologies Demolition Derby.

As you can tell, a bunch of cars are dropped in a pit and into a game of last car standing. Bashing your opponents with your rear end scores points, not getting hit on your front keeps you from an early exit via an explosion.

Scattered about are bonuses to pick up and repair your car, but other than that it is a straight up fight to the finish. I did pretty well considering I couldn't move at all. A third place finish, with a fair few points as well. I wouldn't have done that well if I could drive...

Fun Times

There were two cabinets for Demolition Derby, a two-player and four-player variant. Chuck in a couple of computer controlled cars alongside three of your friends and you've got mayhem on your hands. Only one can survive, and doing so means you don't have to cough up the coins to keep going into the next round, as if gloating wasn't enough of an incentive...

Of course that's all speculation, what with not having played it alone, let alone with friends, but I assume it's these kind of games that bring people together in a bar. Smashing each other to bits and then playing some Demolition Derby? Can't go too wrong with it.

Final Word

Unfortunately for Demolition Derby, you don't have to see it for long to have seen it all. There's no change of scenery, no gimmicky extras, just your car and your opponents. It's as much about skilful driving as it is about being in the right place at the right time, but it would still pass the time with a laugh or two.

Don't go into it expecting too much, but it's not a bad little game. From the looks of it...

Fun Facts

The game runs on MCR-3 hardware, but without the two General Instrument AY-3-8910's. Apparently. I have no idea, I'm just grabbing whatever the Internet is telling me here. I'm at a loss when there's no Wikipedia article for something.

Demolition Derby, developed by Bally Midway, first released in 1984.
Version 'played': Arcade, 1984, via emulation.
Version watched: Arcade, 1984 (Old Classic Retro Gaming)