Review – Mad Carnage

Imagine a game that immerses you in a post apocalyptic world set against a backdrop of crumbling buildings and arid wastelands. Humanity struggles to find resources to survive and roving gangs of souped up muscle cars tear across the land to try to take what they want. You must command your own small faction of gasoline fueled junkers to fight them and protect what’s yours. This is what Mad Carnage purports to its players. Sounds awesome right? Well too bad it fails to deliver on any of its promises of fun or interesting gameplay.


Mad Carnage is a turn based strategy game that takes inspiration from the Mad Max franchise. It has some of the same idea, but none of the heart pounding action that makes Mad Max so great. The game boasts of its comic book feel and in depth story written by a well known science fiction writer. I’m all for games that have a rich story, but this game definitely doesn’t live up to its claim. Instead, it starts off with a massive wall of text that tells the story. I truly mean massive. The first thirty to forty minutes is seriously just reading an unrelenting brick of novel scrolling on the screen. It’s not even done in a comic book style which would be much more enthralling. No, it’s just an enormous unyielding block of text. I will admit that technically it is well written, just not interesting.

The graphics are all over the place. After the wall of story, there are interspersed comic book storyboards which are very well drawn and have full saturated color. These are the only things visually striking in the game. The rest is underdeveloped maps with laughably simplistic looking cars. There’s almost no detail in the background and the effects of the missiles and explosions are lackluster to say the least. Not to mention, every level looks almost exactly the same. It looks like it should be a cheap mobile game, not a game for the Switch.


The sound isn’t anything noteworthy either. The background music is subtle and fits well with the tone they’re going for, but it’s a bit repetitive after a while. The sound effects of the tires squealing as they take corners is alright, but once again the explosions are underwhelming. I’ve heard more convincing bursts from bubble wrap.

The gameplay is hands down the weakest part of Mad Carnage. It’s a turn based strategy game, but unfortunately strategy doesn’t come into play much here. Instead you pretty much have to guess the exact right sequence of moves you must make in order to beat the level. It’s like playing a game of chess without knowing that the only way you’ll win is to play the Queen’s Gambit. This makes it less of a strategy game and more of a puzzle game. A terrible puzzle game at that. You can barely turn your car and it seems to limit you too severely on where you can advance. It took a while before realizing that the movements are based on your car’s momentum. The tutorial fails to explain the game’s mechanics clearly and the first couple of levels will make you want to pull your hair out. You can go a lot further in a straight line, but turning requires you to slow down by moving less during each turn and making the adjustments slowly. Are you bored yet? I sure was.


You can level up your cars after you complete a map. There are a few different vehicles introduced in the game and each have their own strengths and weaknesses. The fighters you start with are lighter and fast, but with hardly any defense. Then you get berserkers that have large rams on the front and much higher defense. Then heavy tank style behemoths that can shoot bullets out of both sides. They all have their own set of upgrades that can make them better in about every way, except for turning. Even with the perk that allows you better control of your car, handling is still infuriating. I mean these are hulked up automotives with huge engines and rocket launchers on their roofs and you’re telling me that none of them have an E brake so they can stop and fishtail around to face the other direction?

Mad Carnage was an overall disappointment because it fell short of anything amusing or entertaining in pretty much every way. It has numerous multiplayer maps and over 20 levels in the campaign mode. That is if you can stomach this dumpster fire of a game for that long.

Graphics: 4.0

Good comic storyboards, but overly simplistic graphics and animations.

Gameplay: 2.0

No real strategy and frustrating movement options.

Sound: 5.0

Decent background music if not a bit repetitive and weak sound effects.

Fun Factor: 3.0

Mediocre story inadequately presented with ridiculously frustrating controls and drab maps.

Final Verdict: 3.0

Mad Carnage is available now on the Switch
A copy of Mad Carnage was provided by the publisher.