I must have got Post-Apocalyptic Mayhem in the same Post-Apocalyptic Games You’ve Never Heard of Before Bundle as Wasteland Angel. Where Wasteland Angel was about a woman named Angel fighting it out in the wasteland, Post-Apocalyptic Mayhem, or P.A.M., is not about a woman named Pam causing mayhem in a post-apocalyptic setting… for better or for worse.
But what is it?
P.A.M. is a racing game, but despite the gritty visuals there is not one iota of realism to be found in the gameplay here – this is Mario Kart if Mario and friends were from New Vegas. Tracks are strewn with broken pieces of civilisation – crumbling concrete, burned out cars, collapsed overpasses all conspiring to create the tracks you drive around, and each track looks fantastic. The different vehicles are great as well, ranging from a Mad Max-esque police car, a weaponised tree logger and psychotic school bus, to my personal favourite, the Breaking Bad inspired Meth Alchemist RV.
There might be a lot of grey and brown in the palette here, but there’s just enough bright colour to keep the drear from becoming overwhelming.
The tracks are lined with a generous helping of power-ups in the form of colour-coded oil barrels. The colour of the barrels, and their placement in the game’s UI, correspond to an Xbox 360 controller. They’re even painted with the letters of the buttons – X Y A B – which is great for anyone playing with a controller, but can be confusing if you’re trying to play on keyboard. You’ve got a forward attack, side attack, rear attack and nitro boost. Each vehicle’s attacks are based on a particular theme, but they all more-or-less do the same thing, and each appear to get the job done with the same amount of efficiency.
This is very much an arcade racer where staying on the track, and often winning, is a simple case of pointing the vehicle exactly where you want to go. There’s no need to worry about over-steering, under-steering, or even flipping over as the game is very forgiving in these regards.
The game gets repetitive quickly in Single-Player mode, with an Arcade and Apocalyptic Challenge mode that are identical apart from the fact that in Apocalyptic Mode you’re stuck with the same vehicle until you get bored of it or it – presumably – ends. If there is an overall points/tournament system then the game doesn’t bother to tell you about your standing after each race, making you quickly start to wonder why you’re bothering.
Multiplayer is where your interest in this game will live or die. Sadly it doesn’t feature LAN support, as I could picture this becoming the go-to racer for many a LAN, but if you’ve got a few friends that own the game and you’re sick of killing zombies together or shooting modern military men, then you could do far worse than flooring it around the post-apocalyptic racetracks of P.A.M..