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30 Hidden Gems #24: PAM: Post Apocalyptic Mayhem


Welcome to my blog series! This is 30 Years, 30 Days, 30 Hidden Gems. In honor of my 30th birthday, I'm posting about a different lesser-known video game every day in November. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy it. If you want to start at the beginning, check it out here.

PAM: Post Apocalyptic Mayhem
Release Date: 2011
System: PC

Featured in the same indie bundle that gave me The Ball, I got P.A.M. because I needed to get a third game with the promotion and it looked pretty cool. It's a vehicular combat game that is destined to draw comparisons to Twisted Metal or Vigilante 8, even though it takes a different approach to the genre. The world has apparently collapsed, and the only way for the survivors to pass the time is by racing weaponized vehicles and killing each other. The main game is exactly that: you pick a car and track and go at it. You score points both for laps completed and for enemies destroyed, and whoever has the most points when time runs out wins.
There are supposedly other game modes. There are different ways to play in multiplayer, such as pure race mode or last man standing type things. I've never played them; as far as I can tell, single player is limited to one set-up, and multiplayer is dead. I started playing it well past its heyday (if it even had one) and every attempt I've had at playing has failed. The closest of I've ever come resulted in a lag out from the host. This means that playing it nowadays is limited to a single game mode, with the only opponents being the game's AI. The game also got terrible reviews, and has a nasty score on metacritic, owing to a perceived lack of content and too heavy reliance on DLC.
And you know what? I don't even care, because P.A.M.: Post-Apocalyptic Mayhem is incredibly fun. It is pure chaotic, nonstop action. Playing this game is a thrill ride. It's a fast-paced adrenaline rush, with plenty of "yahoo" moments as you fly around corners or try to side-swipe and enemy with a giant saw blade. Much of the criticism is probably a victim of the modern era, which is rife with online multiplayer. In a younger age, I could easily see this being an arcade classic.
It may not be the deepest game. It may not have the most content. What P.A.M. does have is the most important thing in gaming: raw entertainment value. In that regard, this game eagerly delivers. I also think it stands as a modern hardcore testament to lessons that older games and casual games have taught us. You don't need a lot in your game. Three minutes of the same game mode can still make one great if it's fun enough.
Buy it here, if you're interested.
Thanks for reading! My plan is to make this a series, one entry every day this month. I hope you'll stop by tomorrow for the next entry.
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About Adam Pone of us since 10:34 PM on 04.28.2013

My name is Adam. I've been gaming as far back as I can remember, ever since the NES my parents owned when I was a wee lad. Writing has been a passion of mine for almost as long, and I've made quite a hobby out of combining the two pastimes.

I have a very wide taste in gaming. I'll give just about anything a shot, regardless of age, genre, or hardware. I like to think of gaming as an entertainment medium in the same vein as literature and film rather than a simple toy.

When I'm not writing or playing, you might find me in church, in the woods (probably on a four wheeler and/or carrying a gun), or in my room playing my guitar.