Honestly, it doesn’t get better than this.
A game of strategy, quick building, and combat, Rampart was a very odd arcade game when it came out, but I quickly grew to love the odd ones. The quick, mindless action of many arcade games wasn’t found here. Instead, you placed cannons inside your castle ramparts to attack enemies coming at you, take their fire, and use various given pieces to rebuild your castle and possibly try to gain another castle to attack from in the process.
These were the kinds of arcade games back in the retro days of gaming that would suck me in more than most others — the ones barely touched back in the dark corners of the arcade, while others would play the flashy, more accessible games. Rampart probably helped kindle my love of more complex and thoughtful strategy games, such as Civilization, and was a ton of fun in its own right.
Sadly, emulation if Rampart isn’t perfect due to its need of a trackball for quick, accurate placement of the pieces needed to quickly rebuild your castle walls; given that there’s some odd “bumping” along the grid you place them in, it seems more finicky and inaccurate using a mouse than it did using the trackball in the original game for some reason. I tried playing with sensitivity settings with the mouse, but nothing really seemed to feel like using the trackball did. Maybe it’s just me, or I just couldn’t get the settings right, or something. Still, I would love to hunt down an original Rampart cabinet and give it a try again, given that most of the problems I had playing the game in the video above was due to struggling with piece placement.