Darkwind is a multiplayer online, simultaneous turn-based game of vehicular combat. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, it involves physics-based tactical combat and deathracing, online leagues as well as cooperative wilderness scouting and looting, trading and camp-based crafting.
User reviews: Mixed (289 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 22, 2014

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Play Darkwind: War on Wheels

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Recommended By Curators

"Surprisingly fun, the driving mechanics are simple, yet very well done."
Read the full review here.

Reviews

“The brutality of Darkwind is the most appealing thing about it. Your team ages: at 30 their stats start dropping, at 40 their skills follow. You'll give them nicknames, train them, get attached to them, maybe even unlock specialities such as Engine Tuner or Negotiator, and then they'll die.”
80% – PC Gamer Magazine

“Dark Wind's actual gameplay is phenomenal. If you like the sound of turn based tactical car combat this is your new holy grail. The physics of car movement, drifting, changing how a car performs offroad and on tarmac, a variety of physics related to each individual car ... I mean, it's all here.”
90% – Game Tunnel

“MMORPGs get repetitive to me ... Grinding drives me crazy with rage. How many rat-equivalents do you need to smack around before you get to go beat up something else? I think this is a natural state, though, as the game has to appeal to all levels, from the beginner to the seasoned veteran ... With the addition of scouting between cities, and frequent content injections, Darkwind has a lot to do and see in-game no matter the skill level of the player or the composition of the gang. This is a breath of fresh air in what I consider a very stale and one-sided genre of gameplay, where even the behemoth in the market seems destined for repetition.”
7.5/10 – Inside Mac Games

About This Game

Battle for survival and supremacy in a gritty post-apocalyptic world of vehicular combat where strategy and tactics determines who wins.
Darkwind is a simultaneous turn-based, physics-based game. It is often described as "X-Com meets Mad Max" or "Car Wars [1980s boardgame] Online".

Darkwind is the only car game we know of that combines accurate physics with turn-based play. Not just turn based racing and Death-racing (with multiple cars), but also combats with up to 20 vehicles is where you realise why turn based is a must in this game. Running 10 trucks at once through a slaver ambush in Badlands, managing speed, steering, gun fire from anywhere up to 8 points on a truck would not be possible in real time.

Manage your gang, train your characters, design your own cars and scavenge for parts. Make your fortune in racing, deathracing and arena combat leagues, or venture into the wilderness and engage in tense multiplayer battles with pirates, traders and other players.

Trade for parts, cars and weapons in the dynamic economy of a world where your characters will age, sustain permanent injuries, and die. The detailed weapon stats, and the detailed combat system with physics, critical hits, injuries and healing, psychology, leadership and perma-death ensures a strategic challenge like few other games.

Award winning in the indie gaming community, acclaimed in the main-stream computer gaming press and praised in the war-gaming media: play it yourself to find out why.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL compatible
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL compatible
    • Additional Notes: very light on requirements, runs fine on netbooks etc. although 1024x768 resolution preferred
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL compatible
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 350 MB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL compatible
    Minimum:
    • OS: Leopard (10.5)
    • Processor: Core i5 or PowerPC
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL compatible
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL compatible
    • Additional Notes: very light on requirements, runs fine on netbooks etc. although 1024x768 resolution preferred
    Recommended:
    • OS: Leopard (10.5) or higher
    • Processor: Core Duo i5
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL compatible
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 350 MB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL compatible
Helpful customer reviews
87 of 109 people (80%) found this review helpful
606.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
Okay, first of all, this game came out in (I believe) 2007, so no... If you are looking for top of the line graphics you are not going to find it here. Also, this game is not simple. If you want simple there are tons of Flappy Bird clones out there... But Darkwind is definetly not going to be for you. Quite simply, Darkwind is not a game for everyone. But... The people that it is for will be blown away and will wonder "WHY DID I NEVER HEAR OF THIS GAME BEFORE NOW"

Darkwind is a bit hard to describe, but if I would have to put it in one phrase it would be this: Darkwind is a Turn Based MMO Mad Max Gang simulator on permenant "Iron Man" mode with a nice physics engine and a whole slew of vetrarn players who would much, much, rather spend time helping you than PVPing you into the ground.

Pretty much if you would rather play X-COM than COD, or Civ over Halo, or Jagged Alliance over Starcraft 2, you really should check this game out.
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31 of 39 people (79%) found this review helpful
121.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 24
Surprisingly fun, the driving mechanics are simple, yet very well done. If you take a sharp turn at speed the car won't magically straighten out, you've gotta counter-steer, and the community behind this game is great, they actually help new, idiotic players rather then telling them about intimate relations with thier mother. I'll admit, a turn-based car-combat game sounded, well, really dumb at first, but it WORKS!
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51 of 74 people (69%) found this review helpful
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
First thing to notice about this game I guess, is it's not pretty to look at, irregardless of how old it is. The landscapes are terrible, even for post apocalyptica, the cars are really simple, and the UI is downright terrible. Visually it really has nothing going for it. Even the sound is somewhat irritating.

BUT, you don't play this for aesthetics... You play it because of the amazing physics rich turned based combat/racing. Once you get used to the UI, this game really starts to shine. At the start of each turn you change steering, gears, weapon targetting, etc. and once it's all set watch the next 3-4 seconds play out. This gets hectic when you're racing against a large group of players.

The real beauty lies in how each action follows through subsequent turns. Made that hard right a little too hard? the next 3-4 turns will be spent countersteering, and when it works... oh boy does it work. Pulling off successful drifts, jumps, etc gives you a real sense of accomplishment. Combined with terrain realistically affecting your cars handling and you have racing that equals any AAA racing simulators.

I've been playing this on and off for the past 4 years, so don't let the steam counter fool you. I highly recommend at least trying this out. Once you get past the unfriendly UI and get to the actual racing, you'll have a hell of a time.
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32 of 46 people (70%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
The concept is really nice - twin elements of long term strategy when it comes to your gang and inventory, and strategic turn-based driving in matches with fairly accurate physics. I had fun playing around with a few matches and seeing how the 'game' portion of the game plays out. There's a lot of depth and thought put into this, even if the graphics and cluttered hud leave much to be desired.

Since it shows a lot of effort, I'm giving it a tentative thumbs up, but be aware - either due to a major influx of new players from the Steam release or something else unpleasant, the servers are very unstable. I was constantly losing connection to the lobby which made matchmaking from within the client a major pain. (This is why I've only put in about one hour of playtime before I decided to shelve it. Since the game's tutorial isn't very long, I was able to get a decent handle on the game's presentation in that time.)

In addition, the only way to 'pause' - as in take a break from the game, which I'm doing until it hopefully stabilizes more - is go in vacation mode, which can only be toggled on once every six weeks. So keep that in mind if you are thinking about trying the game out.

I think the game is decently well made and shows a lot of potential, but until it becomes more stable and streamlined I'll likely keep my distance for the foreseeable future.

(Keep in mind the date this review was posted when it comes to the technical issues.)
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16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
14.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 26
Considering this game is about 8 years old, don't expect much out of it in the graphics department. The concept is great. I've spent a good time playing this game, and I love it. Many of the players are veterans, and are super friendly. They can help out with any sort of problems. There are many words in the Lobby that are going to confuse the noobs, though, which is a problem. The game takes a while to get used to, so give it some time before you figure out what you're doing. For the noobs out there, I have made a guide on this game to help out.
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15 of 20 people (75%) found this review helpful
27.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 24
Here is some Pros and Cons of the game. I have to say only certain people will like it.

Pros: The Physics are excellent.
The community is very friendly
The game is fairly fun overall.
Also, the game is very detailed from damage logs, to drivers and ammuntion.

Cons: The UI is bit clunky.
The graphics are not the best.
The waiting times vary, from a couple minutes, to a couple hours.
It has a bad learning curve.


Overall I would say 7/10. I personally enjoy the game. I am new to Turn Based Games, but I like this one. I have only hit the tip of iceberg, and still would recommend this to you. I think this is much better than most of the stuff out right now, and would consider playing. I say, play Darkwind: WoW. P.S. Ask someone in chat to scout.
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23 of 35 people (66%) found this review helpful
299.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 24
Darkwind: War on Wheels is a very indepth game for anyone who enjoys engulfing themselves into a vehicular apocalyptic chaos. The game is very detailed and well balanced with unmatchable gameplay but some may find the graphical aspect a bit outdated. I feel it serves the game very well, giving it an old school PC game atmosphere, which I enjoy.

It is the type of game that would require patience and time for optimal enjoyment, which in turn would make you hate it right off the bat or you will begin to love it more and more like a long term relationship.

The gore and graphical detail during the events is very entertaining and gives the game a grim and humorous feel.
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
173.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
My review? 10/10

TL;DR version of review?:
Read the introductions, Wiki and watch some videos. Then give the game a shot. ASK QUESTIONS IN CHAT! Plenty of vets that will gladly teach you the fun of this game.

Long version:

Now, I've been playing this game for a few days before the Steam release. So ignore my current played time listed.

Before giving this game a shot, you need to take note that this is no fast paced twitch based shooter like you'll usually see on Steam. Give the wiki a read and take a look at some of the introduction guides and videos.

KEEP IN MIND! There are ALOT of issues popping up with the Steam release that should be fixed in the next few days. Give it some time aswell.

Dont jump on the hate bandwagon because of the graphics. Look past that and at the gameplay, physics and fun you can have.
This game is something you'll love if you enjoy turn based combat with wonderful physics. Tabletop games and pen and paper RPG's.

Half of the negative reviews shown so far are from people who didnt bother checking the guide or asking questions in chat.
People load in, dink around in options and think "Oh, this isnt fun. I dont have anything to do." They dont bother asking questions, reading up on the game and just scoff "This game is awful" before leaving.

Is the learning curve steep? Yes.

But, there is hope. I joined up just as confused as most of you. I took a wee bit of time to read up on things and gave a race a try. I then asked a few questions and quickly got assisted by some of the vets.

If half of you would take the time to ask some questions, play a few scouts with some good people and actually get a taste of the game I'm sure you'd either enjoy it or hate it.

But thats exactly the problem. Most people will join this game and assume you can get right into the action. Get mad because they cant figure out what to do, troll around in the chat for a few then run back to TF2.

Again... Give the guides a read and dont be afraid to talk in chat and ask us questions. We can gladly help you.

All I ask is before you post a review is do more than just dink around in the client for 6 minutes silently before logging off. Speak up and let someone ingame show you how this is meant to be played. Then base your review off this.

Keep in mind aswell that Sam and the crew are busy making the transition to Steam aswell during all this and doing his best to fix all the problems popping up and give you an
enjoyable experience.

Hugs and Kisses xoxo

-Herzen
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14 of 20 people (70%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
Its stupid how many people bash games these days based on graphics, and while I will agree that this games graphics are at most, "meh," (the menu is absolutely horrendous though. Hope they fix that sometime.) the gameplay is really where this game shines. Its a turned base vehicle combat game similar to Toribash, but with cars. That shoot. Its amazing, and you should give it a try. I really do hope those menus arn't permanent though. BTW for people who think this game came out in 2014, it didn't. It came out in 2007.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 26
Last time I made a review of this, I had made the review point out all the cons and I let them blind me of the pros. So let me make a list this time of Pros And Cons:
PROS-
- Good physics
- Attachment to Crew
- Variety of maps to Race, Deathrace, Arena or even Scout
- Unique, I haven't seen one game try turn based car fights
CONS-
- Non steam Login
- Waiting Time
So at the end, the pros outway the cons so now that I have given it a second try my final score is....
7/10, worth the download space, and a good game of you don't know what to do at that time.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 26
Ive been playin Darkwind for almost a decade, maybe longer. I keep coming back to it off and on and everytime I do I get hooked for awhile again! This game has alot to offer. Many different ways to play it.

I can understand why some people are turned off by it. I remember when I very first tried it I thought how the hell could turn based car racing be fun. I thought of racing as flying around at breakneck speed dipping and dodging around an intricate racetrack. Let me tell you though... this aint the case! Its alot of fun and I personally think more games should be like this. Youve alot of time to try to line up perfect turns and manuevers and when things go bad (as theyy often do with the way I drive) its great to see it unfold turn by turn.

The other thing that I hear alot of people dissing the game about, especially since the steam release, is the steep learning curve. Ive been playing for a long time and I still learn new ♥♥♥♥ all the time. On that same note: Im pretty acclimated to the way everything works so Im probably the wrong person to make an observation on this point. I can tell you though, If you stick around long enough to learn the ropes, this is an awesome strategy game.

Another great thing about this game is the community. The vets that Ive had the pleasure of sharing this game with are extremely helpful. Even the developer plays with us occasionally. Everyone tries to help new people too. I couldnt even begin to calculate the number of times someone has helped me out with a vehicle or a quick shot of cash when I was down on my luck. Or the times I had a stupid question I was embarrased to ask in public only to have everyone chime in to help me understand.

In short this is a great game and Ill be playing it for as long as the servers are up! So see ya in the wasteland!
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14 of 21 people (67%) found this review helpful
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
First of all this is a 2007 title and it look’s like it, not that that necessarily means that it’s completely bad. I’ve ‘played’ it for around an hour and 45 minutes. I say ‘played’ because I spent I most of my time in the menu trying to figure out how to start playing the game, the game decides not to work half the time. I was eventually able to complete a whole match which I enjoyed.
- If you aren’t a really patient person, don’t a lot of time on your hands and don’t like turn based games you should probably skip this
- You actually control your vehicles movement by using manipulating the steering wheel and with the physics your car can spin out of control, I thought that was really cool

http://youtu.be/zTG_6Tv9VsU
http://youtu.be/hQxOhW8nMn8
So at first I had no problem getting into the a couple of tutorial matches, You just need to click on the big tutorial button in the middle of the menu. The tutorial tips missed certain points like the fact that you need to destroy the car on the other side of the map to end the first tutorial. Also after my three attempts at completing the tutorials I initially couldn’t get into them again even though in the menu I was told that the tutorial would be starting.
-----I thought the way you control your car is cool. It took me a while to work it out. You don’t actually just click where you want your vehicle to go. You actually need to change the position of a steering wheel and throttle by dragging them with the mouse or using the arrows keys. So it’s sort of like a simulation of real controls. The game indicates where your car will move to after you end your turn. When you end your turn a few seconds will pass and the vehicles move, a little bit… lol. You have to complete a lot of turns in order to cover substantial distances, because vehicles will only progress bit by bit. You will need to adjust your throttle and steering most turns in order to avoid hazards or losing control and to navigate the environment.
-----I thought this was really cool. Your car will spin out of control if you just lock the steering wheel and max out the throttle, and stuff like that. I think going inclines can cause your car to flip too, I didn’t put that to the test yet. You can also drift and go over jumps.
-----Vehicles will have different guns equipped depending on their model, I think you can also customize the loadout. Guns can be on the front, back or sides of vehicles. Drivers only appear to be able to fire front guns. But you are able to have passengers gunning weapons in the other locations.
-----I had to figure out how to use weapons, I didn’t see any instructions. You have to fiddle around a fair bit. You need to open the management tab found to above of the throttle and steering wheel controls. Click on the weapon then the occupant you wish to assign as the gunner. If you can’t assign a gunner to a weapon it may be because it’s a melee weapon used for ramming. If it is a projectile weapon click on the weapon in the management tab again to see the firing arc and select a target by left clicking it. Then after one turn you will have the option to set the weapon to fire one time only or every turn until you say so. The weapon will fire when it’s target is in it’s firing arc, which may require many turns of repositioning to achieve.
-----So that’s what I did for the first 20-30 minutes, the tutorials. So then I wanted to get stuck into the game, I wasn’t sure how it worked. I thought it would be like an open world but you actually just appear to join events such as death-races or arena combat. I think there is actually on foot combat events for you gang members as well as vehicular combat. The game makes reference to a number of towns but I have no idea how this all works i.e. how you go to them.
-----I was initially very confused about how to actually join one of these matches, it probably didn’t help that I was tired. Anyway what you are supposed to do is click on an upcoming event, the list is pretty much in the middle of the main menu. Sometimes nothing happened when I did this, which is one of the reasons I had so much trouble getting into a match. I think this might have been because of connection or server, sometimes I was disconnected without realizing it. There is no connection status indicator or sound played on disconnect and and it’s easy to miss server messages with all the chat going on. Clicking login seemed to fix this problem sometimes. Unfortunately doing so while you actually already have a connection will kick you and make you wait 30 seconds until you can reconnect.
-----Anyway if things are working properly, clicking on an event in the list should bring up a menu. Click register and then then scroll down and click register again. This should add you to the list of competitors. In each match that I joined everyone seemed to be given a stock car. Once the countdown timer has reached about 3 minutes you will be able to enter the event by clicking play game in the same window. You can leave this window before this but you may have trouble finding it again if there are different events with similar names. For some reason a lot of events have very long countdown timers, sometimes over an hour. You will probably want to choose one that has only a few minutes to wait.
-----I have successfully joined and completed one ‘race’. There were initially two other player controlled vehicles. The other ten vehicles or so were AI controlled. Every human player needs to repeatedly end their turn in order for the game to progress, otherwise you can be sitting there waiting forever. I think all players were first timers like me. All the vehicles literally gradually inched along as the players locked in their turns. Although it was a race surprising at like turn 28 half way through the first lap, weapons went hot. So missiles began flying everywhere, but everyone quickly ran out of ammo. After around half an hour and I think about 150 turns, I think I came 5th which should have earned me a reward. But my car just disappeared and I returned to menu before the last cars finished. I didn’t see a results screen. I later joined a combat arena match but for some reason I was disconnected.
-----You can buy and sell vehicles and items from NPCs and other players. I didn’t do anything with that, it doesn’t seem to be necessary for a new player.
-----I started with five gang members. They crew you vehicles and have different stats making each of them suited to specific roles including driving and gunning. Again I haven’t played for long enough to see how this affects the game. I just allowed gang members to automatically be assigned to positions in my vehicles.
-----There is also what look's like some form of scenario editor which I didn't really get a chance to look at properly.

So yes the game has 2007 graphics. But honestly they do the job. The textures are pretty basic, but the physics are cool. The cars bounce around on their suspension when they go over uneven terrain etc.
-----The main problem is really with the interface in the menu. There is no indication when you are disconnected from the server. There is no status indicator for events that you have requested or registered for once you have left the event registration window.

So yeah they game is old but I don’t really care about the graphics. I actually really wanted to get stuck into the gameplay because I liked it. But with server issues and stuff the game just made it hard for me to actually play it. If you can join events with friends, I would like to do that. But I’m not even sure that you can at this stage. If I can get the game to work reliably I think I would like to spend more time playing it.

Click here for my YouTube gaming channel
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14 of 21 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
the game's menus and graphics are off-putting, but the gameplay is really REALLY fun. i recomend this game
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24 of 40 people (60%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
F.U.N to play i mean it. It has physics and its the game is more like editor like to make your video how you drift/shoot. But they really need to work on menu it took my like 7 mins to find how to join games/events.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
205.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
I am going to stop updating this since I think that 100hs of fun from a free to play game is a positive no matter what.

*8/24 Even more fun and really adddictive - My driver is in coma with one arm missing, he also lost part of his face but I have faith he will be able to drive even with 1 arm XD

11/10 for this game community!

*8/23 Its looks I need to play more before making this review, this kind of games change a lot once you get more things and know more people. I can say for sure I am having fun.

Have been playing some more and what I wrote below may not be totally true. Also Hangfire helped me realized that.

*8/22 Changed to NO because 70% of vehicles can only be bought with REAL MONEY, that is not the free to play I like, people that put money will get things that are not possible to get through grinding and have better STATS, I will play more and update though.
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11 of 17 people (65%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 23
Do not be misled. This game is amazing. Overlook your own ineptitude to read or follow directions. This game is worth the learning curve. Nothing else like it. NOTHING. Enjoy the madness and say goodbye to your favorite gangers. I've played this game off and on for years and years. Considering the dev is an amazing dude and all around swell gent. It will continue to grow and gain more of the cult following it deserves. 10/10 Kill your best gangers and lose your most expensive cars. Would fail again and again.
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25 of 44 people (57%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 24
this game has better graphics then cod ghost 10/10
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 7
weird in a superb way 10/10
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
28.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 27
A thougtful, tactical game without trying to 'WOW' you with a flashy overlay/interface. What it lacks in visual polish, clearly delivers satisfying in-game physics and combat. Throw Mad Max together with a Twisted Metal concept, add in-depth strategy and satisfying vehicle/character customization, and you have Darkwind. 10/10
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
315.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 28
This game has quickly become one of my all-time favorites. It is a turn-based game reminiscent of the old table-top miniature games set in an apocalyptic, harsh, and un-forgiving future. The future that could be… You start off with a handful of gangers and go about trying to make a name for yourself on the racing tracks or combat arenas. The best way to describe this experience would be if Games Workshop's Dawn of War and Mad Max had a love child, this game would be that child. Be prepared for hurt... be prepared for agony... be prepared for blood, guts, shrapnel, and petrol spew. The highs are high… and the lows... well the lows are downright nasty!
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