Developer: Tree Men Games
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

PAKO – Car Chase Simulator is a game about speed. It is a game about reflexes, and agility, and the wild thrill of the barely-controlled chaos that comes from a terrifying mélange of non-existent brakes, shoddy steering, and a police force that is so suicidal in its tactics it may well be able to give the LCPD a run for its money.

IMG_0651PAKO is one of those games; you know the type – it’s hard as hell, and you’re most assuredly going to die, and you’ll definitely do better if you play just one more round. The only metric that matters is how long you manage to survive as you try, vainly, to steer your car around the game’s several enclosed areas, dodging insanely aggressive police, civilian traffic, and, in one stage, giant friggin tanks. The only controls are right and left turns – your accelerator is permanently jammed on full, and the only way to slow down is during your wild fish-tailed turns. A single impact with virtually anything will set your car ablaze and end your run, and with one quick glance at the score screen, you’re ready to go again.

Players will be able to choose from several levels including an enclosed mall parking lot, an infuriatingly crowded highway, and a cemetery. Each one features a different vehicle with different speed and turn physics, which directly influence the tactics you’ll take as you weave and dodge your way through a few more seconds of gameplay. Unlike many games of this type, there is a definite sense of strategy in PAKO – even amidst the wild, random nature of it all. This adds much needed depth and replay value to a game that would otherwise be described as a ‘go fast and crash’ simulator.

IMG_0670Of course PAKO is punishingly difficult, which is only appropriate for this type of game. However, there were occasionally odd lulls in the action when I was able to sit for several seconds in a row simply by doing doughnuts while police cars killed each other all around me. Still, I never felt safe, and moments later I was unceremoniously plastered all over the landscape. It was great.

The art style and music are really great, and the downtime between rounds is essentially non-existent. PAKO is one of the best quick-play reflex games I have ever played. With the different vehicles and stages adding interest to the otherwise tight design, PAKO is a fantastic, quick little game.


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