App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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Ahhh, The Naked Gun. Comedy classic. Not something I’d have expected to see turned into an adventure game, but life is just full of surprises. Surprises like adventure games that aren’t quite adventure games. And quirky humor that’s about as hit-and-miss as one of I.C.U.P’s elite officers.
Lieutenant Frank Drebin Jr is at it again in an all-new adventure penned by franchise writer/producer Bob LoCash. Players guide Frank all over the city, taking on a number of cases, gathering all manner of bizarre items, buying furniture (no, really), and so on. Virtually every single interactive item can be viewed, used, and shaken down for cash. Cash can be used to buy new outfits for Drebin, pay off informants, or even acquire fancy new furnishings for his apartment. It’s one big collect-a-thon, really, with some adventure game puzzles thrown into the mix.
When The Naked Gun: ICUP is funny, it can be really funny. Many of the jokes are anything but kid-friendly, but the timing is spot-on and it can be hard not to laugh out loud. This can be particularly problematic when using public transportation. It was also a pleasant surprise to see so much in the way of random customization options added to the adventure game formula. There are lots of outfits and furniture to unlock or buy, and tracking down cash or special items is almost a meta-game in itself.
The problem I’ve run into is that the emphasis seems to be more on the collecting than the puzzle solving. At the same time, the wealth of cases to handle is nice but it leaves things feeling incredibly disjointed. I get that Drebin is a detective and all, but the story is all over the place at times. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it can be jarring to long time adventure game fans.
While some of the elements that make The Naked Gun: ICUP unique and interesting also get in the way at times, it’s still a worthwhile adventure. And while the jokes (like the game itself) can be hit-or-miss, when they hit they’re an absolute riot.