Whatcha Gonna Do when this iPhone app comes for you?

May 14, 2010
Games

More than two decades after bringing real-life police chases to prime time television, COPS is now in hot pursuit of a “bad boy” mentality on the iPhone.  While the show pioneered reality television for the Fox network, its existence as an iPhone app is somewhat of an arrested development. COPS: High Speed Pursuit ($3.99) marks the rare, […]

More than two decades after bringing real-life police chases to prime time television, COPS is now in hot pursuit of a “bad boy” mentality on the iPhone. 

While the show pioneered reality television for the Fox network, its existence as an iPhone app is somewhat of an arrested development. COPS: High Speed Pursuit ($3.99) marks the rare, if not only, game based on the show. This hands-on iPhone game (shockingly) centers around car chases, with the goal of tracking down bad guys and stopping them as quickly as possible.

A good catch for COPS fans

The game opens with the same intro as the television show and is followed by its calling card, the “Bad Boys” song. Those who purchase this game based on its name alone will certainly appreciate these features, though the similarities to the show essentially end there.

There’s only one game mode, called “Pursuit.” At the beginning you can only use one car, with six eventually being available. After a short cut scene of a car speeding past your cruiser, you jump right into the game.

High Speed Pursuit’s controls are the highlight of this game, with a basic set-up that includes two pedals – a break/reverse pedal and an accelerator. To control the car, you use the iPhone’s accelerometer, meaning you simply tilt your phone to move left or right.

The controls work well and take up very little space, so the screen isn’t flooded with buttons. The graphics are merely acceptable, and though the cars look decent enough, the rest of the environment comes off as flat and lifeless.  

Once you catch up with the fleeing suspect, a box shows up behind the car, and your goal is to stay within that box for a few seconds. After that, the game then goes to another cut scene of you either stopping the other car or, on some levels, of them getting away and the chase continuing.

Gamers may feel handcuffed by High Pursuit 

For iPhone game enthusiasts, Hot Pursuit inspires mixed feelings. While it’s challenging, it seems to me it would make more sense for you to actually take out the car yourself, instead of watching it happen in a pre-made video.

This type of chase is repeated for 15 levels across four different areas – Los Angeles, Florida, the Pacific Northwest and Route 66. While each level and area offers unique traits, you’re still doing the same thing over and over again. Time to call the redundancy police. 

You also earn money based on how quickly you complete each level, which you can use to upgrade your cars. It also works with OpenFeint, so you can post your scores online to compete with others around the world.

Those features may be enough for some to make up for the game’s monotonous gameplay, but most hardcore gamers will soon realize that High Pursuit has little replay value. When you also consider that the game occasionally suffers serious problems with lag, the negatives simply outweigh the positives.

Until these fixes and improvements are made, developer Hands-On Mobile may want to hire a good defense attorney. 

 

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