Smash Cops for iPhone and iPad review

Smash Cops for iPhone and iPad review

"Smash Cops brings the excitement of high-speed car chases to your iPhone and iPad with top-notch graphics, high intensity game-play, and interesting (if challenging) controls."

Smash Cops recently hit featured status in the App Store, and after playing it for a few days, I can see why. It's a deceptively simple racing game that provides excellent controls, fluid graphics, and has some signature local evening news flair to it.

The premise is that you're driving a cop car, and you have to chase down bad guys through a winding route, and ram into their vehicle often enough to make them crash. There's a healthy amount of variation on this theme, including timed challenges, obstacle courses to test your finesse, and scenarios where you're the one being chased. Whatever the goals of the level may be, you're usually provided with helpful waypoints at intersections so you know which direction to go. There's plenty of civilian traffic in the way, posing slight obstacles, but for the most part, they can be plowed through with little worry.

The default control scheme was fairly new to me. You press the screen behind your on-screen vehicle to adjust its steering, letting go to stop the gas, or tapping the screen with your other hand for a quick burst of speed. You can switch this up to a traditional virtual joystick, but the default is novel to play with, if nothing else. The controls are certainly intuitive, but I find they're often more challenging than they should be. At times, you can turn a corner very sharply, while at other times, you drift and lose a lot of control. There may be a trick to this that I'm just not getting, but so far it has made nimble driving difficult, especially in the obstacle course stage. Having played a bunch of Need for Speed on the PlayBook, I think an option for accelerometer control would be really nice.

The overall gameplay is still great. There's a real solid "Channel 9 Evening News" angle, where the camera following you is accompanied by the sound of a news chopper. Many of the UI elements are fashioned after TV fly-ins. I would have liked to see a few more unlocks beyond the five cars you made available over the course of gameplay. Maybe some vehicle tweaks to increase boost regeneration, or bump speed up a notch. There are a few microtransactions available, but they feel forced. For $4.99, you can unlock all of the vehicles without having to play through the game. For $0.99, you can pick up 3 Super Cops. These are one-shot upgrades the make your cop car awesome and help you blast through tough levels. While I appreciate being able to earn these in the challenge missions, I doubt my frustration would ever reach the point of spending money to beat a level, especially if I've already shelled out $2.99 for the game. Now, if there was a free version of Smash Cops, maybe with ads and fewer cars and missions, microtransactions might be a more viable route. Personally, I find the gameplay is polished enough that Smash Cops would do very well as a free title.

The graphics deserve top marks. The lighting is extremely realistic, the models are believable, the animation is fluid, and though the physics are a little exagerrated, it suits the gameplay. Fans of the Burnout series will definitely appreciate the scinematic slow-mo crash sequences. The only graphical problem I've had is that that after being flipped over, sometimes a robber's car will disappear and respawn further down the road. This makes sense if the wreck lands in undrivable terrain, but sometimes it doesn't, and the respawn screws up plans for follow-up attacks.

The audio is decent, but I really wish there was some high-octane racing music while you play. The menu screen has some great music and gets me in the mood to race, but once the game is launched, you're listening to a police siren and a chopper sound interspersed with the odd crinkle of smashed bumpers.

Overall, Smash Cops is a fast-paced, challenging racing game with polished gameplay and graphics. With a few control tweaks and increased depth for unlockables, I could see myself killing a lot of time with this game. For $2.99, you'll get your money's worth so long as losing a few times drives you to steely determination, rather than flipping over to another game.

$2.99 - Buy now

The good

  • Excellent graphics
  • Polished (though sometimes difficult) gameplay
  • Good variety of game modes

The bad

  • In-app purchases aren't compelling
  • Limited variety of unlocks
  • Controls are often too difficult

The conclusion

Overall, Smash Cops is a fast-paced, challenging racing game with polished gameplay and graphics. With a few control tweaks and increased depth for unlockables, I could see myself killing a lot of time with this game. For $2.99, you'll get your money's worth so long as losing a few times drives you to steely determination, rather than flipping over to another game.

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

More Posts

 

0
loading...
0
loading...
36
loading...
0
loading...

← Previously

OtterBox Reflex Series Case for iPad 2 only $36.95 [Daily deal]

Next up →

How Apple is defending against Samsung and Motorola's unfair, unreasonable, discriminatory patent attacks

Reader comments

Smash Cops for iPhone and iPad review

5 Comments

It's a universal app, the same app works in pretty much the same way on both devices. Simon just filmed it on the iPhone.

Excellent information. Other review and suggested is a wealth of information. I enjoy reading these articles are very helpful and thank you.

This is really good and useful piece of information. I glad that you shared this valuable information for today. I have to go back again and again to see you...