Smash Cops is a great new action arcade title from Hutch Games. It puts you behind the driver’s seat of various squad cars as a cop who doesn’t take any crap from anyone. It features great graphics, a cool concept, a unique control scheme, and is just a well made, fun to play, destruction filled romp.
The bulk of the gameplay consists of several police pursuits in which you chase down and ram any rogue vehicles into complete oblivion. What about due process you ask? Don’t be silly. These are action movie cops! The kind that don’t have to deal with paper work or protocol. They prefer to murder you first and ask questions later. There are several other mission types that keep things varied. You’ll also have to respond to emergency calls, getting to the scene as quickly as you can. Every now and then a gimmicky challenge level will be thrown in as well, such as a road cone precision driving test, or a parking lot ticket issuing session. By tickets, I mean explosions.
The game has some very unique controls. Everything is viewed as if from a news helicopter following the scene, and you control your vehicle by “pushing” it, so to speak, when you place your finger behind it. Why the news helicopter stays with you and not the culprits is a mystery to me. Tapping anywhere on the screen as you’re driving will give you a little ram boost to help you take these guys out. The controls are getting mixed reactions across the board, but fear not. If you don’t like them, there’s a more standard virtual joystick control set-up to use. I thought the controls were unique and creative, and I really enjoyed them, though they do make filming these reviews rather difficult.
There is a small difficulty hump in the early game, and many players see it as impassible, but it’s really not. In every pursuit, the criminals always take the exact same path, allowing you to plan around their route if you’re observant. If you’re having trouble, you can purchase “Super Cop” power-ups that increase your speed, strength, and health. You’ll also get them every so often for completing challenge levels, but they really aren’t necessary. They do kind of shove the IAP in your face a lot, since you can also unlock every level and car with in-app purchases, but trust me when I say they’re optional, and those App Store reviewers aren’t being fair.
The graphics are well done, and the destruction effects are fun, but I wish there was a bit more variety to the environments. The soundtrack sounds like a juiced up version of your typical SWAT or Starsky and Hutch themes, which is an apt description for this entire game now that I think about it. The main problem with the game is just how short it is, really. Game Center achievements and leaderboards are supported, and this iOS Universal game can be yours for three dollars. I had a blast with it, and fully recommend it to anyone looking for something fresh and fun.