Jun 6, 2010

COPS: High Speed Pursuit

I'm not a huge fan of racing games, but when Need For Speed added a pursuit mode that got my adrenaline flowing. The idea of being 'on the run' or chasing someone 'on the run' is a thrill and was a great idea to expand the car racing genre. So when I saw COPS: High Speed Pursuit I was definitely on board and actually pretty excited as at $3.99 it had the smell of a premium title.

In COPS, a game which is indeed modeled after the TV show with 'Bad Boys' theme music and all, you represent the law. You'll have to chase down an outlaw and apprehend them. This is done by racing along which is controlled via tilt and a touch screen brake and accelerator. Unfortunately for me, the accelerator is positioned right next to the back button so occasionally while focusing on the action I find myself accidentally at the pause screen. I believe other phones have a button, whether it be back or something else, pretty close to it as well so who knows what will happen... not the best design in my book. In any event, you have to drive along and catch up to the offender, and then you have to wait until you have a chance to apprehend them during which a box will be drawn near the vehicle and you have to stay inside of that box for a second or two and then tap the screen to end the chase. First, I don't know what the accelerator is used for... when playing the game initially I figured I'd have to race to catch up to the bad guys that are surely speeding away. But I just tested the game and was able to catch up with them in a comparable, if not identical, amount of time without ever using my accelerator (which means I was driving along as a leisurely 40 mph). Second, it's VERY difficult to stay in the 'magic box' for any length of time and then tap the screen and consequently the game seems ridiculously hard with little reward for persistence. In other words, while I'm tilting left and tilting right to steer my way into this magic box my boredom meter rises way, way faster than my excitement meter does.

The graphics are fair to good with a background scene like a city or mountains that you can never reach. Trees and signs roll by with little other interesting scenery. And the road itself is odd... it never really bends... it just takes a sharp 20 or so degree turn and then it's straight again and then another 20 degree turn back and so forth. After playing Raging Thunder 2 or Asphalt 5 these graphics quickly become very stale. And the audio is solely the constant blare of a police siren. I suppose that's better than playing 'Bad Boys' throughout the game, though. The controls are also less than perfect as the steering is just not smooth... I have to turn a little either way before I start seeing any response from my car. And then there's this weird glitch where I'll drive off the side of the road and 'poof' I'm back driving on the road again, although perhaps that's a feature (ha ha).

I had big hopes when I saw this game that were dashed when the first one star review on the Market showed up. I never put any real weight on those though as I rarely find the Android Market to be a good place for insightful commentary so I had to take a look for myself. One star is probably a bit weak and it feels weird knocking a game that has had far more work go into it than say the "All in 1 GameBox', but ultimately it's because I seriously doubt that the results match the intentions for this game and ultimately it was just dumped out the door. So I can only guess that we'll hear how weak Android sales are versus iPhone sales?

I just verified the link for Hands On Mobile's website and was actually quite surprised to see some of the quality titles that this developer has pushed out although said titles are for the iPhone. So I checked out the scoop on the iPhone version as they display several 5 star reviews on their website (and I should also note that the photo is of the iPhone version and the Android version differs slightly). The reality is that several 5 star reviews and an overall 3.5 star review means several 1 star reviews were also submitted in the Apple App Store. Furthermore, the iPhone version of this game has seen a few updates to correct various issues with the game and we get version 1.0. My summary? 2.5 stars for a game that needs more worth to be worth $4. Stick with Asphalt 5 and Raging Thunder 2 for now even if you like the idea of a pursuit mode as much as I do.


  1. Sounds like it's an attempt to make the classic arcade game ChaseHQ for the android, which is old enough to be before the time when there were fully rendered landscapes and corners ;)

  2. Thanks for your review, it let us know to put this one on the back burner until it can become a premium gaming title. Such a waste ;-(