iLounge Game Spotlight: Pako — Car Chase Simulator
Quick, easy-to-play games have always been popular on iOS, but the success of Flappy Bird and others seems to have further emphasized the “quick.” Pako - Car Chase Simulator ($2) by Tree Men Games certainly has more detail and thought than most of those titles, but we’re still talking about a game in which each round lasts not minutes, but seconds. It’s on sale for $1 for a limited time.
Pako is a basic-looking game that will remind some of the early Grand Theft Auto games, with a fun premise — you’re driving a car, so try not to crash. Yes, the police are chasing you, but the levels will give you enough of a challenge on their own without that hot pursuit. That’s due to the control scheme — tapping the left side of the screen turns left, tapping the right side turns right. And that’s it. Your car automatically travels at a steady speed. There is no braking, no going in reverse. If you’re going to swerve into a wall, you’re already too late.
Unfortunately, nearly every bump in Pako is a crash. Sideswipe a car? Crash. Run into some stairs? You’re done. Don’t brush up against that lamppost, either. Within seconds — 10, 20, 30 — it’s time to restart. Now, some will certainly argue that this is part of the game’s appeal. You can play 50 times in one sitting without giving it a second thought. But that argument can be made with any of these short attention span specials. And there’s a difference between difficulty level and designed frustration.
Pako offers five different levels with five different cars, all varying in fun factor. The mall level is a good start, though the car is a bit floaty. The cemetery level, in which you drive a slow hearse around, is a slog. Another level lets you putter around in a zippy three-wheeler with a tight turning radius. That’s fun, until you get blasted by a tank — which seems a little excessive. It’s as if the developers felt as if they were letting you get away with something by giving you a car that’s easier to drive.
For all its faults, Pako can be fun in short bursts. Like any of these games, it can draw you in a bit as you attempt to beat your sad high score. But it feels like a missed opportunity. A similar title with tighter controls, longer excursions, and larger levels could have made for an inexpensive little gem. Pako trades off that potential for the pursuit of the quick-to-die “one more play” addiction — an unfortunate trend in iOS gaming. Sure, it’s cheap, but so are other, more rewarding games.
iLounge Rating: C.
- Does not Commute, Pursuit of Light, Tiltagon, Lightroom, Keynote + PowerPoint
- Security flaw opens iOS devices to attack using fake WiFi hotspots
- Security flaw leaves about 1,500 iOS apps vulnerable to attack
- Halo: Spartan Bundle, Cut!, Sago Mini Toolbox, Chrome, System Monitor + Tumblr
- Security change in iOS 8.3 limits some file manager and transfer apps
- Implosion, Last Voyage, Glass, Instagram + Snapseed
- Notes from Apple’s Q2 2015 earnings call
- Apple Q2 2015: Record $58B revenue, 61.1M iPhones, 12.6M iPads
- Apple releases second iOS 8.4 beta to developers
- Major hospital links HealthKit data to patient records
- Apple Pay adds Discover cards
- Apple enables iTunes donations for Nepal earthquake
- Apple’s third-generation Siri built on Mesos platform
- iLounge Weekly coming Monday, sign up now
- Apple Watch unboxing gallery posted
- FoneFox posts Apple Watch waterproof testing video
- Apple Watch
- Zagg Pocket Keyboard
- Adonit Jot Script 2
- Rokform Rokfolio Wallet Case for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- Parrot Bebop Drone
- Soen Audio Transit XS Wireless Speaker
- Divoom Voombox-party Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- Scosche MagicMount XL Dash/Window
- Theo Power Jump + Power Jump Wireless for iPhone 6
- VERT Wearable Fitness Monitor
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Is there a point to having both iCloud Photo Library and iCloud Photo Stream enabled?
- Why can’t I set a longer passcode timeout on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Can I turn off Message Read Receipts for only some users?
- How do I share one iCloud Photo Library within a family?
- Can I turn off the app icons that appear in the bottom corner on the lock screen?
- Why do I have two separate conversations with the same person in Messages?
- Can I transfer the existing version of an app to my new iPhone?
- How do I quickly erase all of the contacts on my old iPhone?
- How do I disassociate my phone number from iMessage?