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PAKO: Car Chase Simulator Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . There's a chance that this is part of a popular genre that I'm only just now hearing about, but I dig it. There's something about the bite-sized nature of the levels and the high-speed action that kept me glued to my monitor for way too many hours. And even now, I'm exciting that this review is almost over so I get back to playing PAKO: Car Chase Simulator. I hope we keep seeing more of this style of arcade action game, because I'm not sick of it yet. Rating: 78%
PAKO: Car Chase Simulator
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PAKO: Car Chase Simulator PAKO: Car Chase Simulator PAKO: Car Chase Simulator PAKO: Car Chase Simulator
  • Review Score:

  • B+
Ten months ago, I reviewed a simple but fun action game called Escape: Close Call. Although it was an admittedly shallow driving game where all you did was run from the police while earning high scores, I found myself constantly coming back for the fast-paced mayhem and arcade action. Apparently this style of racing game has become trendy, because PAKO: Car Chase Simulator hits almost all of the same notes, while simultaneously giving me the depth I was craving from Escape: Close Call.

This is one of those games where the subtitle explains it all. PAKO: Car Chase Simulator is just that, an overhead driving game where you see how long you can go without getting arrested by the police. There is no stopping in this game, your foot is always on that peddle while you frantically avoid crashing into buildings and cop cars. If you're good, you'll be able to go for a minute or two, but most runs last only a series of seconds.


At first glance, this is almost exactly like that game I reviewed a year ago. The two titles both have a similar retro motif, they handle in largely the same way and the goal is exactly the same. But on closer inspection, PAKO expands on the concept in a number of much-needed ways. This is a substantially larger game with a lot more to do, including a lot of cars to unlock and even a chaotic multiplayer mode.

One of the reasons this game feels so much larger is because it offers ten radically different stages to escape. While there are a few stinkers in the pack (including a terrible arena), most do an excellent job of adding new objects to dodge and mechanics to get used to. For example, one stage will have you dodging airplanes at the airport, while another will see your car slip and slide over an icy lake. What I really like is that the time of day will change for most of these stages, so replaying the same level over and over doesn't feel as repetitive.

I'm also a fan of the power-ups, which you'll find scattered around the levels at random. Here you'll get the usual spread shot and laser, as well a few unique surprises, like turning into a giant car or spawning a helpful drone. But the power-ups can also come back and bite you, such as when it makes you really small or turns the car into a block of ice. You'll also have to put up with poisons that reverse the controls and an item that makes you drive backwards for a short time. You never know what you're going to get when you run into an item box, which is both exhilarating and terrifying.

PAKO: Car Chase Simulator (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

On the other hand, I'm a little disappointed that there isn't more of a scoring component to PAKO. Escape: Close Call had you weaving through traffic and going for near-misses in order to earn extra points, but all you do here is see how long you can last. That's certainly exciting, but it would have been nice to see a high score element added to the game.

I also wish there were more enemies to avoid. You'll see the same progression in every stage, with tougher police vehicles being added the longer you last. Unfortunately, these vehicle types never change, which doesn't make them the most compelling foes. There is a stage that introduces army tanks to the action, but that's only in that one location. It would have been fun to see more of that sprinkled throughout the game.

There's a chance that this is part of a popular genre that I'm only just now hearing about, but I dig it. There's something about the bite-sized nature of the levels and the high-speed action that kept me glued to my monitor for way too many hours. And even now, I'm exciting that this review is almost over so I get back to playing PAKO: Car Chase Simulator. I hope we keep seeing more of this style of arcade action game, because I'm not sick of it yet.
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