The Simpsons
Hit & Run

Format: PS2
Vivendi Universal/Fox Entertainment
Age Restrictions: 7+

There are strange happenings in Springfield. People are missing, mysterious crop circles are appearing, and hidden cameras are being exposed. When Homer notices a black van with a satellite dish parked outside the Simpson house, he decides to investigate further into these odd events. What he reveals could be the biggest mystery to rock Springfield...

Fans of The Simpsons can now join all their favourite characters in a mission-based driving game featuring out-of-the-car platform action, the interactive world of Springfield, and dialogue crafted by the writers of the television show. And this attention to detail show too. There are tons of witty one-liners from Homer, Bart and the rest of the residents of Springfield.

This game is best described as The Simpsons do Grand Theft Auto - although without the violence or swearing. This really is a fun game and if you decide you are bored of completing the missions, you can always take a stroll around virtual Springfield. For a bit of extra fun we decided to take it in turns to see how long it takes Homer to drive from his home to work at the Power Plant. It's not an easy route, so goodness knows how the man with the size of a pea manages to do it every day.

So, what do you do in the game? Well, there are over 50 missions to complete that involve driving, or walking around the streets of Springfield. You can even enter buildings including the Kwik-e-mart, the Elementary school, the Power Plant and the Simpsons house. You also need to keep an eye on the background as there are loads of funny things happening that you can easily miss. There's Maggie swinging from the ceiling fan, Grandpa wandering around lost or one of the OAPs of Springfield trapped in Apu's freezer.

When you start the game you play as Homer, but as you complete missions you progress through the ranks to play other character including Bart, Marge, Lisa and Apu. There are some great one liners from the characters as you drive around (for example Homer whispers: "I'm not a very good driver!" as you crash into things, and Comicbook Guy says things like: "Ahead Warp factor four!" and "We don't have deflector shields you know!") While those quotes don't sound very funny when written down, they are when you are playing the game.

While this game is great fun, be warned - this is really not going to keep anyone over the age of 14 engrossed for too long. Sure there are plenty of missions, hidden gags and cars to unlock, but after a while it gets a little too repetitive. But it is certainly a game that you'll want to come back to time and time again.

The best Simpsons game to be released so far.

Nick Smithson

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