Review: 3D Brutal Chase
File this game as something of a guilty pleasure - the idea here, in this recently updated driving game, is that you're in a police car, chasing down the bad guys, and the way to take them out is to check with your superiors, then phone ahead and arrange roadblocks to drive as fast as possible and crash into them as heavily as possible. Yep. Cue the scream of tortured tyres and torn metal. So not that realistic but enormous fun!
We're also talking 'freemium' here, but thankfully you can play an awful lot and have plenty of fun without paying too soon - though you might want to pay the dollar or so to get rid of the in-game banner ads permanently? There are clearly multiple revenue models for the developer here (ads, IAPs, links to other games), and hopefully it'll all come out in the wash for both developer and user.
The 3D 'arcade' graphics are good without being stunning, the gameplay good without being really 'seat of the pants', but what makes 3D Brutal Chase is in the title - the crashes, collisions, taking out the bad guys with as much velocity and angle as possible. Get it right and they're rolling over and over and out of the way. And you have credits won and maybe another mission down... Get it wrong and the four minutes allotted per mission/level will expire and you're left without sufficient collars. So back in you go to try again!
Of course, to add extra spice and strategy, both you and the bad guys (in cars, vans, presumably whatever they can steal...) have to look out for innocent civilians, who are naturally travelling a bit slower - hit an 'innocent' vehicle and you're slowed down, plus you get damage inflicted. In practice, the extra traffic makes the game significantly more interesting, since you can box the bad guy in or swerve around the other side of an innocent and then side-swipe him when he's not expecting it. You get the idea.
And of course, as the levels ramp up in difficulty, the traffic gets heavier and the bad guys are able to absorb more damage before being taken out completely. The current status of each target is shown as a health bar above their roofs - this bar also, obviously, lets you tell which are the bad guy vehicles.
For your part, there's a 'turbo' guage that gradually fills up - you can use this to give you an extra speed boost when needed. Plus there's a brake, though you won't be using that very often (though getting in front of the bad guy and hitting the brake can help sometimes!) The physics in 3D Brutal Chase are essentially 'arcade', in that whatever you do, your car will make its way back into line and its velocity won't be affected too drastically - in other words, it's geared to keeping the action going at all costs.
Chasing again, this time in a four-way, online multi-player game...
Add all these factors up, add in the optional multi-player mode (coordinated by the developer's server), add in a pumping soundtrack and some ear-splitting sound effects, and you get an indie game that's a lot of fun, even if it doesn't quite have the gloss and reach of some of the very best game titles on Windows Phone.
I did a few glitches - with the steering being accelerometer-driven, if you don't hit the screen every so often (e.g. to activate the turbo) then the lockscreen comes on - oops!), but hopefully this can be fixed in a future update - the game does seem to be being maintained.
Well worth a download (and at least a 79p in-app purchase) if you're into motoring mayhem. It reminds me of one of those movie car chases, which go on and on, with impacts galore and yet with no one being seriously hurt - maybe 3D Brutal Chase is as close as you'll get to being Tom Cruise? [Other actors are available.....]
Reviewed by Steve Litchfield at