We all know the Simpsons. For most people reading this you won’t remember a time before the show was on TV. Naturally there’s been a lot of games based on it, and like many franchises, most tie in games are usually bad. But today’s entry is not the case, and is often regarded as the best game to hold the Simpson’s license.
Released in 2003 for multiple platforms, in its simplest description you can consider this the Simpsons take on Grand Theft Auto 3. Some elements you can see that quite easily. You complete missions, drive cars, able to take cars from people and even if doing so much damage you risk the police chasing you.
There are some notable differences however, obviously you don’t start gunning down people in this game, the only attacks bar ramming your car into things is a kick, and none of that kills the people on the street (though that will raise the alarm to the police if you do it too much).
The game has you play through 7 different levels, each set in one of 3 maps based on areas of Springfield. This means you can explore the town of Springfield each with lovely nods that will make those that have watched the first 10 seasons given a big smile. Remember how Marge wanted to fix Main Street in the episode with the monorail? Well in the levels featuring the downtown areas of Springfield you can go to Main Street and it’s still a mess.
Each level, as well as the core missions, has several sub missions (usually races) which unlock further cars to use. As well as that there are other things to find in the levels, from strange wasp cameras to little jokes from interacting with objects.
Other unlockables are outfits you can get for each character. Just like the cars and jokes, these are often references to episodes of the franchise. These outfits are often needed in game as some missions require you to have it equipped to complete a mission.
The game is not without its flaws. I have had moments when the game froze when moving to a cutscene. These seem to be far between and can easily be mitigated but it’s worth being wary of at the start.
The game is rather simplistic with the missions all being either get X amount of items, race someone, lose someone or smash into the other car, but then you are coming for all the Simpson’s references and they can be quite enjoyable. Anyway, the best parts of the game are exploring Springfield and finding all the fun short cuts, especially when they go into an almost cinematic view doing it. A good tip is to drive through the sheet glass.