If you remember the old arcade lightgun game Police Trainer from 1997, this game was clearly made for you. Like many arcade deviants, we have fond memories of pumping dozens of quarters into Police Trainer, and jumped at the chance to play Professional Police Training for the iPhone. But, with only five different shooting minigames and an overwhelming level of difficulty, even on easy mode, this Police Trainer knockoff feels a little more amateurish than professional.
Gone are the more clever variations on target practice, like blasting away at donuts or punching out paper stars with bullet holes. Instead, Professional Police Training covers just the basics: flying red and blue targets for accuracy, gun range mockups for reaction, different hued icons for color & shape, and two types of terrorist-capping simulations for judgment and speed.
Those red targets will never hurt anyone ever again.
A few of these we enjoyed. The accuracy minigame, for instance, is a true test of your finger-blasting capabilities, but the other minigames serve mainly to frustrate. While you can set the difficulty of each minigame, and change it at any time, you’re still likely to hit a wall when you have to squeeze out a certain number of shots in a very limited amount of time. Even Robocop would have trouble nailing some of these tougher challenges.
The game also lacks the depth and progression of the arcade game on which it’s based. Online scores would have been a notable addition, but all you can do here is put your name on a list of imaginary detectives, many of whom we like to think have been corrupted by the imaginary mafia.
If the movie Speed taught us anything, it’s to shoot the hostage.
In terms of its presentation, Professional Police Training is fairly solid. The shooting and reloading sound effects are spot-on, and you can toggle on vibration for every shot, which will make you feel like you just pulled the trigger. Graphically, the few minigames are serviceable, but they do feel like they’re not even close to competing with an arcade game from over a decade ago that had more complex animation and effects.
As a cheap knock-off, Professional Police Training barely gets the job done. It makes us long for a more capable retread of the old arcade game, but for a buck, this intensely difficult shooter will probably keep you occupied for an hour or two. It’s more of a Mall Cop than Supercop, so buy this game with a dose of caution.