Cheap Shot: High Speed Chase

High Speed Chase drives you straight onto the freeway in a red sports car, guns a-blazing. It’s a heady dose of instant action, making for one of the better arcade microgames we’ve played recently.

This game plays like a less cerebral version of Spy Hunter–which is kind of a feat in itself, if you think about it. There’s no upgrade trucks, no turning into a boat, none of that garbage. The only exit off the road you’ll find runs straight to the morgue.

Each mission has a certain number of target cars (highlighted by a red circle) to overtake and assassinate. These are highlighted with a red circle, and they will do their utmost to defend themselves by weaving in and out of traffic and shooting at you. Johnny Law is also on the prowl in the form of cop cars that try to ram you to death.

You’ll never take me alive!

Your primary tools are an accelerator pedal and a gun. The touch joystick is marvelously responsive, so you can drive like Jason Statham (minus the pattern baldness). There are tilt controls as well, but absolutely no reason to switch to them. Use your other hand to touch where you want to shoot, but do so at your own risk; you’ll end up covering up important parts of the screen fairly often.

There are several fun ways to kill off your targets. Shooting them to death works fine, but takes a long time, at least until you upgrade your gun several levels. Running them into oncoming traffic is much faster and more satisfying. You can also jump off of ramps and bounce right off of them, Super Mario Bros.-style. Finally, there’s a power-up that allows you to grab ahold of cars and swipe them violently around with your finger, as if they’d been victimized by a powerful telekinesis.

In between levels, you’ll spend the credits you earned inflicting mayhem on upgrades for your acceleration, armor, and weapons. The gun is the most expensive for a reason–it turns from a single-shot, to a machine gun, to a spreader, to an insanely powerful hand cannon. The faster you can get there, the better.

High Speed Chase is missing some obvious stuff, like online leaderboards and in-game options (you have to go to the Settings App), and there are only two power-ups. It’s a very simple game at heart, but also a surprisingly fun one. We’re looking forward to seeing what new features the developer comes up with in the future, because this is a solid foundation to build upon.

Editor’s Note: Cheap Shot is a new review feature where we pick a game that costs $.99 or $1.99 and give it the quick review treatment. While you won’t find a 1-4 score or our usual pros and cons, you will get a direct assessment of the game based on a one-hour playthrough. You’ll still find our full-length, regular reviews for other games.

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